If the career of Meryl streep more than one actress should ask: “wow, how did he do it.” It is enough to remember his 20 nominations for the Oscar awards (16 as a protagonist, 4 as a supporting actress) and three statuettes, add the 30 nominations for the Golden Globes and add that he filmed 75 films. At 72 years old and at the age when good roles begin to be scarce, she remains valid, so much so that in recent times a saying has become popular in Hollywood that says “No actress born before 1960 can get a role unless Meryl does. have rejected before ”.
If as an actress, Meryl shows incredible and healthy enviable achievements, as a woman she achieved something that not all mortals enjoy: love and be loved. In times where toxic, liquid, misunderstood, fleeting, inadequate, long-suffering, ignored, one-sided loves abound, and an endless list of disaster loves, Meryl lived two real loves. One broke her heart, not because of a treacherous but because of a tragic one. The other, not only healed her but has sustained her for 40 years and turns her into something more valuable than a successful actress: a loved one.
His first love was John cazale. He could not distinguish the look of a Robert Redford or a Brad Pitt. On the contrary, according to the stereotypes of beauty, he was not very attractive, with bulging eyes, incipient baldness and a slim frame bordering on the weak and yet magnetic and attractive. A guy who went unnoticed for his appearance but who swept by personality and above all for a unique acting talent as his Fredo demonstrated in The Godfather.
John and Meryl first saw each other on stage when they starred in an adaptation of a Shakespeare play. It was the summer of 1976 and the crush was mutual and intense despite fifteen years of difference. “He could transform something nonsensical into something of greater meaning. I was humanity and curious to learn more about people. He was very compassionate”, The actress would describe it.
In love, Cazale stopped being the great party animal, drinker and womanizer that everyone knew to transform into someone monogamous but much more cheerful. Meryl was encouraged and for the first time bet on coexistence, they moved to an apartment in Manhattan.
The talent of Cazale and Streep was already known and in 1977, the director Michel Cimino summoned them to be part of The Sniper. The film, a war drama that would eventually be considered one of the 100 best American films, starred Robert De Niro, but Cazale and Streep would have important roles.
Weeks before filming began, Cazale noticed that his body was not responding well. Worried, with Meryl they decided to make a medical consultation. Studies, more studies and a devastating diagnosis: cancer and a life expectancy of three months. They shared the diagnosis with very few, if death wanted to defeat them at least they would give it a fight.
Many years later, Streep said that when the film’s producers found out about Cazale’s illness they didn’t want to hire him, so Robert De Niro paid his health insurance out of pocket and with Meryl they convinced them to have an already weak Cazale film his scenes first. . Meryl never forgot De Niro’s help and they have been close friends ever since.
The disease did not stop neither before projects nor friends. To defray the costs of treatment, Streep accepted a role in the series Holocaust. Some scenes were shot in Europe and he had to travel, but he left behind two luxurious caretakers: De Niro who was already known for Taxi driver He was in charge of “chapear” with his face to expedite procedures and Al Pacino accompanied him in chemotherapy.
Despite all the love, efforts, and treatments, the disease won out. Cazale died on March 12, 1978. He was not alone, Meryl was by his side. At one point the actor closed his eyes and the doctor said “he’s gone.” Meryl could not accept it, hugging her partner hit his chest crying. For a brief and eternal moment, John opened his eyes. ‘It’s okay, Meryl’, he whispered, ‘Everything is alright…’. And died.
Meryl never publicly told how she experienced such a duel. Perhaps he took refuge in fiction to escape reality. Perhaps he convinced himself that “if you go through hell, all you have to do is keep going.” Perhaps she cried the joy of having loved him and the sadness of never enjoying him again.
In the midst of her tragedy, Meryl was ordered to vacate the apartment where she lived with Cazale. Imagine the situation. You hardly have the strength left to get up every morning when you also have to add a move and look for another house. It was then that “that rainbow appeared on someone’s gray cloud”: Don gummer.
To prevent Meryl from reliving the pain of what she shared with Cazale, her brother Harry offered to move the apartment and Don, his friend, joined. When he learned that the girl had no where to live, he offered to put her in his loft. Meryl knew that it also functioned as a studio since Don was a sculptor. Without thinking, he accepted the offer. She preferred to live surrounded by statues than memories.
On September 30, and just six months after Cazale’s departure, Meryl married Don in a simple ceremony in the garden of their parental home. “I didn’t get over John’s death, but I have to keep living and Don taught me how to do it,” He responded to his mother and to all of those who distrusted such a fast love.
In November of the following year he was born Henry, the firstborn, in 1983 came Mamie, three years later, Grace and the family was completed in 1991 with Louise.
Meryl achieved something that seems impossible on planet Hollywood and on planet Earth as well, a happy and lasting marriage. Although almost everything is known about his career, little and nothing transcends his family life. Some think that it is because she has a certain shield from the press, but others say that it is simply because she has a quiet life without scandals. It is known that at home she is in charge of cooking and often ironing her clothes.
To keep her family out of the media spotlight, the protagonist of Kramer vs. Kramer he followed the advice of another movie “monster”: “When my children were babies Robert Redford He taught me that ‘They are not your accessories’. I really admired the way he protected his family. It is something that I consciously emulated ”.
Contrary to many husbands who cannot stand the success of their wife – there are the post-Oscar divorces of Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, among others- Don always accompanied Meryl. There is no red carpet where he does not appear with his wife and that the actress has more than 400 nominations and 149 awards won. So much so that the children half jokingly and half seriously gave him a family Oscar as “best companion.”
If she had to stay several weeks away from home for a movie, Don stayed with the boys without problems and above all, without reproaches, which caused Meryl not to feel “so guilty” about these necessary absences. It could be argued that Don is a self-confident man without “fragile masculinity”, for others – this chronicler included – he is simply a life partner.
Don is very good at his thing, sculpture, and he never felt overshadowed by his wife or used his fame or connections to shine. Before marrying Meryl, he was already a recognized artist trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Yale School of Arts, the best American art schools. In 1973 he had his first major exhibition and today his work is part of important collections such as the Louisiana Museum or the Chase Manhattan Bank.
One of the few times that Meryl was asked the secret to a happy marriage, she claimed that “It is the good will and the willingness to give in, and to shut up from time to time.” Although perhaps it is also simply that “I found a great husband many years ago; I’m lucky in that sense.
In 2012, as she received the Oscar and the eyes of the entertainment world were once again on her, Meryl made it clear what was important in her life. “First I’m going to thank Don, because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech, they cover him with music,” she began smiling, but then she defined her husband as the man who helped her “live again.” And he closed speaking only to him “I want you to know that everything I value most in our lives you gave to me”. Because you can be the most awarded actress in the world, but when after forty years the arms of that man who looks at you in love from the audience are still that safe place where you feel loved and understood, well then that and only that is true success and not that statuette that you hold in your hands, no matter how golden and glamorous it may be.