Not everybody loves the President that Meryl Streep plays in Don’t Look Up, but her castmates love her suits and shoes. Streep joined director Adam McKay and co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Tyler Perry, and Scott Mescudi in a virtual global press conference moderated by astronomer Dr. Amy Mainzer. The cast and the direct had an upbeat outlook for a movie about the end of the world. J-Law explained how she remembered the lyrics to Wu Tang Clan, while DiCaprio used the platform to advocate for more action to fight climate change—an issue that he takes to heart and one that Don’t Look Up addresses directly.
But while the actors staged a little love fest, Meryl Streep stole the show, just like she steals the movie.
Here are Meryl Streep’s best ’bites from the Don’t Look Up press conference:
When asked who the inspiration was for her character and if she tried to emulate anyone:
“There was so many places to take things from because there’s so many preposterous people who’ve put themselves in public places recently. And shamelessly. It was fun to put together this character that was just pure id—just what her appetite wanted: amassing power, money, more power, and more money, and nice hair and nails to top it off. Amazing suits. But no fellow being.”
On public service:
“Unfortunately, that’s the cost of what being a public servant is now. You really have to make a big sacrifice. Your family makes a sacrifice, and you have to be willing to do that. It’s amazing that we get good people ever to do it. But [SIGH] we need them. We need them right now more than ever.”
When asked which scenes of Don’t Look Up felt uncomfortably real:
“There are a lot of chilling moments. One—I don’t know why, but it really hit me—was the scene in the bar with Tyler [Perry] and Cate [Blanchett] when everything’s going to shit outside. She says, ‘I just wanna get drunk and talk shit about people.’ I know lots of people who would have that reaction. It kinda chilled my bones.”
On the moments of hope in the film:
“It’s that glimmer of the human dream where we hope something good is gonna happen, even though we know something bad is. That’s the kernel of truth of this [film]: we push this information away. Smart people, people who don’t have scientific backgrounds; everyone pushes it away, because it’s just… ugh.”
On promoting an ‘end of the world movie’:
“I said to Adam when we first talked about promoting it: you gotta give people three things that they can do so they don’t wanna kill themselves at the end. If it were only that simple. But one of them is obviously to vote for people who believe and understand the imminence of this threat to all of our lives: rich people, poor people, everybody, everything flows from this. Every issue of injustice, inequity, everything. If we don’t survive, none of it matters.”
On Leonardo DiCaprio’s Network moment:
“My favourite thing is that you think it’s over, and then it regenerates even bigger. He’s goin’ on way too long on this. Way too long. It’s undeniable. It’s so great. Yes, we’re mad as hell, and we’re not gonna take it anymore.”
When Jennifer Lawrence tells Meryl Streep that she doesn’t have to compliment her just because she said something nice about Leonardo DiCaprio:
“Oh, well I don’t like Leo, so I’m complimenting you.” [Laughs]
Lawrence replies: I really liked Meryl’s incompetence as a President.
Meryl: And my shoes!
[Streep also complimented J-Law’s wig, and everybody (rightfully) dragged her.]
On what she’d do when the world’s ending.
“I’m sure I would just try to find my grandchildren and be with them. My kids—they’ve had enough of me.”
Don’t Look Up opens in select theatres including TIFF Lightbox on Dec. 10. It streams on Netflix beginning Dec. 24.