Not very many of us have the distinction of being portrayed onscreen by both Meryl Streep and Dan Aykroyd (although, for some, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time).
This fact alone speaks volumes about the impact of Julia Child, the cooking icon who worked her way into America’s kitchens in book form and into America’s living rooms on television. The lady was everywhere for decades.
As to these remarkably diverse portrayals and her opinions on them, Child was reportedly such a fan of Aykroyd’s Saturday Night Live spoof that she showed recordings of the sketch to visiting friends. Streep’s much more serious and accurate turn as Child in 2009’s Julie & Julia was a performance that, sadly, Julia Child did not live to see. She was reportedly unamused by Julie Powell’s blog and book that led to the film. However, Streep’s acclaimed interpretation of Child was informed by Julia’s own book My Life in France (written with grand-nephew Alex Prud’homme) and gave a dead-on impression of our subject, near-falsetto voice and all, never once seeming like she was poking even gentle fun at the lady.