How Meryl Streep Influenced A Major Scene In Little Women 2019

Florence Pugh in Little Women

Little Women is one of the most beloved pieces in American literature. Louisa May Alcott's autobiographical novel has entertained readers for over a century. As such, it's been adapted for the stage and screen a number of times. The most recent is Greta Gerwig's Little Women, which includes a stellar cast. Even Meryl Streep has a role, playing Aunt March in an expanded role. And it turns out that she helped influence one of the movie's most iconic scenes.

Greta Gerwig made a few changes to her version of Little Women, adding scenes that added context and character development for the March sisters. One great example is Amy's monologue to Laurie about marriage, and the position women were in at the time. Florence Pugh delivers a stellar performance, and the scene was partially due to a conversation with Gerwig had with Meryl Streep. As the filmmaker recently revealed,

She is obviously the queen of all things, but she’s also just so clear and intelligent about texts and filmmaking. At a lunch she said, 'The thing you have to make the audience understand is it’s not just that women couldn’t vote, which they couldn’t. It’s not just that they couldn’t own property, which they couldn’t. It’s that they couldn’t own anything when they were married.'

Just like her character Aunt March, it looks like Meryl Streep came to Little Women with some truth bombs. And what resulted was one of the strongest scenes in the entire movie, where Amy's point of view and perspective is truly fleshed out. What's more, it hammers down the powerless women had at this time, a message echoed by other characters like Jo.

Related: How Little Women Changed Fans’ Minds About A Classic Literary Villain

Amy is a character who grows up considerably throughout the course of Little Women, and her speech to Laurie happens whens she's thinking more pragmatically about her family's future. The March girls aren't known for marrying into money, so Amy attempted to find a suitable husband who has the funds to support the entire family. After all, it's not like she could get a job at that point.

As a reminder, you can check out Amy's monologue below.

This scene in particular has moviegoers talking about Florence Pugh's performance as Amy March. In fact, she was recently nominated for BAFTA's Best Supporting Actress. It's been a big two years for Pugh, who also starred in Fighting with My Family, Midsommar, and Black Widow. Luckily for her, she had Meryl Streep on the set of Little Women putting brilliant ideas in Greta Gerwig's head.

Little Women is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.