The NSFW Julia Child Quote Meryl Streep Said Word-for-Word in ‘Julie & Julia’

Award-winning TV chef Julia Child entertained audiences while teaching viewers how to prepare Boeuf Bourguignon, Quiche Lorraine, and other delectable French dishes. The six-foot-tall chef also had a tendency to swear like a sailor. In the movie Julie and Julia, Meryl Streep famously delivered more than one of Child’s bawdier quotes.

Meryl Streep played Julia Child (bad language and all) in ‘Julie and Julia’

Written and directed by Nora Ephron, Julie and Julia was based on Child’s 2006 autobiography, My Life in France, and New York blogger Julie Powell‘s Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.

In 2009, Powell’s compiled blogs were published as a memoir entitled Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously. The book revealed a letter that Child’s husband, Paul, wrote to his brother in which he described the chef plunging her bare hands into a pot of hot water in an effort to retrieve cooked pasta, triggering the exclamation that Streep repeated in the film: “These damn things are as hot as a stiff c***!”

What did Julia Child really think about Julie Powell?

julia child meryl streep
(L): A portrait of the American chef Julia Child (1912 – 2004) shows her standing with a cut of meat in her kitchen, late 20th century. | Bachrach/Getty Images, (R): Actress Meryl Streep arrives at the special screening of Columbia Pictures’ “Julie & Julia” held at Mann Village Theatre on July 28, 2009 in Westwood, California. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When queried about Powell’s plan to prepare every recipe in Mastering the Art of French of Cooking in a single year, Child replied, “I don’t think she’s a serious cook,” adding that she considered the project a publicity stunt sans any real culinary value.

Child’s disapproval of Powell’s plan hurt the blogger-turned-bookwriter’s feelings. Despite the diss, Powell persevered and was awarded an honorary degree from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Paris, says The Cinemaholic.

Julia Child’s expletives also made it into HBO’s ‘Julia’

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Julia Child Described Her First Meal In France As The Most Exciting Of Her Life

Years later, Child’s colorful language lit up the screen in the HBO series, Julia. This time, actor Sarah Lancashire portrayed the chef. Debuting in 2022, Julia ran for a total of eight episodes and truly depicted “the emotional core of Child’s well-known life and beloved public personae,” said The Washington Post.

While mostly true, Julia creator Daniel Goldfarb and showrunner Chris Keyser did take certain liberties while telling Child’s story, such as an uncomfortable encounter between Child and feminist author, Betty Friedan. As far as the Child’s occasional potty mouth is concerned, those parts were entirely accurate. A few other things were at least slightly embellished.

Julie and Julia made its theatrical debut five years after Child’s death. Had she lived to see the movie, she might have disapproved of several aspects of the film. According to Screenrant, Child would be aghast that Powell, who’d started to write a novel and quit halfway, would base her life’s goal on someone else’s work. Nor would the woman who famously said, “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream” appreciate the way that Julie and Julia presented the chef as worried about weight gain.

In a 2022 interview with Vulture, Keyser explained that he and other Julia writers were “making a piece of fiction about a real person” and ran the made-up parts past the Julia Child Foundation in a concerted effort to “capture the essence” of the woman who pioneered television cooking shows.

“It’s a fable,” he said. “It’s the most loving fable we could’ve written; there’s no sense of undermining. But we felt pretty free to say what happened behind closed doors, we could come up with ourselves.”