Meryl Streep Explains Why She Broke Her Rule of Never Playing a Witch for 'Into the Woods'


Disney's Into the Woods marks the first time Meryl Streep has ever played a witch, and she revealed to ET why that was the case.

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"Honestly, the idea of witches -- I think it's terror of older women that has lived in many different cultures and I don't like it," said Streep, 65, who remembered being offered three witch scripts the year she turned 40.

Fortunately Streep was able to make an exception for her latest performance, which is already the talk of the town. Based on the Broadway musical, Into the Woods follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel, when a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) want to begin a family despite their interaction with a witch (Streep), who puts a curse on them.

Streep's co-stars sang her praises during their chats with ET.

"She's so cool and fun and smart and she charms everyone," said Emily Blunt, who shared the screen with Streep in 2006's The Devil Wears Prada.

"There she is day in and day out," said Chris Pine, who plays a prince in the film. "She's usually the first one there. She's usually 15 minutes early. Above and beyond all of the awards and accolades, she's a worker."

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Streep's accolades include 18 Oscar nominations and three wins. With rave reviews already coming in for her Into the Woods performance, she could be due for another golden guy to put on the mantelpiece.

"I'm definitely proud of this, but I'm mostly proud of the ensemble, because it is a true ensemble," said Streep.

Into the Woods opens Christmas Day.