Meryl Streep won her third Academy Award in 2012 for portraying former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. This week, the actress channeled another conservative poltician, dressing up as Donald Trump and lampooning the Republican presidential candidate’s blustery persona at a gala celebration for New York’s Public Theater.
But before Trump supporters hurl accusations of liberal-Hollywood-strikes-again, they may want to revisit Streep’s performance as a corrupt politician in 2004’s “The Manchurian Candidate,” which some have interpreted to be a not-so-subtle parody of Hillary Clinton.
Streep appeared on stage Monday at the Delacorte Theater in New York in full Trump-ian drag — unruly hairpiece, tanning booth complexion and a business suit with an extra long red tie. She also appeared to wear a fat suit under her costume.
In videos of the gala that have surfaced online, Streep is shown with her “Mamma Mia!” costar Christine Baranski singing a humorous duet for the appreciative crowd. The number came at the end of the evening and was from the musical “Kiss Me, Kate,” according to reports from the New York Times, New York Post and others.
Streep has publicly shown her support for Clinton, including paying tribute to her in 2012 at the Women in the World conference.
Last year, the Democratic presidential candidate said on the talk show “Live With Kelly and Michael” that she would like Streep to play her in a movie.
Some might argue that she already has: Streep played an ambitious and ethically compromised senator in the 2004 remake of “The Manchurian Candidate.” Some critics have interpreted her performance as a veiled portrayal of Clinton, who at the time of the movie’s release was a U.S. senator from New York.
The actress has gone on the record denying that her performance in the thriller is modeled on Clinton. “There is a rumor that Paramount asked to tone down scenes that were too much like Hillary Clinton,” she said in 2004.
Streep added that her performance is “so far from Hillary Clinton. This isn’t paranoia, this is called misinformation.”
Streep has had a long history with the Public, having performed the classics with the venerated company before she broke into movies.
Her chameleonic abilities have enabled her to play a number of real-life characters including Julia Child (“Julie & Julia”), Lindy Chamberlain (“A Cry in the Dark”) and writer Isak Dinesen (“Out of Africa”).