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Meryl Streep once went through the brutality of the Hollywood audition process. However, the casting industry continues to be a rough entity to overcome for many actors around the world. King Kong producer Dino De Laurentiis once called Streep “ugly” in her audition, but she wasn’t about to leave without speaking her mind in the most legendary way possible.

Meryl Streep comes from the New York theater circle

Audition queen Meryl Streep smiling in front of step and repeat
Meryl Streep | Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images

Streep didn’t go right into the film industry. Rather, she got her start in the New York theater circle. However, she didn’t initially have any plans of trying to get into film acting. Erin Carlson’s Queen Meryl explores the legendary actor’s past roles and how she came to work in Hollywood. Robert De Niro’s performance in Taxi Driver inspired her to take the leap from the stage to the silver screen.

Streep started to go through movie audition processes to land movie roles. However, they didn’t necessarily go as she hoped in the beginning. Folks in the film industry didn’t know her outside of the New York theater circle. Unfortunately, she initially had some difficulty making the move from one medium to the other, as she was an unknown actor to many of the necessary players.

‘King Kong’ producer Dino De Laurentiis called Meryl Streep ‘ugly’ in her audition

Queen Meryl talks about Streep’s audition for De Laurentiis’ 1976 King Kong remake. The theater community saw the actor for her extraordinary talent and potential. However, De Laurentiis refused to see past her face, which he didn’t care for. He thought he could express his frustration without her knowing.

“This is so ugly,” De Laurentiis said in Italian about Streep’s auditon. “Why do you bring me this?”

Well, he didn’t realize that Streep knew exactly what he was saying during her audition. After all, she studied Italian at Vassar College.

“I’m very sorry that I’m not as beautiful as I should be but, you know, this is it,” Streep responded in Italian. “This is what you get.”

Streep walked out of her audition after responding to the filmmaker in his own native tongue. She certainly made a statement with her retort and by instantly leaving the space.

She is one of the greatest actors in the industry


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Streep is now frequently called one of the greatest actors to ever live. She won Oscars for Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice, and The Iron Lady. However, she has had nearly 20 Oscar nominations outside of her three wins. FIlmmakers are lucky to get Streep to join the film without having an audition, as she has more than proved her talent.

Streep continues to dominate the acting conversation when she does hit the silver screen. She most recently starred in Adam McKay’s Best Picture nominee Don’t Look Up. The film didn’t earn very positive reviews, but critics and audiences praised her comedic talent in the movie.