Exclusive: Meryl Was Scared to Try 'Sophie's Choice' Accent (video)
By David Weiner
Sure, Meryl Streep is one of Hollywood's all-time top performers. But what if she was your mom and came home every night practicing a complicated accent for a role? The Oscar winner amusingly recalls how she came up with her unique Polish accent for the classic Sophie's Choice in an all-new round-table discussion for the film's first-ever Blu-ray release, out Tuesday April 29. What did her young son think of it at the time? Watch the exclusive video and share!
"My little son used to say to me when I would come home at night, 'No Po-tish, mommy!' He [was] sick of it. He had had it," she says with a laugh, adding of nailing the right sound and inflections, "That was the most scared I've ever been, I think, in my career, the first [Sophie's Choice table] reading."
Co-star Kevin Kline responds with a smile, "I sat across the table and thought, 'Who is this Polish person'"?
Hitting a variety of topics about the making of the classic film, the brand-new round table on the Sophie's Choice Blu-ray features Meryl and Kevin alongside Donald Laventhall (director Alan Pakula's assistant during the film), Hanna Pakula (Pakula's widow), Rose Styron (the widow of the novel's author, William Styron) and moderator Boaty Boatwright (who was Pakula's agent at the time of the film).
Meryl's accent and her commanding performance won her the first Best Actress Oscar of her career in the story of a Polish-Catholic immigrant, Sophie, who had survived a Nazi concentration camp and shares her deepest, darkest secrets with a would-be writer, played by Peter MacNicol, and her all-consuming lover, played by Kline.