Meryl Streep and Kenneth Branagh Response Post

file_611166_suffragette-poster-streep-640x1079Response Post on Meryl Streep and Kenneth Branagh due Wednesday, March 22 at noon.

Read the following Meryl Streep biography and watch the mini-documentary on the Biography Channel website. Also watch the following interview and documentary. Then address the two of the following questions about Streep:

  1. What fascinates you the most about Streep’s life? Why?
  2. How has she been able to maintain such a long-running career?
  3. What inspires Streep into choosing roles?
  4. What has she learned most from working with other Oscar-winning talent?
  5. Many lead actresses are unable to get meaty roles when they reach a certain age due to ageism and sexism – how has Meryl been able to continue to thrive when others have not?french-lieutenantc2b4s-woman-1981-karel-reisz
  6. Compare Streep’s success to others we’ve explored this semester.
  7. Streep has been nominated for more Oscar than anyone else in history – why is she still looking for roles to challenge her?

 

Read the following Kenneth Branagh biography on the Bio channel and this one on CBS News. Then watch this documentary: “From the Bard to Thor,” and “Kenneth Branagh: A Life in Pictures.” Then address two of the following questions:

 

  1. How has Branagh’s knowledge of Shakespeare helped guide him through other’s aspects of his filmmaking career?Jack-Ryan-Shadow-Recruit-Comic-Book-Poster-Kenneth-Branagh
  2. How has Branagh been able to balance producing, directing, and acting?
  3. What do you find most fascinating about Branagh and why?
  4. In what ways has Branagh been able to bring Shakepeare to life for a new audience?
  5. Branagh has brought classic literature (beyond Shakespeare to life) and even Marvel Superheroes to the big screen. He’s also worked in the Harry Potter universe. What makes him such a versatile actor/director?
  6. Compare Branagh’s career/work to that of others we’ve explored this semester?
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11 thoughts on “Meryl Streep and Kenneth Branagh Response Post

  1. Mallory Moore
    Meryl Streep
    2. How has she been able to maintain such a long-running career?
    I think that Meryl Streep has been able to maintain such a long career because she is such a talented actress. As she has gotten older, she hasn’t slowly disappeared from the screen or gotten lost in lesser-known films, but she has grown and seems to take on bigger roles every year. Rather than reaching her peak as an actress at a young age, she has continued to grow as an actress and prove that she can take on new challenges.

    3. What inspires Streep into choosing roles?

    In the interview, Streep said that she looks for roles that make her heart race when she reads the script, so I think that some kind of emotional connection is very important for her. But she also said, later in the interview, that as she was starting out she wanted to have fun with her career. The story about her stage role where she decided she was going to fall over in each scene seems to show that fun side of her. So, I think that she looks for something that will challenge her in a fun way as well as give her an emotional connection. She looks for roles that are unique and different from what she has done in the past, since those will give her an opportunity to try something new and have fun with it.

    Kenneth Branagh

    2. How has Branagh been able to balance producing, directing, and acting?
    As the biography said, he uses mediation to keep himself centered, and I’m sure he has other activities to help him through the stress of it all. It also seems like he is a very curious person that is willing to learn and ask questions. This curiosity has helped him learn how to take on roles like directing and how to switch from work on the stage to work on film. I think that his eagerness to learn makes him successful with different roles.

    3. What do you find most fascinating about Branagh and why?
    I really admired what he said about hits and misses in his career. He was referring to the Frankenstein movie that didn’t do so well with critics, and he said something along the lines of failures are just as important as successes. For someone who has had lots of success, I can imagine that when a project goes wrong, it must be very disappointing. But he seems to know how to handle disappointments, which I think is really good for a professional.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meryl has continued to find ways to stay relevant (and have fun doing it). I will agree with KB – finding success through failure is incredibly important… more than I can say

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  3. Rachel Gann

    Meryl Streep

    1. I am shocked at just how many times Streep has been nominated for an Oscar. I fell in love with Meryl Streep when I saw her in Mama Mia. Then again when I saw her in Devils Wear Prada and Julie and Julia. But after reading about her and learning more about her I realized that I haven’t watched a lot of movies with her in them and now, knowing how many she has been in and how many Oscar nominations she has gotten I am really surprised. I have heard people many times call her the “queen of Hollywood” and she truly is that. With more Oscar nominations than anyone else in the industry, it’s no wonder that she has become known as “queen”.

