21 Meryl Streep Quotes that Do Their Own Ironing

(Last Updated On: December 20, 2020)

If you’re at all knowledgeable on the American acting scene, you probably know who Meryl Streep is–whose Wikipedia page literally mentions her being “the best actress of her generation” in the second sentence. Her award list definitely backs it all up, with 21 Academy Award nominations (3 won), 33 Golden Globes (9 won), 6 Primetime Emmy nominations (3 won), and also the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. If you know her, you probably know Meryl Streep from Sophie’s Choice (1982) or more recently Mamma Mia! (2008) and The Iron Lady. Anyway, go watch some of her work if you haven’t already. We’ve got the time. While you’re looking, here are some Meryl Streep Quotes.


On Life

“I want to feel my life while I’m in it.”

“If you voice your fears they may come true.”

“Having been let out of the barn once, I know I wouldn’t be happy if I were home all the time.”

“You can’t get spoiled if you do your own ironing.”

“Don’t give up or give in in the face of patronizing ridicule, amused disdain, or being ignored.”

“You can’t suppress the things that make us human. It’s pointless to try.”

“Integrate what you believe in every single area of your life. Take your heart to work and ask the most and best of everybody else, too.”

On People & The Self

“Some people are filled by compassion and a desire to do good, and some simply don’t think anything’s going to make a difference.”

“The great gift of humans is that we have the power of empathy.”

“I think your self emerges more clearly over time.”

“I let the actions of my life stand for what I am as a human being. Contend with that, not the words.”

“Grace, respect, reserve, and empathetic listening are qualities sorely missing from the public discourse now.”

“I don’t know why I don’t watch a lot of movies; I can barely keep up with the things my friends are in. There isn’t enough time in life.”

“I have a very good life – I’m lucky enough not to be deprived.”

On Family

“There’s no road map on how to raise a family–it’s always an enormous negotiation.”

“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.”

“The interesting thing about being a mother is that everyone wants pets, but no one but me cleans the kitty litter.”

On Success

“You just have to keep on doing what you do… Keep going. Start by starting.”

“Instant gratification is not soon enough.”

On Acting

“Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.”

“The work will stand, no matter what.”


See if you can’t identify all the movies Meryl Streep has been in here.

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Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and has just finished his undergraduate at the University of Washington. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019 and has accumulated so much random, general knowledge he'd rather not think about it. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.