RICK SPRINGFIELD, MERYL STREEP & HER DAUGHTER MAMIE GUMME JOIN FORCES
Meryl Streep and her daughter, actor Mamie Gummer, were sent to opposite ends of the house while filming scenes for their upcoming movie, Ricki and the Flash.
The pair play a mother and daughter in the movie but in order to portray a troubled relationship, director Jonathan Demme took a Dogme approach and separated them while filming – something Gummer wasn't expecting.
“It was initially really bewildering because I didn’t know that that was his intention. He kept me in the dark because Julie, my character, is meant to feel abandoned so he was trying to recreate or generate that for me,” Gummer says.
“As to whether that was really necessary, I don’t know, but it did make the movie that we made. So I’m grateful.”
After accepting Demme’s approach, Gummer says ultimately it helped her maintain the level of gloom her character is expected to carry around.
In the film, Gummer’s character Julie is going through a marriage breakdown, which is why her mum, Streep’s rock musician character Ricki, comes back into town. However, Julie is going through a rough time and her relationship with her mum, who left the family to pursue her music career, is fractious.
“You meet Julie right in the wake of a really traumatic event,” Gummer says.
“There are allusions to this attempted suicide and the movie overall hints at this darker tone so Ricki, my mum’s character, is honestly a little unhinged and you come to realise they’re clearly cut from the same cloth,” she says.
In reality, Gummer and Streep are also clearly cut from the same cloth. At the movie’s premiere in Sydney earlier this month, Gummer – dressed in a chic, long-sleeved white dress with her hair swept into a low chignon – bore a striking resemblance to her mother. She posed for photos alongside Australian rocker and actor, Rick Springfield, who plays Streep’s boyfriend in the film.
During the movie, Gummer commands attention on the screen almost as powerfully as her mother. At the age of 32, and with several successful TV parts under her belt, including on The Good Wife and Emily Owens MD, Gummer says it was a no-brainer to work with her mother.
It was Streep who introduced her daughter to the role and coerced her into the part without outwardly asking her, instead just showing her the script written by Diablo Cody ( Juno, Young Adult).
“You can convey volumes without even saying anything, so I appreciated the weight of what she was putting before me without her having to ascribe words to it,” she says.
Gummer, needless to say, went for the part, which she now describes as “the role of a lifetime”.
Playing a girl going through a traumatic breakup, however, had its downsides for Gummer – namely the hairstyle.
“In the movie, for a lot of it, I have this really crazy hair so every night I’d go through the process of washing out all this crap,” she says.
“There’s that country music song, ‘I’m going to wash that man right out of my hair’. That’s how I felt.”
Rick Springfield, Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer in TriStar Pictures'
Ricki and the Flash.