(Maria Ward’s article appeared in Vogue, 2/25; via Pam Green.

Meryl Streep has played many roles in her 40-year-long film career, most recently a tone-deaf opera singer with dreams to perform at Carnegie Hall, which earned her a Best Actress in a Leading Role Academy Award nomination. “I’m curious about other people,” Streep has said. “That’s the essence of my acting. I’m interested in what it would be like to be you.” Streep has always been interested in transformation; as she once told Vogue, when she was little, she would draw age lines on her face, pretending to be her own grandmother. Since making her film debut at age 28 in Julia, Streep has racked up three Oscar wins and 20 nominations in acting awards—more nominations than any other actor in the history of the Academy Awards. Here, in honor of her most recent recognition, five other things you may not have known about the inimitable Meryl Streep.

  1. Jane Fonda was Streep’s mentor.In a 2014 interview with Good Morning America,Fonda recalled her own experiences as an up-and-coming actress: “I was close to Bette Davis. I was close to Barbara Stanwyck [and] Katharine Hepburn. And why didn’t I ask them endless questions? ‘What do you do when you are nervous? How do you overcome fear?’ And I didn’t!” Fonda said. “You know the only person who has ever asked me those kinds of questions? And of course it would be her: Meryl Streep.” Streep previously acknowledged this career coaching (which began on the set of the 1977 drama, Julia) while paying tribute to Fonda at the 2014 AFI Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony: “I was so nervous because all of my scenes were going to be with you,” Streep confessed. “[Fonda] had this almost feral alertness, like this bright blue attentiveness to everything that was around her that was completely intimidating—and made me feel like I was lumpy and from New Jersey, which . . . I am.”

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(Photo: Awards Daily)

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