The Documentary You Never Knew Meryl Streep Narrated

As one of Hollywood's most versatile actresses, Meryl Streep is a force to be reckoned with. Only so many stars can bounce between genres as effortlessly as Streep, which is just one reason why she's become such a treasured star among movie-goers and television viewers alike, according to Elle India. Streep has done everything from singing her heart out as Donna in the movie musical franchise "Mamma Mia!" to portraying the first female British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady," as well as playing villains like Witch in "Into The Woods," and Miranda Priestly in "The Devil Wears Prada" (via IMDb).

But Streep isn't only recognized for her roles on screen — she's also an accomplished voice actor. She played Mrs. Fox in Wes Anderson's stop-motion classic "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and Blue Mecha in Steven Spielberg's "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," as IMDb noted. And like many actors in her field, Streep has tried her hand at narrating documentaries. As far back as 1991, the actress has told stories about the environment, weather events, and history — including a significant period of filmmaking during World War II (per Rolling Stone).

Meryl Streep narrated an important story about filmmakers in World War II

In 2017, Meryl Streep narrated "Five Came Back" — a three-part docu-series produced by Netflix, featuring some of the world's most influential directors. Per a press release published by Netflix, "Five Came Back" is an adaption of Mark Harris' book "Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War." Not only does it shine a light on how Hollywood was affected by the global conflict, but how some of its most esteemed directors decided to travel across the Atlantic to document the atrocities unfolding in Europe.

If it weren't for filmmakers like John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens (via The Beat), a lot of what we know about the Second World War today would be lost to history. "These filmmakers, at that time, had a responsibility in that what they were putting into the world would be taken as truth," director Laurent Bouzereau told Netflix. "'Five Came Back' is a wholly immersive journey through film history and a sweeping look at the vital role storytellers play during our most tumultuous times."

The actress was chosen for the part thanks to her warmth and moral center

The stories of the five directors in "Five Came Back" are relived through five of today's critically-acclaimed filmmakers in the docu-series, including Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass, and Lawrence Kasdan. But it was Meryl Streep's dulcet tones that won the film an Emmy during the 2017 ceremony, as reported on the Emmys official site, where the actress was up against the likes of Laurence Fishburne, Ewan McGregor, Sam Neill, and Liev Schreiber.

As for why Streep was chosen to narrate the documentary, it was as simple as her "warmth and a moral center," as the "Five Came Back" writer Mark Harris told Bustle. "I did really like the idea of a woman narrating a WWII documentary, but particularly this woman who seemed to me to have kind of [a] warmth and a moral center and authority and humanity that I really loved," he said.

Initially, director Laurent Bouzereau considered Ben Affleck or Matt Damon to narrate the film. But he and the team eventually concluded that "it should be Meryl Streep," and they were lucky "she was available," he told Bustle.