Meryl Streep, who has been nominated a record number of times for an Academy Award, was honored by the Kennedy Center in 2011. In light of the honor, she sat down with “The Early Show’s” Julie Chen to talk about her career.

In talking about her widely varied roles, Streep says, “It’s different in every case. Sometimes I role out of bed and do the part because the script is perfect, but certainly when I’m playing someone who really did exist and who’s measured against people’s perceptions, I feel like I have to do a lot more research.”

She won her first Oscar in 1980 for “Kramer vs. Kramer” and of the ceremony, she says, “It was really exciting. When I won that Oscar, I was, I think, sitting near or next to Laurence Olivier. Bette Davis was in the house. James Stewart. I mean, it was a really long time ago. The greats were there.”

And apparently afterwards, Bette Davis wrote Streep a letter, in which, Streep says, Davis basically wrote “don’t let the bastards get you down.”

Streep says of Davis, “She tried to have an interesting career around the corners of what was then a system that made people be one thing and so she tried to buck that system.”

Congratulations to Streep on her Kennedy Center honor. It was certainly well-deserved. 

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."