Meryl Streep - Meryl Streep to play Maria Callas

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Meryl Streep will portray Maria Callas in a new movie.

The 64-year-old actress has signed up to portray the opera legend in 'Master Class', a film for HBO based on Terrence McNally's play about the iconic diva teaching students at elite music school Juilliard in 1971.

According to the New York Post newspaper's Page Six column, Mike Nichols - who previously worked with the actress on 'Silkwood', 'Heartburn', 'Postcards From the Edge' and 'Angels in America' - will direct the movie and it will begin filming in January when Streep completes work on 'Ricky and the Flash'.

'Ricky and the Flash' sees the actress play a fading rock star who tries to reconnect with her family and she has been getting tuition for the role from a high-profile teacher.

A source said: ''Meryl is learning the tricks of the guitar trade from none other than legendary Neil Young.''

'Master Class' - which debuted on Broadway in 1995 - sees Callas reminisce about her career and personal life, including being dumped by Aristotle Onassis for Jacqueline Kennedy.

Streep has portrayed a number of famous women on screen in recent years, including former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 'The Iron Lady' and chef Julia Child in 'Julie & Julia'. Her 'Devil Wears Prada' character Miranda Priestley is widely assumed to be based on Vogue editor Anna Wintour.


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