Meryl Streep was honored with the Distinguished Collaborator Award at Tuesday night’s Costume Designers Guild Awards but according to James Corden the three-time Oscar winner would have preferred to be recognized as a designer.
The Late Late Show host and Streep’s Into the Woods co-star presented her with the award and, of course, cracked a few jokes as he introduced her. “It’s great to see someone like Meryl finally be recognized with an award. I mean, what is she even going to do with this? This is going to be a door stop for the Golden Globe room,” he told the crowd.
“And the truth is, and many of you may not know this, tonight is somewhat of a homecoming for Meryl, because originally, she wanted to be one of you. She majored in costume design. Yeah, but she failed. Which means that for all of you, you can say, well, I’m better than Meryl Streep.”
All kidding aside, he couldn’t have more respect for Streep (who ultimately graduated from Vassar with a degree in drama and won a scholarship to the Yale School of Drama). “To be truly unique in this world is almost impossible. There is no one like her. There never will be, and there never has been. And forget Oscars, and Emmys, and Golden Globes, and SAG Awards, and BAFTAs, it’s the impact that her work has had on everyone in this room and everyone on this planet’s lives,” he said.
“For more than four decades, and countless designers, Meryl has been the definition of a distinguished collaborator. If this award didn’t exist, they probably would invent it for her.”
Streep, dressed in a pink Valentino gown, humbly accepted the honor. “[This] means a lot to me … and not because I wanted to be a costume designer, which I did, but because my mother really wanted to be a costume designer. Halloween was maybe like a religious—no, it was like the run up to the Fashion Week. She was so inventive,” she said before turning her focus to her beloved collaborators like costume designer Ann Roth.
“You never see it in a movie, really ... the moment of creation, really coming alive. To be in the room with Ann, and to share that mutual, oh gosh, it’s just a happy surprise, like simultaneous orgasm or something. It is a little tiny miracle every time it happens.”
—With reporting by Brandi Fowler