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- American actress
John Tsiavis/Bravo; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
The 72-year-old actress confirmed that she follows the Beverly Hills installment of the Bravo franchise in a group Zoom interview with the cast of Netflix's hit film Don't Look Up, which satirizes the government's response to climate change.
As Streep noted in the interview, many people feel "a desire to escape" overwhelming or negative news at times — herself included.
"It's life. It's right now. It's happening right now. And what do I do? I go in and watch [Real] Housewives of Beverly Hills. I do that," she admitted. "So, we do this. I know. I'm reading about the climate, and it does feel overwhelming."
In Don't Look Up, Streep portrays an apathetic President of the United States named Janie Orlean, who toys with the comet crisis for her personal and political gain. Streep was eager to tell the story, too.
Niko Tavernise / Netflix
"When I saw the film, I was just blown away and I said [to director Adam McKay], 'Give me a checklist. Give me the first three things we have to do,'" she said in the interview.
"It's so energizing in a weird way, this film, because you come out and you go, 'Ugh OK now, f--- it. This is what we have to pay attention to. It all flows from this. If we don't survive, we won't be able to watch Housewives or whatever," she explained. "We won't have our lives and our children and everything we value and love.' "
Despite the emotional toll a global crisis can have on one's mental health, Streep said the movie's message is an important one and hopes it will help open some eyes.
"We constantly live in this dual reality where God gave us the ability to know what's happening and also the desire to escape it. So, what the film does is — sometimes a joke goes in better and more clearly than someone haranguing you with some message," Streep said.
Don't Look Up features a star-studded cast including Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as the two astronomers as well as Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Tyler Perry, Cate Blanchett, Ariana Grande, Mark Rylance, Ron Perlman and more.
The film, which hit Netflix on Dec. 24, broke a record for the streaming service for the most hours viewed in a single week (Dec. 27 through Jan. 2) with 152.29 million hours streamed worldwide.
Reacting to the news on Twitter, McKay wrote "I'm straight up flabbergasted by this."
Filming amid the coronavirus pandemic while many were in lockdown, however, took an emotional toll on Streep. In December, shortly before the film's premiere, the actress said in Entertainment Weekly's "Around the Table" chat that she "found it really hard" to be witty in front of the camera.
"I didn't feel funny in the lockdown. When I would come in to shoot my stuff, [I'd] get out of the car and hadn't spoken to anybody in three weeks. [I'd] walk into the stadium in Worcester, put on the wig and the nails and the suit, and make a speech to all these people," Streep said at the time.
"I just lost it," she added. "I forgot how to act, I forgot what I was about. It sort of dismantles your humanity, to be isolated like that. But thank god for Jonah, because he kept us laughing."