Belfast Telegraph

Meryl Streep: Singing is a privilege

Meryl Streep "used" to have a great voice.

The 65-year-old star famously showed off her singing voice in 2008's Mamma Mia! and will do so again in the upcoming flick Into the Woods. It's a musical fantasy which is based on the Broadway musical of the same name, with Meryl taking on the role of The Witch.

"It’s a great piece of American theatre history. To imagine we could make a film and I could sing this music was a privilege. And a high bar. I thought yes, OK man, I’m going to do this," she told New York Daily News.

"I used to have a good voice. If you stand upside down and go ‘Mmm mmm mmm mmm...' Well, I’m not going to do it now, but that gets everything flowing."

It's just one of several techniques Meryl has adopted to ensure her voice is at its best for the film. Into the Woods features characters from many classic fairytales, with The Witch trying to teach the likes of Cinderella, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood life lessons. It boasts an ensemble cast too, with Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt and Chris Pine all featuring.

Making a Broadway play into a big screen release has special meaning for Meryl, as she's appeared in the iconic New York Theatre district in the past. She stared in Happy End in 1977 and can vividly remember being terrified.

"You’re up there and all of a sudden comes the sound of the music and it lifts you, it lifts you," she mused.

She's is as proud of her new movie as she was of that production. Into the Woods was written by Stephen Sondheim, who Meryl said has also been raving about the finished product.

It's been a good week for the Oscar-winning actress, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama yesterday. It's the highest civilian model in America and Obama took a minute to praise the actress as he gave her it.

"I love Meryl Streep,” he was quoted as saying by White House reporter Jennifer Bendery. “Her husband knows I love her. Michelle [his wife] knows I love her. There's nothing they can do about it.

“She’s done it all for her craft. She’s [even] sung ABBA. That’s something.”

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