I think the first time I discovered Meryl Streep was through a film called Out Of Africa, which interested me because I’m from Africa—Nigeria. I remember clearly her line, “I had a farm in Africa,” and I’ve imitated her saying that ever since.
My interest in her grew after that first encounter. What struck me about Streep is that she wasn’t the conventional dumb blonde Hollywood actress; she’s the complete opposite. That’s what made her stand out, and that’s what made her credible. I’m very attracted to her personality—I’m attracted to auras and inner attitudes. For Meryl Streep, it’s all about the acting rather than the look and frivolous image that Hollywood girls normally have.
I also really admire how private she is. She doesn’t air her dirty laundry to the public or the press. She doesn’t go out and call the paparazzi to let them know what time she’s going to be at a certain place so that they can come take photos and write tabloid headlines about her. She’s the total opposite of that. She’s refined, she’s composed and she’s classy—if I may say. Very classy. The way she holds herself is just amazing. Her public image is one thing, and her private life is completely separate. I identify with that a lot because I’m a very private person, so in that sense I see myself a lot in her. Deep down I’m also very traditional and classic in many ways, although my public persona is a bit more out there. It’s a double personality. It’s good to have both, as it allows you to have freedom to express yourself in areas where you don’t normally do that.
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