That "Questionnaire" clip probably deserves special attention. (I kind of ignored it in my previous post(s) and only referred to it once at the end.)
The "Questionnaire" clip is an old clip from the television show "Inside the Actors Studio" hosted by James Lipton and filmed at an acting college. Big stars appear on the show and talk about their work. At the end of the show Lipton gives them the "questionnaire." The stars know it's coming, and the same 10 questions are asked every time. The questions are silly and meaningless, so I guess the actors can use the questions for whatever they please. They can use the questions to free associate, improvise, reveal some personal tidbits about their lives, or whatever.
In Streep's case, she uses the 10 questions to ham it up and vamp and schmooze. For example, as soon as Lipton announces the questionnaire, Streep gives an exaggeratedly big mock-dramatic gasp and says very theatrically, "I have heard about this!" It gets a big laugh from the audience, because everyone knows its coming and that it's not a surprise at all.
Streep continues on to create 10 little dramatic scenarios. For example, in the first one she coyly plays the doting mother showing off how precocious her child is ("coconut milk"). In the "pain" question, she carefully creates a haunting scene about a homeless woman crying in the rain. In the "Oh my God" segment, she plays the naive believer who wonders if she should spend more time thinking about God. And in the last question, she does a big dramatic finish with her instant enthusiastic response: "Everybody in!"
She's just hamming and vamping. For some questions she is seductive. For other questions she is kittenish or little-girly. For other questions she is philosophical. On some of the questions it looks like she's improvising as she goes, but on other questions she has clearly prepared her answers beforehand.
So when the audience applauds her at the end, they are applauding her specifically for her acting (and not for her answers). You have to remember that she is a world class actor on a stage at an acting college, and she is hamming and showing off her craft to a bunch of aspiring actors. Sometimes she plays the answers straight and goes for dramatic effect; sometimes she overacts the answer a bit and injects just a touch of tongue-in-cheek, and sometimes she deliberately overacts the answer in order to get laughs from the audience.
For example, note the deliberate way she set up the "obscenity" question. She preps the audience with the "Oh my God" answer, then goes on a mock philosophical streak by asking if she should be thinking more about God, then she holds the thoughtful pose way too long until she gets laughter (if only to let people know that she was kidding), and then finally she knocks the audience down with the "cocksucker" obscenity.
IOW, I wouldn't put much stock in her answers. Mainly I think she is just riffing and vamping and schmoozing with the audience and the host, in typical ESTP fashion. Basically she's just showing off. As with any ESTP, you never know what's coming next. That's how she's able to be on the stage in front of a room of fellow actors (as was the case in both the AFI and Questionnaire clips) and still manage to blow everyone out of the water with her agility, quickness of mind, and stage presence.
I think the clip is mostly useful for seeing how ESTPs love to vamp and schmooze (particularly the very theatrical ones). Just when you think they're being sincere, ESTPs will ham it up and turn things upside down. And just when you think they're joking and being silly, they'll suddenly get very thoughtful and sincere and heartfelt. But in the end, they're just doing what ESTPs do: They are "working the audience."
I think the clip is also useful for seeing Streep get a little peeved when Lipton one-ups her on the "cocksucker" answer and beats her at her own game. It shows that this is a competition for ESTPs, and they're used to being the Alpha person and winning at all times. Streep takes it in stride when Lipton one-ups her. But it's clear that she considers herself the big star on the stage, and she doesn't much like it when the host interrupts her momentum.
That's my interpretation, anyway. My interpretation may sound cynical. But you have to remember that I have one of these very theatrical older female ESTPs as a relative. I've seen her keep up the show non-stop 24/7. It's really pretty amazing to see in real life. I played around with fitting lots of different personality types to her, because she shows so many facets. But in the end ESTP works best because one thing always remains the same: She is always "working the audience."
Here is a link to an article on the TV show "Inside the Actors Studio." It also lists the 10 questions of the well-known "questionnaire": Inside the Actors Studio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia