I watched a scene being filmed, where Jane Fonda was talking to a young somewhat awkward actress with the peculiar name of Meryl Streep. She looked extremely uncomfortable and, I thought, with her apparent lack of ability and her odd name, she would not go far. I even remember wanting to put an arm around her – she was only six years younger than me, but I felt motherly – and give her some sort of comfort.
So much for my perspicacity. Although I did read subsequently that she said it was her first film and she definitely did feel uncomfortable.
I saw Julia, of course, when it came out – and on the television years later, when I could stop and rewind. There was no sign of me whatsoever – just a blur as the camera panned from one end of Sardi’s to the other at the moment that Lilian Hellman (Jane Fonda) made her grand entrance. It was not a terrible film, but not a great one either and seems to have disappeared into the mists of time.
The beginning and end of my film career. I don’t need to tell anyone that Meryl Streep went on to impress the world, including me, with her sensitivity and skill as one of the foremost actors of our time.
One should cut a little slack to first films, first books and first everything else.
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