Meryl Streep Gives Rare Insight Into Her 'Very Quiet' Yet 'Crowded' Life with 5 Grandkids and More

At the Cannes Film Festival, the actress reflected on her life on and offscreen

<p>Sebastien Nogier - Pool/Getty</p> Meryl Streep at the Cannes Film Festival on May 15

Sebastien Nogier - Pool/Getty

Meryl Streep at the Cannes Film Festival on May 15

Meryl Streep is opening up about her "crowded" family life behind the scenes.

Speaking to journalist Didier Allouch May 15 during a "Rendez-Vous with Meryl Streep" at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, the Oscar winner, 74, gave a rare glimpse into her home life these days.

Working to keep up with international cinema "never ends," said Streep. “I haven't seen enough films, and I have four children who are grown… also I have five grandchildren, so I don't sit and watch enough movies.”

Being a mother and grandmother, she added, remains a top priority. “It’s a crowded life. But I signed up for that and that's what I have.”

The Devil Wears Prada star and sculptor Don Gummer share son Henry and daughters Mamie, Grace and Louisa. Streep, who married Gummer in 1978, announced their separation last October.

“There’s only a finite number of hours in the day,” added Streep of work-life balance. “So no, I haven't watched a lot of movies, but… I seek out films of mostly actresses, because I fall in love with them, with actors, actresses, with their work.”

<p>Cindy Ord/Getty</p> Meryl Streep at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14

Cindy Ord/Getty

Meryl Streep at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14

Related: Mark Ronson Talks About Life with Grace Gummer and Their Daughter: 'My Family Is My Anchor' (Exclusive)

She joked, “I'm so old that I've worked with absolutely everyone and I'm going to run into them. And if I haven't seen their film, I'm an a------.”

The first and only other time Streep appeared at the Cannes, France festival was to promote 1988’s Evil Angels (also known as A Cry in the Dark). The star returned to the fest to accept an honorary Palme d'or — the event’s highest honor — at the May 14 opening night ceremony.

Accepting the prize from a tearful Juliette Binoche, Streep said, "When I was here for the first time, I was already a mother of three. I was about to turn 40 and I thought that my career was over... But my mother, who was usually right about everything, said to me, 'Meryl, darling, you'll see it all goes so fast. So fast.' And it does.”

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In her conversation to Allouch, Streep called her reception at this year’s festival “a lot."

"I live a very quiet life,” she said, joking that, “really, I don't get any respect at home. So amazing to come into this arena and have that big tidal wave.”

<p>Dominique Charriau/WireImage</p> Meryl Streep at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14

Dominique Charriau/WireImage

Meryl Streep at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14

Related: Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep Have Big Little Lies Reunion at AFI Award Gala

She also reflected on how the moviemaking industry has changed since 1989, particularly when it comes to roles for female performers. “The roles are wonderful now, I think, for women. And so many women are producing for themselves, and I'm so in awe of the ones who've done that.”

Shouting out her Big Little Lies producer-costars Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, she said, “Everybody has their own production company. And I had a production company: babies! And that's what I chose.”

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