Gemma Jones

  1. Meryl Streep, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, 1981.       It took a dozen years (and directors, from Lindsay Anderson to Fred Zinnemann) to adapt John Fowles’ unfilmable novel. Helmer Karel Reisz and playwright Harold Pinter spent all of 1979 solving it, dropping versions by Dennis Potter, etc, and turning the lovers into dual roles – matching the affair of two actors filming the affair of the titular, Victorian heroine. First thoughts for Sarah/Anna were Jones, Francesca Annis, Helen Mirren and Vanessa Redgrave. Fowles liked Mirren, but saw Sarah as American in her independence and freedom from convention and fell for Streep Shakespearing in Central Park. “So audacious, so free… a range of temperament that is very rare, and a very special sort of daring.” Despite gaining her first Best Actress Oscar nod, Streep felt this among her weakest portrayals. By 2017, she had won 20 nominations and three Oscars.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  1