meryl streep
Meryl Streep is considered the greatest actress of her generation -- and possibly of all time -- but the Oscar-winning star recently revealed that she used to think she wasn't pretty enough to make it in her chosen profession.

Streep made those comments last week after accepting an honorary doctorate degree from Indiana University -- awarded by the Bloomington school for the actress's humanitarian and social justice work -- and told the crowd that she had second-guessed her career path for years.

"I think I was probably like every other girl who puts on a princess dress and expects everyone to pay full and total attention. And most of us grow out of that," Streep said. " ... I was always in plays, but I thought it was vain to be an actress. Plus, I thought I was too ugly to be an actress. Glasses weren't fabulous then."

Despite feeling self-conscious, Streep still performed, and went on to Yale to study drama in graduate school. But Streep still waffled, and even scheduled a law board exam -- but ended up sleeping through the test.

"The rest," the actress said, "is history."

Streep revealed several other fascinating anecdotes (after she turned 40, she "was offered three [roles playing] witches in one summer," while this year alone, she received "two of the best scripts [she has] ever gotten") and shared advice for the crowd, including some she could have given herself years ago.

"For young women, I would say, don't worry so much about your weight. Girls spend way too much time thinking about that, and there are better things," she said. "For young men, and women, too, what makes you different or weird, that's your strength. Everyone tries to look a cookie-cutter kind of way and actually the people who look different are the ones who get picked up. I used to hate my nose. Now I don't. It's okay."

[via Indianapolis Monthly, h/t Vanity Fair]

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
categories Movies