"There are other actresses equally as talented as Meryl Streep. The whole Meryl Streep iconography is part of what Hollywood does to women."

By Isabel Jones
Jun 23, 2021 @ 11:43 am
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Meryl Streep is one of few actresses in Hollywood who can do no wrong. At some point in her decades-long career she was unofficially anointed World's Best Actress and we've been bowing down to our range-defying queen ever since. Well, Sharon Stone would like a word. 

During an interview with Zoomer, writer Johanna Schneller made a mistake in phrasing when asking about the industry's propensity to pit women against each other, bringing in the actress's experience working with Streep on The Laundromat. 

"I like the way you phrase that, that I finally got to work with Meryl Streep," Stone replied before the question was even asked. "You didn't say, 'Meryl finally got to work with Sharon Stone.' Or we finally got to work together … Because that's the way her life went, she got built up to be, 'Everyone wants to work with Meryl,'" Stone continued. "I wonder if she likes that?"

But her musing was far from over.

"The way you structured the question is very much the answer to the question," Stone went on. "The business was set up that we should all envy and admire Meryl because only Meryl got to be the good one. And everyone should compete against Meryl. I think Meryl is an amazingly wonderful woman and actress. But in my opinion, quite frankly, there are other actresses equally as talented as Meryl Streep. The whole Meryl Streep iconography is part of what Hollywood does to women."

Sharon Stone Called Out Industry Idolatry of Meryl Streep
Credit: Getty Images

And then came the list. "Viola Davis is every bit the actress Meryl Streep is. Emma Thompson. Judy Davis. Olivia Colman. Kate Winslet, for fuck's sake. But you say Meryl and everybody falls on the floor."

"I'm a much better villain than Meryl," Stone added, "and I'm sure she'd say so. Meryl was not gonna be good in Basic Instinct or in Casino," she said, the latter of which earned her an Oscar nomination. "I would be better. And I know it. And she knows it. But we're all set up to think that only Meryl …" 

This next part deserves Schneller's full description:

"- here Stone's voice goes all breathy, and she stretches out her arms in an arabesque, left arm forward - 'is so amazing …' - right arm forward - 'that when you say her name …' - left arm forward - 'it must have been amazing …' - right arm - 'for me to work …' - left arm - 'with her.'"

"That's how you're set up to ask the question. That's how we're set up to think," Stone continued. "We all have to sit in our assigned seats. Are you kidding me? If we worked in a supermarket, she can't always be the No. 1 checkout girl. We're all doing our jobs. Everybody gets to get better, and everybody gets to sometimes have that not great a day. Even … Meryl."

The actress went on to address Streep's relative silence surrounding Hollywood's #MeToo reckoning. "I'm sure Meryl has a story. But I'm also sure if Meryl told you her story, she wouldn't be being Meryl, and she wouldn't be getting those jobs. Meryl can't be the envelope pusher. Because then she wouldn't get the jobs. Meryl's a smoother. That's what she does."

Ball's in your court, Meryl.