Streep delivered a surprise speech at the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual awards event Wednesday, and she spoke about encountering physical violence in her own life. As she thanked female journalists specifically for their bravery, the Oscar winner revealed her encounters with physical abuse.
“I do know something about real terror—the two times in my life when I was threatened and dealt with real physical violence, I learned something about life that I wouldn’t have known otherwise and I was lucky because my instincts served me well,” she said, according to The Daily Beast.
“In one instance, I played dead and waited until the blows stopped—watching like people say you do from about 50 feet above from where I was beaten,” she continued. “And in the second instance, someone else was being abused and I just went completely nuts and went after this man. Ask Cher—she was there. And the thug ran away, it was a miracle.”
Streep did not elaborate further or say when these violent acts happened, but as People notes, she and Cher worked together in the 1983 drama Silkwood and Cher once said they rescued someone from a “large mugger” in New York City.
“We come to it disadvantaged through the many millennia preceding our present moment and because of our vulnerability we anticipate danger we expect it, we’re hyper alert to it,” Streep said in her speech. “This comes in very handy in investigative journalism but also in acting.”
We are happy that Streep is safe.