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If Meryl Streep wasn’t an actress, who would be considered the greatest living actress?

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  • Macbeth
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    #169945

    Everyone seems to have a different candidate for “greatest living actor” – Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman etc. all are prime candidates for that title

    Yet, there seems to be only one person who is considered the greatest living actress – it seems a foregone conclusion that Meryl Streep is indeed the greatest living actress, and everyone else is just second to her.

    My question is this – if Meryl Streep did not exist – say, she chose to become an artist or musician or lawyer, and didn’t act, who would we consider the greatest living actress? Bates? Sarandon? Lange? Swinton?

    Discuss:  

    p.s. if this thread is stupid or unneeded, please let me know and I’ll delete it. 

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    Jake
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    #169947

    Whoever would got majority of her roles.

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    M
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    #169948

    Streep is the greatest living actress to others not me. Vanessa Redgrave, Debra Winger, Isabelle Huppert have gone places Streep is incapable of producing organically in her work.

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    TomHardys
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    #169949

    Funny that you include Swinton in your list of possible candidates… She is indeed one of the finest actors working today. I’d say that maybe Jessica Lange, Glenn Close or Helen Mirren would get the roles and the stature that Streep has reached.

    Jessica Chastain is next. She will without a doubt be considered the greatest living actress in 20/30 years. 

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    Macbeth
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    #169950

    Jessica Chastain is next. She will without a doubt be considered the greatest living actress in 20/30 years. 

    Definitely  

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    vozas
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    #169951

    Jessica Chastain is next. She will without a doubt be considered the greatest living actress in 20/30 years. 

    Yeah it may be kinda premature to call it but I completely agree with that. It’s pretty cool that she makes so many movies a year and still manages to be at the very least fantastic in each. I don’t think I’ve left a movie of hers not praising her specifically afterwards. She’s hands down the most fascinating actress out of the current generation, no question.

    As for the question of the thread, I am aware and kinda OK with the claim that Streep is the greatest living actress, but she has yet to have done anything remotely interesting in my eyes since Adaptation (Prada being the sole highlight), and I have always said that her best work was kinda frontloaded. She was consistently formidable from the late 70s up until Bridges of Madison County. There have been wayyyyy too many questionable and downright BAD performances from her in recent years (Manchurian Candidate and Doubt were Razzie worthy) for her to have an unqusetionable claim on Greatest Living Actress.

    There are numerous actresses alive whose best work I believe to be up there (and in some cases even more impressive) with Streep’s, which in my opinion will always be Sophie’s Choice and Silkwood.

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    M
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    #169952

    I think you should change the title of this thread to: If Meryl Streep were less popular who would be more popular?

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    GraysWay
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    #169953

    It’s so nice to see a thread like this w/o people demanding that it be shut down! I know I would have to pick one from my signature list…though I’m not totally sure I would rank Mirren in my top list (though she is stunningly beautiful). I think a battle between Close VS Sarandon (The Calling was unfortunately a let down) would be epic! We would have a lot more of a clearer picture if our older gals were front/center leads in main film/TV, so with that being said, I would have to lend the lead to Lange, then Close (Damages love), as I do agree this could be a popularity contest scenario. As stated, Streep’s body of work doubles the likes of Lange, so there is an unfair advantage, unless we all picked a top favorites movie/ TV list, then compared those with each top actress VS their entire body of work thus preferably eliminating bad projects.

     

    – Lastly, on the slightly older generation, I wouldn’t want to tango with Burstyn VS Redgrave either!!!

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    M
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    #169954

    Aside from popularity which awards recognition boils down to. Especially when you consider many great actors lose their appeal to awards bodies after a series of nominations. How does one qualify Streep as the greatest? Her versatility? Which only a few leading film actresses practice? Blanchett and Chastain are right there with Streep. Are they better because they have stronger characters or filmography?

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    24Emmy
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    #169955

    No one can break hearts and mend them like Streep and Lange.

     

    Don’t forget about Sally Field. One just needs to watch one of her many acting roles from Sybil to Lincoln to recognize she can make you laugh, cry, and think all in one scene. I don’t know if she is the ‘best actress’, but she’s definitely in the conversation and that’s good enough for me.

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    M
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    #169956

    Don’t forget about Sally Field. One just needs to watch one of her many acting roles from Sybil to Lincoln to recognize she can make you laugh, cry, and think all in one scene. I don’t know if she is the ‘best actress’, but she’s definitely in the conversation and that’s good enough for me.

    Despite two Best Actress Oscars, Sally Field is underrated. More so because of her roots in television. Field is someone we identify with as a regular person. She never comes across as a movie star in the movies. Always a capable actress and the material they wrote for women in the 70’s and 80’s was so much better. Even the early 90’s had vehicles for non-conventional Hollywood types like Kathy Bates to thrive in.

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    Atypical
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    #169957

    Hmmm. I’d choose from a combination of Glenn Close, Cate Blanchett, and Tilda Swinton.

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    GraysWay
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    #169958

    [quote=”MarkAlexisB”]No one can break hearts and mend them like Streep and Lange.

     

    Don’t forget about Sally Field. One just needs to watch one of her many acting roles from Sybil to Lincoln to recognize she can make you laugh, cry, and think all in one scene. I don’t know if she is the ‘best actress’, but she’s definitely in the conversation and that’s good enough for me.

    [/quote]

     

    I am ASHAMED to admit this, but we’re all friends here … so what the hell.  I LOVE Sally Field, yet I hadn’t seen Norma Rae until last week, and boy oh boy was she fantastic.  It reminded me of a comment Lange said, stating how the 80s were such a magical time for women/female actresses, and how TONS of scripts were handed out, giving everyone a chance.  She said there will never be a time like that again, hence why I hadn’t seen Field’s name in big screen lights until her recent “Lincoln.”  I think she did well w/Brothers and Sisters, but Lange has REALLY slayed the gauntlet for older tv actresses, so whomever steps into her role, whether on AHS or a different vehicle, better damn well not agree to something unless it’s the best script ever written!  I happen to think Sarandon will take the next step into a heavy hitting tv drama, while continuing her bigger screen acting. 

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    Cinebear
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    #169959

    I’m a real fan of most of the actresses mentioned.  I think Close and Lange come nearest to Streep’s versatility as a film actress, while Burstyn, Close, and (Vanessa) Redgrave have accomplished more on stage.  Redgrave, to me, has a vitality that is unsurpassed.  She garners attention with her very presence.

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    manakamana
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    #169960

    One of the vets, probs. Close, Mirren, Dench, etc. 

    My personal choice is Isabelle Huppert, though.  Also love me some Tilda, obviously.

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