Meryl Streep: 'I thought I was too ugly to be an actress'

Teenage fears … Meryl Streep, who thought she was 'too ugly' to become an actress. Photograph: Rex Features/Broadimage
Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep has revealed that, as a student, she thought she was "too ugly to be an actress".
Speaking at Indiana University Bloomington, Streep said: "I think I was probably like every other girl who puts on a princess dress and expects everyone to pay full and total attention. And most of us grow out of that. [At Vassar College] I was always in plays, but I thought it was vain to be an actress. Plus, I thought I was too ugly to be an actress. Glasses weren't fabulous then."

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Streep's remarks came as she accepted an honorary doctorate from the university which was awarded, according to Indiana University president Michael McRobbie, "for her extraordinary talents, her highly visible place in the arts and her role as a powerful advocate for women".
During the guest lecture after the ceremony, the actress had words of comfort for aspiring actors. "For young women, I would say, don't worry so much about your weight. Girls spend way too much time thinking about that, and there are better things. For young men, and women, too, what makes you different or weird, that's your strength … I used to hate my nose. Now I don't. It's OK."
Streep, 64, also appears comfortable with her role as a standard bearer for older women performers. "When I was 40, I was offered three witches in one summer. And I thought, 'OK, this is it. You turn 40, and oh my god.' The only reason I have a career at 64 is that I've had hits later in life. I've found that once certain movies are out, audiences aren't so age-phobic. They were willing, and they were happy."
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