Meryl Streep Reminisces About Intimate ‘Out of Africa’ Scene With Robert Redford: ‘Didn’t Want It to End’

During an engaging discussion at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, the esteemed actress, renowned for her talent and depth in character portrayal, reminisced about a pivotal moment in her cinematic journey. The scene in question hails from the drama ‘Out of Africa’, a timeless classic where she shared the screen with the legendary Robert Redford.

In this iconic hair-washing scene, set against the breathtaking backdrop of Kenya, Meryl Streep, known for her attention to detail and dedication to authenticity, shared anecdotes about the process. 

Also Read: Amanda Seyfried and Meryl Streep Reunite at The 2024 Golden Globes!

She recalled the initial guidance given to Redford by their hair and makeup professional, Roy Helend, noting Redford’s transition from a novice to a skilled participant in the delicate art of hair care. Streep’s narration vividly portrayed the intimacy and tenderness of the scene, highlighting the subtle nuances that made it resonate deeply with audiences.

Describing it as an intimate and emotional depth, Streep emphasised the rarity of such moments in cinema, where love, touch, and care take centre stage over more overt expressions of passion. She expressed her genuine attachment to the scene, revealing that the experience left her feeling cherished and immersed in the character’s emotions.

Meryl Streep Out of Africa
Image Courtesy: People

However, the idyllic setting wasn’t without its challenges. Streep recounted the trials of night shoots, where bright lights attracted a myriad of creatures, from bats to insects. One particular incident during a long shot left her momentarily startled, as an unexpected visitor made its way into her personal space, prompting a humorous yet relatable reaction.

Streep’s return to the Cannes Film Festival, decades after her first appearance, marked a significant moment in her illustrious career. Accepting the prestigious honorary Palme d’Or, she was lauded by fellow actress Juliette Binoche for her groundbreaking contributions to cinema. Binoche’s emotional tribute underscored Streep’s enduring impact on the industry, highlighting her role in reshaping perceptions of women in film and fostering introspection among audiences worldwide.

-Sushmita Sarkar