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Streep unfazed by playing witch

Meryl Streep has launched her film Into The Woods in London, saying she does not mind playing a witch now that she has reached a certain age.

The Golden Globe-nominated star who plays the wicked witch in the twisted fairytale was at the gala screening of the film tonight at London's Curzon Mayfair, accompanied by co-stars Emily Blunt and James Corden.

Speaking earlier about being offered witch roles in the past, she said: "When I was 40, I was offered three different witches within one year. Before that, I had been playing interesting parts. I just thought that it was emblematic of what Hollywood thought of women who pass a certain age - that now they are old crones.

"It made me mad so I didn't want to do that or play into it. Now I am an old crone, I'm 65 and I'm thrilled I get the chance to play such an interesting part and such a big, challenging musical part. I felt really blessed to be in this. I did love it."

Gavin And Stacey star Corden, who plays the Baker in Disney's adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical, said at the screening that he was overwhelmed by being in a cast that included Streep, Blunt, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine and Anna Kendrick.

He said: "It's far beyond my wildest dreams to be a part of something like this. I'm incredibly honoured that I'm part of it and I always will be.

"Meryl... She's incredible, she can do anything."

Into The Woods follows the Baker and his wife around a fairytale land as they struggle to complete challenges set by the witch in order to lift a curse she has put upon them.

Blunt, who plays the Baker's wife, is back on screen with Streep after starring alongside her terrifying magazine editor character in 2006's The Devil Wears Prada.

Speaking about which film saw the scarier version of Streep, she said: "Well, she didn't place a curse on me in The Devil Wears Prada... Probably she's scarier in this because she's meaner."

Corden added that he felt proud of the awards nominations that Into The Woods has already gathered: "It's great. We haven't really talked about it as a group - awards are lovely but there's no such thing as 'best'. There's such a thing as a fastest runner but how can there be such a thing as a best film. We're just thrilled that it's doing so well."

Blunt added that since becoming a mother, she was more attracted to roles in children's films.

She said: "Yeah, I do think like that. I can't wait to show my daughter this when she's old enough."

Also on the red carpet at tonight's event were cast members Tracey Ullman, Daniel Huttlestone, Frances de la Tour, Joanna Riding and Richard Glover, as well as director Rob Marshall.

Into The Woods is nominated for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, and Blunt is nominated for Best Actress and Streep for Best Supporting Actress for their roles in it at this weekend's Golden Globes ceremony.

The film is released in cinemas on January 9.

PA Media