Warning: Slight spoilers for Baby Driver are in play. If you don’t want to be spoiled, come back after you’ve seen the movie, and feel free to enjoy one of our other pieces of Baby Driver coverage.
When Meryl Streep received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at this year’s Golden Globes ceremony, director Edgar Wright issued an offhanded tweet that the legendary actress would be in his new film. Most people assumed it was a reference to Baby Driver, which recently hit theaters in early showings, but in advanced screenings, there seemed to be no sight of Streep anywhere in the film. And yet, as of this morning, Wright assured folks that she was in there… you just had to look hard enough. Well, we looked again, and sure enough we spotted Meryl Streep in Baby Driver. And just as Edgar Wright’s new tweet had suggested, her appearance is a rather coincidental one.
In the first act of Baby Driver, there’s a scene where Baby comes home to his foster father, Joe. They have a heartwarming conversation about food together, and eventually there’s a scene where they flip through several channels on TV to find something to watch. Among those clips is some Monsters Inc, and — surprise surprise — a scene of a random Meryl Streep movie mixed in. While we can’t find video of the clip, you can see the still image of the moment in question, which is featured in the Universal film It’s Complicated.
Admittedly, it’s a very “blink and you’ll miss it” moment, and with the pulse pounding opening that Baby Driver starts its engines to, you’re still coming off of an adrenaline high, settling into the film’s natural rhythm at this point. So when you go back and watch the film again (or see it for the first time,) there’s a cue you need to pay attention to during that channel flipping scene. When you hear John Krasinski deliver the line, “They grow up so fast,” look to the left of the frame. As you see in the photo above, Meryl’s been there the whole time, smiling at an audience who missed her very technical cameo.
So why the trail of secrecy and tweets stemming from Edgar Wright’s Golden Globes commentary? Well, odds are that Wright may have deleted the initial tweet because, as most people could speculate, the implication of that teaser of a tweet seemed to hint towards a surprise cameo that would have had a major effect on the film’s narrative. Which, in the case of Baby Driver, that role went to legendary singer / songwriter Paul Williams, who played “The Butcher” that sold arms to Baby and his crew, just before the massive shootout in the warehouse. With that sort of scent in the air, Edgar Wright probably wanted to kill the trail before it got out of hand.
But, as you can see, the internet doesn’t forget; especially since it wasn’t the first time Wright used an awards night win to highlight a potential future collaboration. Remember that time Edgar Wright announced that Steven Price would be scoring Ant-Man after he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score? Well, that was wiped from the record too, but not before various outlets covered the remarks. Though, that tweet’s deletion makes a lot of sense, considering the debacle that Ant-Man turned into between Marvel Studios and Wright himself.
The bottom line is, yes, Meryl Streep is in Baby Driver, albeit in a very limited and circumstantial context. So if you thought you heard a familiar voice coming over the police radio as a 911 dispatcher, or if you were hoping that Ms. Streep would follow legendary director Walter Hill as a vocal cameo during the courtroom round-up towards the end of the film, you’re sadly out of luck. But don’t take that as a sign that you shouldn’t see Baby Driver, as the film is now in theaters, and well worth the time and gas money to enjoy.
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