    7. Even when an actor exceeds those around him or her, they will always look for new challenges. As an actor myself, I know that no matter how many awards, nominations or praise that I get, I would never stop looking for roles that would take me to a new level of acting. Meryl Streep is one of the best known actors in the business, now as she ages, she could step out of the lime light, or simply accept easy roles. She’s an actor, each role that she takes on is more challenging than the last, not because she wants to show off but because she wants to test herself. I think she still looks for roles that push the envelope because she doesn’t accept that there is no more that she can do. Artists love to challenge themselves, they love to go beyond what people expect or have accepted. Meryl Streep is no different. I think she wants to prove something not only to herself but to the world. I think with each role she takes on, with each new challenge, she is trying to tell the world that we don’t have to always settle. No matter our success, we can still push boundaries if we are willing to go the distance.

    Kenneth Branagh

    1. When a teacher or director tells an actor to find a classic monologue, normally they mean a Shakespeare monologue. There are not many actors that I know of who enjoy Shakespeare and most of that is due to how odd the dialogue is. If you can master Shakespeare then you can master any other form of acting. The same goes for filmmaking. Branagh has brought many Shakespeare plays to life on the big screen and when moving on to other projects, he can draw from that past which not only makes the current project seem less difficult but it can also provide inspiration. I think Kenneth’s knowledge of Shakespeare helps him alot because after doing Shakespeare, everything else is pretty easy.

    5. I think what makes Branagh so versatile is the fact that he started out doing Shakespeare. As I said above, I would consider Shakespeare an advanced level in acting or filmmaking. I think he can go from that to Marvel because he has already tackled something most people can’t even understand. Like every artist he pushes himself and he doesn’t settle.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Meryl Streep
    2. How has she been able to maintain such a long-running career?
    Meryl Streep is such a talented actress and instead of hitting the climax of he career, she has continued to soar and grow as an actress which is why she has maintained such a lonng-running career.
    5. Many lead actresses are unable to get meaty roles when they reach a certain age due to ageism and sexism – how has Meryl been able to continue to thrive when others have not?

    She hs conitinued to prove herself over and over again despite the fact Streep is heading into older age time. She shows that no matter what age she is, her talent is still there. With skills like her, how could you not want to cast her even if she is 50+.

    Kenneth Branagh

    1. How has Branagh’s knowledge of Shakespeare helped guide him through other’s aspects of his filmmaking career?

    Not many actors/actresses enjoy Shakespeare because of the dialogue, but Branagh loved doing Shakespeare. If you can master the monologues of Shakespeare then your acting career is off to a great start.

    2. What do you find most fascinating about Branagh and why?

    I found it interesting that he believes failures are as important as successes because no one ever wants to fail. It can be heartbreaking to feel like you failed, but Banagh does not take it that way. He looks at failure as a step to achievement.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haley Walker

    Meryl Streep
    2. How has she been able to maintain such a long-running career?

    I believe she has been able to maintain such a long-running career because she hasn’t let her age stop her. She continues to find new and challenging roles to play and it has helped keep her in the limelight of Hollywood. I think it helps that she is a very respected and talented actress.

    7. Streep has been nominated for more Oscar than anyone else in history – why is she still looking for roles to challenge her?

    I think Streep continues to find roles that challenge her because acting is her passion. She tries to find new and different roles that will expand her talents as an actress.

    Kenneth Branagh

    4. In what ways has Branagh been able to bring Shakepeare to life for a new audience?

    Branagh takes Shakespeare and adds modern twists to his creations. He makes it more understandable for modern audiences and often adds situations to his films that we all can relate to.

