Meryl Streep's marriage works because her husband is very understanding.

The 'Mamma Mia!' star - who has been married to her artist husband Don Gummer for the past 31 years - said the secret to their successful marriage was that he understood just how absorbed she needed to become within her work as an actress.

The 60-year-old Oscar-winner said: "People think being married to an actor is hard but my husband does understand the deal - the sort of serial fixation that actors have with their work that makes things hard."

Meryl said Don particularly understood her lifestyle because he also worked freelance as an artist.

She said: "I think it would be different if I was married to a lawyer or an accountant, someone who was less freelance, unlike artists who are wrangling their passions to make a living. That's basically what he does too, so he understands what I do. His sensibility is similar.

"I never have to say 'It's not you, I'm just thinking about this film now and it's driving me crazy.' Because I know it can be the same for him."