Meryl Streep on all kinds of delicious, junky food. You’re welcome.
Long before you vowed to find someone that looks at you the way everyone looks at Meryl Streep, 26-year-old Samantha Raye was looking for the perfect slice of crispy bacon to superimpose her on. (If you’re unfamiliar with Raye’s fan-food-fic Instagram account, @tasteofstreep, it delightfully combines the greatest living actress of our time with the most delicious foods of all time–churros! pies! pizza pies!) We chatted with the New York-based graphic designer and acting student on her new-found fame, running with an idea no matter how far-fetched it may be, and the virtues of Jarlsberg grilled cheese.
Meryl Streep and food. I wanna say I can’t believe no one’s thought of that before, but the concept is so weird and delightful that I’m not even sure that’s possible. How did you ever come up with that?
I get asked this question all of the time… and I don’t really have a concrete answer. I guess it came from my love of film and my love of food. I say food (which I also love to eat–who doesn’t?) in the sense of it aesthetically. Long before @tasteofstreep was born, I found myself featuring food in all of my pieces, specifically horrible American junk food. Something about the colors and textures you find in processed treats is really triggering to me. I remember putting Julianne Moore on a cake one day, and somehow that led to Meryl Streep in She-Devil holding her poodle on a strawberry frosted doughnut.
So what’s your process like? I really need to know how you find the right Streep and delicious food combinations.
Haha, uhhh I don’t really know that there’s much of a “process” involved. I always take a few days away from creating a post–if it’s forced it’s not going to work. But in the middle of the day something will give me an idea and immediately I put it on its feet. A lot of it comes down to her outfits and her stance or positioning. From there, I pick a food or dish of some sort.
Are you an honest to goodness Streep fan? Tell me a bit about how that started for you.
I think she’s a force to be reckoned with in both the acting world and the real world. It’s embarrassing to admit, but the first film I ever saw her in was Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events. To be honest, I had no idea who she was. It wasn’t until college that I started watching more films with her iconic performances.
Your favorite food and Streep combination IRL? (Can be the food you would pair with your fave movie.)
Oooooh that’s tough. I want to say The Devil Wears Prada and an onion bagel or Jarlsberg grilled cheese, but that’s just because they eat it/mention it in the movie. It’s funny, I never realized how many food references or scenes there are in so many of her movies. You could probably pick a food for every movie, actually. Chocolate croissants and It’s Complicated, spaghetti and Defending Your Life, beef bourguignon and Julie and Julia. I’m sure there are more but those are what I can think of off the top of my head.
How do you balance the fun stuff, like this account, with your day-to-day? Is there something you’ve learned from one that informs the other?
Between school and work, I have very little free time. But the free time that I do have is always spent in some creative fashion. Whether it be working on @tasteofstreep or another project, it’s my favorite part of the day. I’m constantly creating, because you never know what could happen. I think this has taught me above all else to stop “watching myself” and just run with an idea, no matter how insane or far-fetched it may seem. That’s when the best things come about. Not only in art, but in life as well.
You’ve kinda blown up since you started this. Tell me a bit about what you’ve been working on.
Haha oh God–making sure I can pay rent and be an artist at the same time without having to work in the restaurant industry.
Have you met Meryl?
I have not, but the Florence Foster Jenkins premiere in New York was down the street from my office, so I did pop by and catch a glimpse.
Describe the perfect setting of your meeting–and what you would tell her?
Oh God the perfect setting; I don’t know if that exists! She could be in my own home, and I’d probably be too nervous to talk to her or reveal my identity. I don’t know that I’d really tell her much; I think I would rather hear what she has to say. [I’d love to] pick her brain about her experiences as an actor in New York in the ’80s. New York was a very different place at that time; the art scene was exciting and in full bloom.
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