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Streep Bemoans Oscar Campaigns, Says ‘Money Wins’
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Oscar winner Meryl Streep said on Monday that vying for Hollywood’s highest honor has become as complicated as a political campaign because, as in politics, when it comes to Oscar; money talks, talent walks.
“The whole campaigning thing seems kind of unseemly to me, so I haven’t really done that. I hope the work stands on its own, but I fear, like in politics, money wins,” Streep, who is a best supporting actress nominee this year, told Reuters in an interview.
“The biggest campaign could be rewarded, and as a result, more money will be thrown at these things,” she said.
“It’s a business, you know. You can see why they all do it. But in a way, it kind of destroys the integrity of the Academy Awards that they do that.”
The 53 year-old actress, who received an Oscar nomination this year in the best supporting actress category for “Adaptation,” was in Hollywood on Monday to receive the first MORE magazine Alpha Woman Award.
The magazine described it as a way to recognize a woman whose achievements have put her “at the top of her game” and who “continues to be a role model to women of all ages.”
In the acting arena, Streep certainly fits that category.
She has won Academy Awards for best actress in 1982’s “Sophie’s Choice” and for supporting actress in 1979’s “Kramer vs. Kramer.”
This year’s nomination was her 13th overall, making her Oscar’s most-nominated actress ever surpassing the legendary Katharine Hepburn. Along with “Adaptation,” Streep has been winning acclaim for her role as a woman whose suicidal friend has AIDS in Oscar-nominated “The Hours.”
But Streep is taking all the attention in stride, and at the suggestion that being the MORE’s “Alpha Woman” must mean she is “at the top of her game,” she just smiles.
“I don’t know what that would feel like. I don’t feel like I can jump any higher than I have before. I just feel lucky to get the jobs that have come to me,” she said.
She does admit that the past 2 1/2 years have been good ones since she used that time to make “The hours” and “Adaptation.”
She noted that it was simply a timing issue that put both films in competition during awards season this year.
Like others have, Streep called this year “a banner year for women” because many of the nominated films center on female protagonists, but she said she doubted whether that meant movie roles were getting any better for women.
“I think probably that’s serendipitous,” she said.
Often actresses in Hollywood complain that their roles are not substantial, but this year female roles dominate the Oscar buzz in Hollywood, especially in the best actress grouping where “Chicago” star Renee Zellweger is competing neck-and-neck with Streep’s co-star in “The Hours,” Nicole Kidman.

Among best supporting actresses, Streep is competing against Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah, both in “Chicago,” Kathy Bates for “About Schmidt” and “Hours” co-star, Julianne Moore.
Streep said she had seen all the performances. She called them variously “fantastic” and “thrilling,” and added that other roles throughout the year were equally as good even though they might not have received Oscar attention.
This year’s Academy Awards will be given out on Sunday.