    What do you find most fascinating about Branagh and why?
    I find it fascinating that he started out in thespian theatre and he was able to take his knowledge of Shakespeare and create modern films that we can all enjoy, such as Much Ado About Nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sthefany Flores

    Meryl Streep
    2. I believe that Meryl Streep has maintained a long-running career because she is truly dedicated to her job. This is something that is seen in many successful people, she lives and breathes acting. When she was interviewed by BAFTA she spoke of her early castings and the characters that she played. She said that she noticed that she was being cast as the mournful woman with long blonde hair and she made an effort to diversify herself in her roles to prevent this. She said in the interview,“I looked for opportunities to screw with how I looked, how I sounded. It was conscious in a way to not be pigeonholed. Because I though euh, I’ll die, I’ll die if I can’t you know beam and throb and make a mess and all the things that are wonderful about acting.” She has also applied her dedication and her attention to detail to all the films that she is cast in.
    4. When she spoke of what made a good director, it became clear that there are a few things that are required to do well: have a vision (maybe) of where your work should lead you, listen to others, and think about the work rather than yourself. I think that this points to the very root of what separates filmmakers and Filmmakers. It’s the research and work and initiative that you have to bring forth to the table. Trying new things and seeing how they stick and putting your ego aside and doing the film justice.

    Kenneth Branagh

    3. I find it fascinating that he has been able to delve into the works of Shakespeare and make them popular in his mediums. When a story like Hamlet is told an amazing amount of times, it is hard to do it in a different way than others. It was certainly a risk to have a four hour production of the play but it is interesting that it not only held its own, but it also acquired 4 Oscar nods. He has managed to retell so many of Shakespeare’s plays with an authentic interpretation and make it seem new again.
    4. I think that he has come to the realization that it is not about what words Shakespeare uses but about the characters and the themes. This has allowed him to see other characters in a frame he is more familiar with and bring them to life. He mentioned that he saw many similarities of Shakespeare’s themes in Thor such as the banished prince who must prove himself worthy. Sometimes, you just have to look for others for inspiration and borrow the wheel that has been perfected and put your own touches to it rather than trying to reinvent it yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kate lamar:
    Meryl Streep:
    3. She chooses films by “They are her in someway”. “When you first read a script, its the most honest one”. “I picked things, when and if my heart started racing”. “She also stated that through the the course of the film she is wrong, because I am rarely wrong”. From this, she wants to find the the interesting characters that she can play, but also have some sort of confusing factor to them.
    5. “She is forging a path”, for the women of film. She is out there for all the older women. As she going through this, some are glad she is out there doing what she is, and some are not. The movies that she has been in, she has taken some charge, as to telling people what looks good, and what does not fit the scene.
    Kenneth Branagh:
    1. After he studied for the arts, and he won an award, he joined the “Royal Shakespeare Company”. From help at the company, he opened up a drama organization, “The Renaissance Theatre Company”. From this, he helped with a lot of the interpretations of the Shakespeare movies, from directing to starring in the movies.
    3. One that that fascinates me, is he is from Belfast and he could not be understood at school because of his accent., from that he had to learn how to do an english accent. When he goes home, he practices and tries to get his Belfast accent back. From this, I think it learns that yes people might talk differently, but some of the top people in the industry look for people that are different. Also, when you have something unique about yourself, you might go farther than ordinary people.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Meryl Streep

    How has she been able to maintain such a long-running career?

    After reading the biography on actress Meryl Streep, I think the reason she has been able to maintain this career is because of her “chameleon” career. She picks up so many different roles like her Oscar winning role in Kramer vs. Kramer where she portrayed a woman who abandoned her family and comes back to fight for her son. She took a role like this and turned it into success and then she still continuously takes such different roles. The fact that she can take such diverse roles and turn them into success helps her maintain this long-running career. She has even been on Broadway, which is so different than the typical film success.

    Streep has been nominated for more Oscar than anyone else in history – why is she still looking for roles to challenge her?

    After watching the interview on Streep and just seeing her controversial speech she made regarding President Trump and rights. She has been nominated for more Oscars than anyone else in history but she looks for these roles to challenge her to show people the issues in our society and how they change. Since she is used to playing such versatile roles she can continue to look for these roles to challenge her so she can continue to be spokesperson for strong woman in the industry for other girls. I think she aims to be a role model for younger women and the issues we face today and how they are changing.

    Kenneth Branagh

    What do you find most fascinating about Branagh and why?

