At age 63, Meryl Streep is asking the questions.
"Tell me about your marriage," she poses during an interview from her Los Angeles hotel suite on a sunny summer morning.
Me: "I'm the world's worst cook. My family has the poison control center on speed dial.
One of the best actresses in motion picture history just laughs.
"Can he cook?" she poses. "If the answer is yes, then you got it notched, babe."
Streep has it notched in her new film "Hope Springs," which is easily one of the best movies of the year.
She's a midlifer named Kay who is bored and unsatisfied with her marriage to Arnold, an old-school bully who is dismissive, cheap, and basically just sleeps his life away in his Lazy Boy recliner.
Their marriage is loveless and sexless. Kay hatches a plan for both to travel to Maine to go to a week of intense relationship therapy with a love guru played by Steve Carrell.
MERYL TALKS MARRIAGE
"This is a middle aged couple who really does love each other, but they have an incapacity to reach each other.
"Even in a committed marriage, you can lose each other," she says.
"As you get older, you can settle into the roles of your life," says Streep. "You want to feel comfortable. In this film, I play the kind of woman who doesn't want to make waves.
"But there is an irritant in her. She isn't content to live this boring life. She wants to make a pearl out of it," she says.
Meryl has one of the most stable marriages in the film business to sculptor Donald Gummer. They got married in 1978 and have raised four children together.
"The film is about life. It's about how you can live with someone for a long time and ignore that problems are setting in," Streep says.
"I think ignoring creates a peril in your own home," she insists.
She says you can never settle when it comes to your life.
"The bigger issue this film addresses is you only get one life," Streep says. "It's so worth it to keep the romance alive in that life. It's worth it even if it's tough because you can only get there by being completely open with your partner.
"Opening up is really hard and painful," she says. "At the same time, it's very rewarding."
MIDLIFER LOVE SCENES
In the film, Meryl's character has a non-existent sex life. They're coached on how to bring the heat back to their relationship.
"It does amaze me that this film showed people who are actually middle aged having love scenes," Streep says. "European films have always been more interested in showing people of all ages engaging in life including having sex.
"I hope this film serves an underserved audience," she says.
Was she nervous doing sex scenes?
"The only time I get nervous is making a speech as myself," she admits. "I never get nervous doing any type of scene for a movie."
"LOOK IN THE MIRROR"
In the film, the couple learns that their issues are not one sided.
"Isn't it the truth that when there is a problem you really should look in the mirror?" she asks.
"Think about it," she poses. "Each time you blame something on the relationship or the other person, it might be you who is causing the issue.
"This isn't bad news," she says. "It's an amazing idea because it leads to judgment and then discovery."
Streep has discovered herself through her life and her roles.
"The selfish reason that I want to act is to explore some part of myself," she says. "It's so valuable. It's about understanding myself through these characters.
"The funny thing is no matter how different the character is there is always something personal that I find worth exploring," she admits.
After three Oscars and a career that is celebrated across the globe what could she discover about herself from playing an unhappy housewife?
"I understood her desire and her longing. I knew her yearning and wanting something more as time passes her. I knew her feeling of wanting to enrich whatever time you have here on this planet," she says.
"Her life happiness is sitting right there across the dining room table from her eating his eggs and bacon in the morning," she says. "She knows happiness is right there, but how do you get there?"
MERYL STREEP ON AGING: "COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS"
Finally, I ask her about how she feels about getting older on screen and in life?
"I don't know how I feel about getting older in my life," she admits. "I just ask myself, 'What are you going to do about it, but count your blessings?'
"You're here. Live it!" she says. "You just need to get creative about ways of having fun and then benefit from your life experience."