The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE MCGRANE

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.

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