Meryl Streep, by Annie Leibovitz, 1981.
"The picture of Meryl Streep in whiteface was made during a session that didn’t start out well. Meryl had only recently become a movie star. I had already done a fashion sitting with her for Vogue, and Life had used a head shot taken from that sitting on their cover a few months earlier. Francesco Scavullo had just shot her for the cover of Time. This round of publicity was for The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Meryl was uncomfortable with all the attention she was getting and she cancelled the first appointment for the shoot, but was finally persuaded to come to my studio for two and half hours one morning. She came in and talked about how she didn’t want to be anybody, she was nobody, just an actress. There were a lot of clown books lying around the studio and some white makeup left over from an idea I had had for either James Taylor or John Belushi. I told Meryl that she didn’t have to be anybody in particular, and I suggested that maybe she would like to put on whiteface. To be a mime. That set her at ease. She had a role to play. It was her idea to pull at her face.”