Meryl Streep Don Gummer Married For 34 Years, It is always a delight to interview the great Meryl Streep as she is one of those rare Hollywood goddesses who is truly down-to-earth, frank and witty. When we interviewed her for her latest movie, “Hope Springs,” at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills one beautiful afternoon, Meryl was radiant and blooming, sweet and funny.
This multi-awarded actress, who just turned 63 last June 22, has remained humble. When we asked her how open she was to change or to other people’s input, Meryl disclosed, “I think if you’re an actor, you have to be open to other people’s input. It’s sort of your professional job. It’s your food as an actor. What you need to do is to be alert to what someone’s asking of you emotionally and in every way, comically so I think that that’s something I try to stay aware of in everything. In every sort of transaction with a person, I try to really hear what they’re asking, what they’re deeply asking.”
In “Hope Springs,” Meryl (as Kay) and Tommy Lee Jones (as Arnold) portray a devoted couple, who after decades of marriage, have left Kay wanting to spice things up and reconnect with her husband.
So, what kind of advice did her own mother give her before she got married or what kind of advice did she give her daughter when she got married. She joked, “My mother said never go upstairs without taking something upstairs that needs to go up there. She didn’t really give me advice that way. But I remember telling my daughter at her wedding to try as hard as she could to be there. Instead of you getting frenzied that you are thinking about a million other things and you are not exactly where you are. Just try to find a quiet place and to be exactly in this moment because she’ll remember it all her life.”
Meryl, who will be married for 34 years to sculptor Donald J. Gummer this September 30th, revealed what to us what she thinks is the most important thing that couples should remember to stay long in a relationship. “My opinion is to stay alert and alive to each other,” she said. “To speak and be heard and to break patterns and to not be complacent.”
She added, “Respect is very important but these are bromides. I mean, we all know this, don’t we? But the specifics of this story are specific to this couple and what the therapist suggests for Kay is not what he’d suggest for you. I think everybody has a different set of what is it that Tolstoy said, ‘Every happy family is alike. Every unhappy family is unhappy in their own way.’”
As for Tommy, he admitted that he accepted the role in this romantic comedy because of Meryl. “Meryl Streep attracted me to it,” he confessed. “I thought the script was pretty good and it had some originality to it. It was real. It was about real people with real problems who are in a rut, sort of complacent and usually dependent on one another. So I thought over for about two seconds when they told me that Meryl was going to do the movie. My motivation was Meryl.”
In this movie, Meryl is very sensual as Kay. “The Kay that Meryl plays is a woman with a frustrated sensuality, a woman who’s lived a complacent life much longer than she wants to live it than she wants,” Tommy said.
“She has to change it and she wants to change it. She’s brave enough to change it. It takes a lot of courage to make the decisions that her character makes and Meryl knows quite a lot about herself and quite a lot about the rest of the world. She can recognize these characteristics and perform them within the context of the screenplay for our benefit.”
Tommy, who is happily married to his third wife Dawn Maria Laurel, revealed to us how he keeps his wife happy with whom he has been married for the past 11 years. “What do I do to make my wife happy? I take her hunting,” he revealed. “I take her hunting and fishing and give her horses to ride. Sometimes we let her work cattle with us. She is a brilliant photographer so I buy her a lot of cameras and lenses. She’s a student currently at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara.
“Those are things that make her happy and I’m happy to help her further her education as a photographer. I don’t mind investing money in the equipment to do so. When we first began our relationship about 18 years ago, she began to take an interest in horses because I spend a lot of time on horseback. She began to study the sport of polo. She’s been a good student. I have provided good horses for her. She has never had to ride a bad horse and she has practice with the best players in the world. This year, she won the United States Women’s Open. That made her happy. What else do I do? She has pretty much an unlimited clothes budget. She is a dedicated fashionista.”