As England's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady," Meryl Streep sounds oh so very British, but you can bet her accent is clearly on Oscar. Nearly any time the screen's most-nominated actress (16 Oscar nods, including two wins) slips into an accent (either continental or some American dialect), her name lands on the best actress ballot. (She still hasn't tackled an Asian accent, in case anyone has a biopic of Indira Gandhi in the works.)
We'll have to wait until Jan. 24, when the Oscar nominations are announced, to see if Streep makes the best actress list for the 14th time. Meanwhile, let's look back on some of Streep's finest screen accents.
SOPHIE'S CHOICE (1982)
Streep really wanted to watch her language for her role as a Polish refugee and Holocaust survivor. Not only did she adopt a polished Polish accent, but she also took courses in Polish and German to speak both languages properly. Her hard work paid off with a best actress Oscar win.
OUT OF AFRICA (1985)
To play Danish writer Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen), Streep got in touch with actor Jeremy Irons' Danish nanny, who made a tape of poetry that Streep listened to en route to Africa. The result was Oscar nomination No. 6.
A CRY IN THE DARK (1988)
Streep's famous line "The dingo's got my baby" wouldn't have been as memorable without the Aussie flavoring she gave it. She's said in interviews this was her hardest accent to master, and she studied extra hard to nail it. It was no surprise when she got her eighth Oscar nomination.
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (1995)
Director Clint Eastwood didn't think an accent was necessary for Streep's role as a Midwestern Italian-American housewife, but she felt it was integral to the character. She also gained nearly 20 pounds and got a 10th Oscar nomination.