    I feel as if a lot of Branagh’s versatile acting can be credited to his childhood. After reading the two documentaries and how he was born in Northern Ireland but because of issues between Catholics and Protestants his family moved to England. I think the most interesting part of him is how he began acting and his first acting job he had to do in English. This was tough for him because he had the Belfast accent. He already learned from a young age how to manipulate this accent change, which seems so tough. In the interview he was actually asked if he still could do the Belfast accent and he said sometimes but its tough.

    How has Branagh been able to balance producing, directing, and acting?

    I thought it was interesting at the end of the article on Biography.com it says Branagh actually stays centered by regularly meditating. I thought this was an interesting fact because of all the different roles he has including producing, directing, and acting. It sounds like he doesn’t lose himself in any particular role instead finds a way to enhance every role and then once it is done he drops it and moves on to the next.
    -Kacy O’Connor

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 1. The one thing that facinates me most about Meryl Streep is her consistency in her work. I think it is pretty cool to not only be able to star in so many films, but to be able to have amazing performances everytime. Ans to top all of that she gets a award nomination every other time she is in a film. I really want to know what makes her such a great actress.
    2. I think she has been able to maintain such a long career because of how she disects every role she plays and makes it her new reality for the moment.Also I think since she started acting and had such good performances from the start, she never lets her self get below her potential. Whenever you watch a Meryl Streep film you expect nothing but greatness.

    Kenneth Branagh
    2. I think Branagh is able to balance directing, acting, and producing because they all have a lot in common. By learning something new in one area and being to apply in the other it makes having to do all three a little but easier. Also, he mentions that he meditates which im sure helps keep him calm and not stress. I also think being willing to learn new things and helps balance his work becuase he is never comfortable. Knowing that there is alwyas so much to learn motivates you to want to do more in any area in your career or just in life.
    3. The one thing the fascinates me the most is that he knows how to turn on and off and an english accent. For one I love people that have accents. I think it is awesome and it makes you so unique. But when your able to turn it off and sound like your from Texas or a cool surfer from California or even a loud New Yorker, that really amazes me. That in itself is honestly a gift to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Meryl

    1. Something I really like about Streep is how she challenges herself. Most actors/actress stay in the same role and don’t challenge themselves to harder roles. Even today she is trying to challenge herself in roles she isn’t completely comfortable in.

    3. She enjoys playing roles where the character is misunderstood and people need to see the deeper meaning of the person. I feel this makes the character even harder to play because sometimes this goes against what she may think but she needs to stay open minded during it all.

    Branagh

    3. Something that stood out to me about him is he acted in Harry Potter and also directed it. I always think its crazy that people act and direct in films because I feel that it is so much work. So to have to worry about everything else with directing you also need to worry about remembering lines for acting.

    5. Branagh general enjoys being around the stage and all the cameras. Being on set and around all the filmmaking makes him feel at home. Being there makes him and happy and I feel like this is why he can do both. Because he loves being around filmmaking he can act and direct, because no matter what he is apart of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Streep:
    2. The reason Streep was able to maintain such a successful career was because people have said that she was fit to play every role she was in. Whether it would be a comedy, drama, or a romance, Streep would make any of her roles work. That’s why she was nominated for so many awards and why it’s safe to say she’s arguably one of the best actresses of all time.

    7. I say the reason Streep continues to challenge herself is likely because she knows there are more roles for her to play. She’s done almost everything there is, or at least we think she did. However, the more we think about it, we realize that there are more roles out there that she could fit perfectly for.

    Branagh:

    5. What makes Branagh such a versatile actor/director is how he is able to take something that some wouldn’t think would be possible, and make them work into the cinematic world. Many considered Thor to be the beginning of the downfall of the Marvel movies, but ended up proving to be a modest hit. Same for Cinderella, some didn’t know what to think of it or if it would live up to the animated classic. And sure enough, people loved it.

    6. I would compare Branagh to Alfonso Cuaron. You wouldn’t know either person by their names, but you would likely know them from the movies they made. That’s basically how someone can make a name for themselves. Everyone knows who Spielberg is, or Burton, or Christopher Nolan. But when you give us filmmakers like Cuaron and Branagh, you give us some people others might not have heard about.

    -Will Braunlich

    Liked by 1 person

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