Meryl Streep recalls stopping a thug with Cher and 'playing dead' during a beating

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Meryl Streep is known for being a Hollywood legend, and in what sounds like a scene from a movie the 68-year-old star has revealed she and Cher once scared off a “thug”.

The Mamma Mia! actress and the singing superstar sprang into action on the New York City streets when they spotted a guy “abusing” someone else.

Meryl Streep recalls two incidents of violence. Copyright [AP]
Meryl Streep recalls two incidents of violence. Copyright [AP]

In a speech at the annual awards for the Committee to Protect Journalists, where she honoured female journalists for their bravery, Meryl explained: “In the second instance, someone else was being abused and I just went completely nuts and went after this man.

“Ask Cher – she was there. And the thug ran away, it was a miracle.”


Cher has previously mentioned the miracle incident, revealing the pair saved a girl from a “large mugger”.

In a 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me piece for Us Weekly magazine in 2013, she wrote: “Meryl Streep and I saved a girl from a large mugger in New York City.”

Meryl also recalled a different harrowing incident in which she was once beaten so badly she had to “play dead until the blows stopped”.

Meryl Streep recalled having to “play dead” when she was once beaten. Copyright [TIME]
Meryl Streep recalled having to “play dead” when she was once beaten. Copyright [TIME]

She said: “I do know something about real terror – the two times in my life when I was threatened and dealt with real physical violence, I learned something about life that I wouldn’t have known otherwise and I was lucky because my instincts served me well.

“In one instance, I played dead and waited until the blows stopped – watching like people say you do from about 50 feet above from where I was beaten.”

Cher and Meryl starred in 1983 thriller Silkwood.
Cher and Meryl starred in 1983 thriller Silkwood.

The Devil Wears Prada star admitted she always makes sure she is “hyper alert” to danger.

She added: “We come to it disadvantaged through the many millennia preceding our present moment and because of our vulnerability we anticipate danger, we expect it, we’re hyper alert to it. This comes in very handy in investigative journalism but also in acting.”

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