Self-Portraitists

01.27.14

Meryl Streep Took a Selfie With 50 Cent and Kobe Bryant. Give Her an Oscar.

An ode to Meryl Streep's brilliant selfie, taken at a Lakers game with 50 Cent and Kobe Bryant.

It’s five weeks before the Oscars and the nominees are hot on the campaign trail, doing their equivalent of kissing babies: attempting to go viral.

Leonardo DiCaprio was off to a good start. He made a cameo during Jonah Hill’s Saturday Night Live episode (note: hosting SNL, always a good campaign strategy), recreating Titanic’s iconic Jack and Rose scene at the bow of the ship. “Am I flying Jack?” Hill asks as DiCaprio spoons him from behind. “Yes, Rose. You’re flying,” DiCaprio says as twentysomething girls across the nation flashback to the 17th time they watched him whisper those very words at their local Cineplex when they were 10 and enter puberty for a second time.

Video screenshot

The stunt checked off all the boxes: nostalgia, .GIF-able, good sense of humor, semi-homoerotic. As far as Oscar campaigning goes, Hill and DiCaprio were off to a good start as this year’s viral stars.

Then the Grammy Awards happened Sunday night. A freaking parade of Oscar nominees were there for no reason, presenting awards and introducing performances. Jared Leto was there on behalf of Dallas Buyers Club, which, OK, makes sense considering Leto also fronts 30 Seconds to Mars. Julia Roberts was there on behalf of August: Osage County, which isn’t totally ridiculous since she was once married to Lyle Lovett and isn’t a total alien to the music world. But then Jeremy Renner was there on behalf of American Hustle. What? By that point no one would have blinked an eye had the next announcement been, “Here to present Song of the Year, please welcome Blue Jasmine star Sally Hawkins!”

But while all those stars were at the Grammys Sunday being overshadowed by Beyoncé’s blinding sexual energy, Meryl Streep was non-chalantly owning them all. Streep, who probably has the lowest odds of winning this year’s Oscar of any nominee, broke out the most unexpected, brilliant piece of awards campaigning there has been to date, or ever may be: the hilarious selfie.

Streep, of course, is a bit of a selfie savant. (Lest you’ve forgotten: here is Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton taking what was, until now, the best selfie of all time.) But this one trumped it all. Streep was at an L.A. Lakers game and posed like a “gangsta” in that super embarrassing way your grandma might do, but it was Meryl Streep so it was awesome, with 50 Cent and Kobe Bryant.

The best. Campaigning at its finest.