On Friday, the Kate Benns Sturgeon Fund hosted “An Evening of Conversation with Meryl Streep and Jane Pauley” at the IU Auditorium. This sold-out event attracted people from all over the United States. The program started out with an introduction by IU’s first lady, Laurie Burns McRobbie, followed by a discussion between Streep and Pauley and concluded with a question and answer session. The event began and ended with a standing ovation by the enthusiastic audience.
Jane Pauley interviewed Meryl Streep throughout the evening. One of the first questions Pauley asked Streep was, “How cool is it being married to a Hoosier?” Streep responded, “He’s really great at hoops.” Streep went on to talk about how her career jumpstarted, her husband, her family and her achievements.
Both women came to IU separately and on their own terms. They wanted to share the importance of philanthropy and women in the world. Streep’s one piece of advice to every girl is to, “not waste so much time on weight, skin, or what you put your hands on.” She understands the pressure on girls when concerning how they look. She said the same problem was evident back when she was a teenager.
When elaborating on her fame, Streep stated that it’s hard to be famous and that you can have satisfaction without the fame.
Meryl Streep’s secret or “special sauce” as Pauley refers to it is Streep’s curiosity about other people and how that animates her work.
Laughter was heard often during the conversation. A comment such as, “I have the memory of an Etch-a-Sketch,” made the crowd go wild.
Both Streep and Pauley have connections to IU. Jane graduated from Indiana University with her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1972. Streep’s husband, sculptor Don Gummer, studied at IUPUI Herron School of art from 1964 through 1966.