Meryl Streep’s upcoming movie The Post sees her play Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a prominent US newspaper, who held power over press freedom during a time when women were mostly excluded from journalistic roles.
Streep said it’s a paradox that drew her to the film.
“What was interesting about this screenplay is it fell to a woman to hold the line for press freedom at a time when women were excluded from any kind of leadership role in the press,” the Oscar-winning actress said during a conference for the movie.
“There were no women reporters – or it was very unusual. So for this crucial decision to hold the line and risk everything, to have that fall on a woman who was really alone in her position, that’s what interested me.
“Holding the line for press freedom, and the fact it was a transitional moment for women.”
Streep said the movie is dedicated to the late writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron, who back in the ’70s had applied to become a reporter but was only offered the role of researcher, copygirl or secretary.
“Reporters were men,” she went on. “The world is different now.”
Directed by Steven Spielberg as ‘a response to fake news’, The Post sees Tom Hanks play The Washington Post‘s newspaper editor Ben Bradle, who wants Graham’s permission to publish the Pentagon Papers – sensitive and damning top-secret government information about the Vietnam War that had been covered up for decades. Matthew Rhys plays military analyst and whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg in the movie.
The Post is released in the UK on January 19.
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