Misty Upham’s dream came true when she got the role and a chance to work with Meryl Streep in August: Osage Country. Her story about working with Meryl presents an amazing portrait of the three-time Oscar winner:
“It’s everything you think it’s gonna be, but even better because everybody’s, you know, I’ve run into Meryl several different times after, during award season and also we both went to Women of the World last year and she has this amazing ability to relate to every shade of person that she’s with and she has that movie star superpower of making you feel like you’re the only one. And I would see her energy change from me to when she would go and talk to the first AD [assistant director] or when she would go and talk to John [Wells]. She just switches through all these currents of energy and so everybody has a beautiful, individual one of a kind masterpiece that she presents them. And her masterpiece with me was just ultimate compassion and it was beautiful.
And as busy as she was and as powerful as she was, she, there is an interesting story, I am gonna try not to cry, I really am, after we filmed with her, right after I did and they wrapped, that was her last take of the movie. And so, she went to go and get ready and they were gonna announce her wrap. And I had been so good at holding it in. I fell on the stairs and I just like broke down, you know, because, ‘Oh my God! My dream just came true.’ And you know, my life, odd, my life goal just happened, even more so than the Oscar. So I sat there and cried for a while.
And then I went downstairs, I didn’t know where everybody was and I walked out the first door and I was gonna see what was happening and then everybody was gathered out front and they were clapping. And I was like, ‘Oh no. It’s just me.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, no. We’re clapping because this is the last scene of the movie.’ And so then we went out and they had chocolate covered champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and the entire crew came and everybody stopped their work and Meryl came out and she did this great, she took her wig off and flung it and we all kind of celebrated for five minutes and I gave her a hug and started crying and she whispered to me, ‘Oh, what’s wrong baby?’ And I said, ‘My dream just came true and thought that if it ever came true, it would take my entire life.’ And she gave me a hug and while we were taking a picture, I was always, kind of put myself outside this family, this movie family because I was the housekeeper.
That was part of my approach to it. And so standing on the outside with some of my crew members who were my friends because living with someone for four months, you become sort of best friends in that time and Meryl was standing somewhere in the middle and she was asking, ‘Where’s Misty?’ And she saw me and she like left the middle and came around and stood with me on the side and put her arm around me. So in the crew photo, the last photo, she’s with me on the side. So her work ethic, her preparation, her technique, everything was everything that you would hope it would be, but her humanity would be even greater.” (x)