Meryl Streep got the Tokyo International Film Festival off to an early start on Monday with warm words for Japan, her eccentric character and film director Stephen Frears.
Streep stars in Frears’ “Florence Foster Jenkins,” which opens the Tokyo Festival on Tuesday.
A meet-the-press session also touched on feminism and American politics, but didn’t delve into anything too deeply. “I’m currently unemployed and available to come,” she quipped.
“I’m very flattered to hear that,” Streep said after being told that Hillary Clinton had once suggested that Streep would be her choice to portray her in a movie. “But I’ll have to wait for that role. All her great achievements are ahead of her.”
“This (U.S. presidential ) election cannot come soon enough. We’ve been very burdened by it,” Streep added.
“Television has been good for women and proved that there is an audience,” she said discussing the changing possibilities for women’s careers in entertainment.
In “Jenkins” Streep plays the character of a wealthy arts patron who cannot sing but is determined to do so. For that Streep — who can sing — learned to deconstruct the songs.
“I did try to learn how to sing these arias properly. I had a great opera coach who taught me properly. Then for the last two weeks, how shall I put it, we screwed around with them.”
“I’d still like to be a singer, but I’m not very good,” she continued after further prompting.
“All these (Jenkins) quirks are true. She only ate sandwiches and potato salad. She was a true eccentric,” said Streep.
“Jenkins” will be released in Japan shortly after the festival, on Dec. 1, through Gaga, a distributor controlled by Tom Yoda, a former Tokyo Festival chairman.