Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman

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With both actresses filling the roles of mother—Meryl Streep has four children; Uma herself is a mother of two— and leading lady, the pair had a lot to discuss about finding a balance between family and career.

Uma: Did you go through this anxiety of feeling like by wanting a family that you were going to risk your career?

Meryl: Yes. When I was a young actress, we dealt with the legacy of Katherine Hepburn who said, famously, "You can do one or the other. You can't do both." It came to my mind when I was a young actress. When I found out I was pregnant, I thought, "Now I'll never be like Katherine Hepburn!" Well, no. But I have a perfectly good life. And thank God I have my children. My God, it's everything. But it's not without compromise or it's not without mess...but I like mess."

Uma: Did you take your children with you when they were little?

Meryl: Yes, I found they're very portable when they're little and they don't get much of a vote on where we live, which is good. My son was in so many schools before he was in the third grade and then we just stopped all that world traveling and shot things closer.

Uma: I've managed to work [near] home for two years. But it's that weird thing suddenly wondering, "Can it work this way?" It's scary.

Meryl: It is scary. But time away is time away. The great central question in every working woman is: Is time away killing my children on a psychological level? Or is it building independence and a person who values work and what people do?