Meryl Streep’s favorite love scene was with Robert Redford, and admits she ‘didn’t want it to end’

Meryl Streep reflected on her famous shampoo scene with Robert Redford in the 1985 film ‘Out of Africa’.

The epic romantic drama stars Streep as a Danish baroness who falls in love with a big game hunter, played by Redford, while running a coffee plantation in colonial South Africa.

During a memorable scene from the film, Redford tenderly washes Streep’s hair by a river while reciting lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”


“It’s a sex scene in a way, because it’s so intimate,” the 74-year-old actress said during a conversation at Théâtre Debussy in Cannes on Wednesday, per Variety. “We’ve seen so many scenes of people, but we don’t see that loving touch and care.”

Meryl Streep recalled her famous shampoo scene with Robert Redford in ‘Out of Africa’. (Getty)

Speaking at Cannes, Streep recalled that filming the scene was initially not very pleasant. According to Britain’s Metro, she told the crowd that she and Redford, now 87, had been warned by the production to be wary of potentially dangerous wildlife in the area.

“We had lions, but they were imported from California and they were supposedly fine – tame. They weren’t,” the actress told the outlet.

“And the second thing we were told is that the animal that kills the most people in Africa is the hippo, if you get between the hippo and the water,” she added.

“So we were shooting in the river and the hippo was right above it. I don’t know if they show that in the movie, I don’t remember, but I was aware of it!”

Streep said she didn’t want the scene to end. (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Streep recalled that Redford was concerned about their safety and initially did not wash her hair properly.

“It wasn’t good,” she admitted.

However, Streep’s longtime hairstylist and makeup artist Roy Hellund jumped in and demonstrated how he typically washes the actress’ hair, which Streep described as “the best part of my day.”

“Redford took the class, and he really ran with it, and he was great,” Streep recalls. ‘At take five I was so in love!’

“I didn’t want it to end that day, despite the hippos,” she added.

The actress and Redford played lovers in the 1985 epic romantic drama. (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

“Out of Africa,” directed by Sydney Pollack, was based on Karen Blixen’s 1937 autographic book of the same name. The film was a box office hit and received eleven Academy Award nominations, including a nod for Best Actress for Streep.

‘Out of Africa’ won seven Oscars, including best picture and best director for Pollack.

During a 1985 interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Streep praised Redford, telling the outlet that she found him “very charming.”


“We really got to know each other after he arrived in Africa,” she said. “I developed a huge crush on him, which made it easier to tell the love story. He is really great to work with.”

She continued, “He has an unusual quality for a man: he is very receptive and an incredible listener. That’s a trait people usually associate with women. So he is very easy for women to talk to.”

Streep said her co-star is “very easy to talk to.” (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

The two later worked together again in the 2007 war thriller ‘Lions for Lambs’, which also starred Tom Cruise.

Streep received a two-minute standing ovation on Tuesday as she accepted an honorary Palme d’Or at the opening ceremony of the 2024 Cannes Film Festival.


During her conversation at Théâtre Debussy, the three-time Academy Award winner explained how she was touched by the warm reception at the Palme d’Or ceremony.

“I just felt a wave of feelings coming from the audience, and it’s so much bigger than I thought — so many levels of people, all the way to the top,” she said. “Yes, it was a lot. I live a very quiet life, and basically I don’t get any respect at home, so it’s pretty amazing to come into this arena and have that big groundswell.

Streep received the Honorary Palme D’Or Award from Juliette Binoche at the opening ceremony of the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 14. (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Streep later said that she never intended to make films that she thought would be box office successes.


“The ones that ended up being blockbusters – ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ – happened when I was 58 and 60, and I never thought they would be anything but fun,” she said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“I didn’t know they would make it big, but I knew I could get them made.”

Ashley Hume is an entertainment writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @ashleyhume