ByAlisha Grauso, writer at
Editor-at-large here at Movie Pilot. Nerd out with me on Twitter, comrades: @alishagrauso
Alisha Grauso

In 1975, the same year that Meryl Streep got her very first credited acting role for voice work in an animated film, a little movie by the name of Jaws swept into theaters and announced Steven Spielberg's arrival as one of the most revolutionary directors in history, garnering an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Three years later, both would land their first individual Oscar nominations, Streep for Best Supporting Actress in The Deer Hunter and Spielberg for Best Director for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Five years after that, in 1980, a young actor named Tom Hanks landed his breakout role in the TV comedy Bosom Buddies. The show would only last two seasons, but it made Hanks a star. He dominated the big screen in the '80s doing big comedies, and in the '90s reinvented himself as a dramatic actor.

It's hard to imagine a time in which these three towering icons weren't around as the standard bearers of Hollywood, the idols that aspiring actors and filmmakers strive to be. But it's even harder to conceive that until making The Post, Spielberg, Streep, and Hanks had never all worked together before. While Spielberg and Hanks have teamed up on a whopping five movies, it's the first time Streep has worked with either. Over a hundred and twenty years experience in the industry between the trio, and not once have they joined forces in a movie. Hard to believe, isn't it? To celebrate it finally happening, let's look at some fun trivia from the venerated careers of Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Steven Spielberg.

1. Steven Spielberg has worked with Tom Hanks more times than any other actor

Steven Spielberg directing Tom Hanks on the set of 'Saving Private Ryan'
Steven Spielberg directing Tom Hanks on the set of 'Saving Private Ryan'

Harrison Ford has worked with Spielberg an impressive number of times—four, to be exact. But Hanks beats even him, having worked with Spielberg no less than five times, making them one of the most steady and bankable director-actor pairings in Hollywood. Along with The Post, the previous four movies they've teamed up on are:

  • Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)
  • The Terminal (2004)
  • Bridge of Spies (2015)

2. Meryl Streep has more Golden Globe nominations and competitive wins than any other actor

Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in 'The Iron Lady'
Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in 'The Iron Lady'

Most know that Meryl Streep has been nominated for more Academy Awards than any other actor in history, but her record setting accolades don't end at the Oscars. Her 31 Golden Globe nominations are more than any other actor, and her eight competitive wins are also the record.

But about those Academy Awards...

3. Streep holds the record for most Oscar nominations

Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins
Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins

With 20 Oscar nominations under her belt, Meryl Streep holds the record and it isn't even close. Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson are tied in second place with 12 apiece. Her three Oscar wins for acting put her in rare company. Only six people in history have won three or more competitive Academy Awards for acting. Along with Streep, Hepburn, and Nicholson, the other three are Daniel Day-Lewis, Walter Brennan, and Ingrid Bergman.

4. Hanks is only the second actor to ever win the Best Actor Academy Award back to back

Tom Hanks in 'Forrest Gump'
Tom Hanks in 'Forrest Gump'

Meryl Streep isn't the only one of the three to be in an impressively short Oscars category. As hard as it is to win multiple Academy Awards, it's arguably even harder to win them in back-to-back years. While Hanks has always been great, his run of memorable films in the '90s is nearly unparalleled. For his efforts, he's one of only two people to ever win the Best Actor award twice in a row, with the first being awarded for his role as gay, HIV positive lawyer Andrew Beckett in 1993's Philadelphia. The second one, of course, was for his role as Forrest Gump. The only other actor to win back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards? Spencer Tracy, who accomplished the feat in 1939.

5. Spielberg is the highest-grossing director in history

Without adjusting for inflation, Spielberg is the most bankable director in history, with his films grossing more than $9 billion dollars worldwide. To put it into perspective, with the opening of Thor: Ragnarok, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, including inflation, sits around $13 billion. Considering Spielberg's largely been out of the blockbuster game in favor of prestige pictures the last decade and doesn't have the benefit of inflation, it's mind-boggling how successful his films have been.

6. 10 of Spielberg's films have been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards

Schindler's List
Schindler's List

It doesn't seem to matter what genre Steven Spielberg is working in; his movies just stand above the rest. Spielberg-directed movies have been nominated a whopping 10 times for the Best Picture Oscar. Schindler's List was the only one to have won the award in 1993, but Spielberg's list of almost-wons alone is more impressive than the career of most filmmakers altogether:

  • Jaws (1975)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  • The Color Purple (1985)
  • Schindler's List (1993)
  • Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  • Munich (2005)
  • War Horse (2011)
  • Lincoln (2012)
  • Bridge of Spies (2015)

It's hard to imagine The Post won't garner him his eleventh Best Picture nomination as director.

7. All three of them have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Barack Obama clearly appreciated the careers of Spielberg, Streep, and Hanks as much as we do; he awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to each of them during his last three years in the Oval Office. He awarded Streep with her medal in 2014, Spielberg received his in 2015, and Hanks was among the last recipients honored by President Obama in 2016. Awarded to U.S. civilians for "for especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors," all three received theirs in the category of Movies & Theater.

The Post is currently in limited theaters. It will open for wide release across the U.S. on January 12.


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