Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons on The French Lieutenant’s Woman

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — Aug 10, 2015

When they starred together in The French Lieutenant’s Woman in 1981, Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons were not yet the movie icons we know them as today. Though Streep had already won a best supporting actress Oscar for Kramer vs. Kramer and Irons was a well-regarded stage and television actor, this major adaptation of John Fowles’s acclaimed best seller, directed by Karel Reisz—who’d cofounded the legendary Free Cinema movement in England in the fifties and whose Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was one of the most important films of the British New Wave of the sixties—gave them their first big-screen leading roles. In this excerpt from a new interview program on our release of The French Lieutenant’s Woman, out this week, Streep and Irons remember the late Reisz’s gentle but effective directing style.