Who will still be winning Oscars in 30+ years?
In the 80s, Bette Davis wrote Meryl Streep a letter, saying she would be the next great American actress. Good call, Bette. You were smart, talented, and also freakishly scary sometimes. (Those EYES.)
I'm going to pull a Bette and call the next greats. And in 2050, we'll chat again about how smart I am.
the next Meryl Streep: JENNIFER LAWRENCE
Meryl is the legend of all legends, and no one is going to match her all-time record of 18 Oscar nominations and three wins. (Also 28 Globe nominations with eight wins and three Emmy nominations with two wins, but who's counting.) P.S. SHE'S STILL WORKING. Those numbers will change, people. Anyway...
I'm not claiming that Jennifer will be as popular at awards shows as Meryl, but she's got the best chance of any. Their Oscar start is eerily similar. Meryl was nominated for her first Oscar after acting for only four years and won the very next year. Jennifer? Nominated five years in and won two years later. A little behind Meryl's pace, but isn't everybody.
They're both hard workers, likable, versatile, and reportedly game changers on set - Meryl because she's a perfectionist and Jen because she'll fart during your line to make you laugh while performing hers flawlessly.
Clearly they are not the same person, but Jennifer is a mighty talent at only 24 years old and is probably going to be around for a long time.
Runner-up: Natalie Portman
the next Sally Field: MICHELLE WILLIAMS
Michelle is without question quieter than Sally, but they both possess a powerful energy that can endear and also frighten. The passion for their work is obvious, but they both have an even greater passion for making the world a better place, on a broad scale and specifically for their kids.
When the nurturing spirit of a loving mother intersects with the job of putting yourself in someone else's shoes, magic can happen. I think Michelle has some of Sally's magic, and we're all a little freaked out about how much they look alike anyway. Don't fight it.
Oh, and Michelle already has three Oscar nominations. I think she's going to do just fine.
Runner-up: Emily Blunt
the next Glenn Close: EMMA STONE
Glenn is nice and approachable, but umm let's not make her mad, okay? She's got that quiet anger that your dad got when you were late for curfew and he was "disappointed in you." It's the WORST. I really hope Glenn Close is never disappointed in me.
Emma is lighter and more fun than that, but she's also sassy and blunt and doing Hollywood her way. Sure, she's in summer blockbusters and has hot Hollywood arm candy, but she also chooses a variety of roles and elevates the movies she's in. Did you know she got a Golden Globe nomination for Easy A? I'm pretty sure that movie never had hopes of seeing the inside of The Beverly Hills Hilton on awards night. But it did because of Glemma.
Runner-up: Shailene Woodley
the next Susan Sarandon: SCARLETT JOHANSSON
They're both sexy for days. Smoldering, strong, and oddly likable (Susan more so than ScarJo, but that's a personal opinion). Yet, they both do so much more with their sex appeal than their colleagues. It's deeper than a husky voice and red hair.
Plus Susan will throw you for a loop and play a nun who ministers to a death row inmate, and it changes your life. She can do anything, and I think with a little bit of confidence and experience, Scarlett can, too.
Runner-up: Rebecca Hall
the next Helen Mirren: KEIRA KNIGHTLEY
They're both British! Done!
Kidding. They're also both really sensual and into period pieces. Done?
Dame Helen Mirren is kind and lovely but all about the work. She doesn't put up with much, and I've seen enough interviews with Keira to infer she's a little over it, too. They're both dignified but self-admittedly pretty into their privileged lives.
Helen doesn't have kids and never wanted them, saying she's too selfish and more interested in being an earth mother to the masses, bringing attention to less-seen social injustices through her status. Way to tell it like it is, Helen. No idea if Keira wants to be a mom, earth or otherwise, but I'm genuinely afraid that her legs will break if she tries to carry a child. She's the prettiest stick bug I've ever seen.
Runner-up: arey Mulligan