Recently, Meryl spoke at the Committee to Protect Journalists' International Press Freedom Awards and recalled the times that she had dealt with physical violence or the threat of physical violence in her own life.
Surprising many with her speech, the Oscar victor revealed she has twice been impressed with her own bravery during terrifying situations.
She recounted two incidents, one in which she said she was attacked and "played dead and waited until the blows stopped".
Giving one last nod to the "battered and bold" female journalists, she added: 'You are the enemy of the people... "Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally".
She went on to say that though standing up and speaking in front of a room of people who are smarter than her is a nauseating prospect, she does know something about real terror.
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"But I was changed by these events on a cellular level", Streep said.
She credited her instincts with giving her the idea to play dead and then said she felt what could have been an out-of-body experience as she looked down from what seemed to her as being 50 feet above her body.
Trying to hold back her tears, she clears her throat before adding: "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". Though she didn't offer any factual information such as time, place, or location for the incident, she stated that she and Cher witnessed a mugging and put an end to it.
Streep also said that woman have come to "anticipate danger, expect it". "We have measurably more acute hearing, we have a better sense of smell, we notice details, what people are wearing, their tics and peculiarities".
These skills, she said, serve both journalists and actors well.