Trailer Park: 'The River Wild' -- Meryl Streep plays against type as a gun-toting mother in the upcoming thriller

By Michael Sauter
Updated March 18, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

Meryl Streep is not a happy camper. The teaser for this summer’s thriller The River Wild shows her brandishing a gun — and that, she now says, is not the image she wanted to project. Fair enough, but let’s face it: The sight of sophisticated Streep pointing a lethal weapon does put a startling spin on things. Besides, it’s not as though the scene had been taken out of context. This is a Hollywood action movie. ”We are going to risk death a number of times on this trip,” Streep’s character warns her son, just before the trailer erupts in churning rapids and capsizing rafts. Oh yes, the danger also includes bad guy Kevin Bacon, who is seen pursuing Streep and family through the wilderness. Sorry, Meryl. In a hell-or-high-water adventure like this, a gun is almost a given. Why do you think they call it shooting the rapids?