Meryl Streep says she has experienced “real terror.”
The 68-year-old actress made a surprise appearance at the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 27th annual International Press Freedom Awards on Wednesday night, and spoke candidly about the times she herself has been a victim of and/or witnessed physical violence.
Upon taking the stage to honor female journalists for their bravery, Streep shared, “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,” the Oscar winner continued. “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.”
The women worked together on the 1983 drama Silkwood, and in a September 2013 Q&A with Us, Cher recalled when she and Streep “saved a girl from a large mugger in New York City.”
In addition to celebrating female journalists, Streep has also thrown her support behind the women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and/or assault. Last month, she released a statement that addressed her relationship with the former movie mogul, but also praised his accusers for their courage to come forward with their stories.
“The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported,” she told The Huffington Post. “The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.”
Here’s how others in Hollywood reacted to the Weinstein scandal: