It’s the age-old challenge of journalists everywhere: how to break down a complicated story or topic and make it explainable to an audience. We’re just guessing, but it probably helps to have Meryl Streep as the vessel for your explanation.
The legendary actress stopped by EW and PEOPLE’s video suite at TIFF to talk about her new film The Laundromat, directed by Steven Soderbergh, which examines the story behind the Panama Papers, leaked documents that showed…actually, we’ll let Streep explain.
“The Panama Papers were sort of an explosive look at how these [financial] shenanigans take place, and how the wealthy steal money from the rest of the world,” Streep said. “Money that could be put to better use, that’s owed to individual governments in taxes, is spirited away…and it’s the wealthiest people in the world that do this.”
“I don’t know about you, but I’m illiterate financially,” she added. “This sort of teaches you the little obfuscations that enable this kind of bad behavior.”
Writer Scott Z. Burns, who also wrote the Adam Driver starring The Report, said his approach to the film was to try “to figure out a way of illuminating the greed and avarice and other aspects of human behavior that allowed this whole system to come into being.”
If that sounds heavy, it’s supposed to: While Streep plays a fictional character in the film, what happens to her character was inspired by real events, and the film itself, as Streep notes, is “funny, the way it’s told, but it’s so deadly serious, the intent of the piece.”
The Laundromat opens in theaters Sept. 27 before hitting Netflix on Oct. 18.