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Streep channels Julia Child in new film

By KAREN BUTLER   |   Aug. 5, 2009 at 11:30 AM   |   Comments

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Aug. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. actress Meryl Streep says she tried to capture the spirit of, not impersonate, Julia Child, the iconic chef she plays in her new film, "Julie & Julia."

The movie intertwines the story of Child's blossoming career as a chef, author and television personality with Julie Powell's blog and book about how she committed to cooking all of the recipes in Child's revolutionary 1961 tome, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."

"Well, I bet everybody in this room could do their version of Julia Child," Streep said at a recent press conference in White Plains, N.Y.

"To everybody, that voice was so familiar and then how do we know whether we're doing her or Dan Aykroyd's version of her (from 'Saturday Night Live')? Everyone can pull that 'bon appetit' out there," Streep said.

The two-time Oscar winner then recalled how she thought the screenplay writer-director Nora Ephron gave her a year or so ago was "so, so beautifully written."

"I thought that it was an opportunity to not impersonate Julia Child, but to do a couple of things," Streep explained. "One, for me embodying her or Julie Powell's idea of her, which is what I'm doing -- I'm doing an idealized version, but I was also doing an idealized version of my mother who had a similar joie de vivre, an undeniable sense of how to enjoy her life. Every room she walked into she made brighter. I mean, she was really something. I have a good deal of my father in me, which is another kind of sensibility. But I really, all my life, wanted to be more like my mother. So, this is my little homage to that spirit."

Child died in 2004 at the age of 91.

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