“I was invited by Sony to attend an expenses paid trip to the Ricki and The Flash Screening and Press Junket in New York City. All opinions are my own.”
Have I ever told you how much I love Meryl Streep? Like, for real, she’s the best. And sitting five feet in front of her was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had in my life. Not to mention Rick Springfield and Mamie Gummer.
At first arrival to the hotel we were treated to a hospitality suite with some breakfast and the nectar of the gods, AKA coffee. With this view of central park
With this, and my Ricki makeover, I was seriously feeling like a celebrity myself before actually meeting the celebrities!
I was so nervous waiting, I have to admit I don’t think I’d want to interview celebrities as a job… it’s intense! But once we got settled in the room I felt less nervous and more excited.
Can’t you just feel the suspense in this photo? We were all snapping photos and talking excitedly when all of a sudden we heard someone clear their throat, and there was Rick Springfield standing behind us. Eeeekkk! He almost immediately grabbed the guitar off the platform and began jamming. We were all mesmerized.
And then he offered to take individual pictures with all of us. Seriously, how sweet is that? We loved it, of course.
*that time I took a selfie with Rick Springfield
After this, there was just a few minutes of waiting before Meryl and Mamie came in. Meryl’s mannerisms are so unique and personal to her, and she does such a great job of bringing a bit of herself into every character she plays. Watching her talk I honestly felt like I knew her, after watching approximately five thousand of her movies. (OK, but she’s done quite a few.) Rick was hilarious, and all three of them were VERY humble and personable. You could tell they all appreciated each other so much. Watching Meryl and Mamie interact was great too- and we managed to not ask them “how was it working as mother and daughter?” since I’m sure they’ve been asked that a million times over. We didn’t need to ask, we could tell they got along well and had fun together.
There were many great questions asked- the mommy blogger community is filled with serious professional journalists, I swear! Here are a few of my favorite questions and answers:
“Did you have any sort of say in the songs you got to sing in the movie? Rick: “Yea a little. I think they were good choices. When I first heard some of the songs I’m going… Really? But once we played them.. and they allowed us to arrange the songs too, which was great, we all had a say in how the songs were arranged, it really worked for the band and for the whole story and they’re almost perfect songs in the end.”
“Clearly, you were a very different parent in real life than the woman you portrayed, how hard was that to play someone who did the opposite of probably what you would do?” Meryl: “Ah… that’s what acting is. That’s why we like it. Because it takes us out of what we know and what we feel, and puts it into the life of someone else and animates… and you get to know what it’s like to walk in someone elses shoes, to live that life… for me it’s like therapy. It’s like understanding something about other people and about myself, and I love it and need it, for that reason.” Mamie: “One piece of advice that my mom… she… her… (points to Meryl) gave me is to always defend your character, who you’re playing… The worst thing you can do is judge who you are playing because thats counterproductive. This does happen. People do leave home, they leave their families, and you need to try and understand why they felt they had to do that.”
“What was your favorite life lesson that came from the movie?” Meryl: “…. you stumped us cold, babe. Well, I spend a lot of time saying ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…’ and I really like that Ricki just says ‘You know what, I’m not sorry. I am who I am, I can’t stop being that. But I found some… I don’t know if it was a life lesson, I’m so old, am I going to get one now? But I felt there was something real in that, freeing in being that kind of person that doesn’t say sorry.” Rick: “I think I learned to bring your A-game when you’re opposite Meryl Streep, or your dead. Also, don’t throw away old guitars.”
“The music in this film was all performed live which was pretty unusual, and I would love to hear your thoughts on not only the experience of performing it, but the energy that performing it live brought to the set?” Meryl: “It was fun… More fun than anything I’ve ever done, no question. And it’s also a privilege. To step into something that people do really, really, really well… and pretend that you can hold your own. That was amazing.” Rick: “It felt great. From the very beginning. We’d know the take was cut when Jonathon would come spinning and dancing on the dance floor while we were still playing. We jammed in-between takes. It was a blast.”
One funny interaction that Meryl and Mamie had was when asked what Mamie had taught Meryl in her life, they laughed that she tries to teach her about make-up and fashion, and Meryl said “Like, I would comb my hair. As smooth. Because I don’t know that thats the thing now. (Points to Mamie’s hair) Mamie: “No, you need texture. We’re still working on it.”
I also enjoyed learning that Mamie used to put on shows for the family, and they’d have to sit and watch a seemingly endless “show”, and when they tried to get up Mamie would yell “It’s not over yet!” When asked about growing up in her moms spotlight, Mamie said that she felt she grew up pretty far out of the spotlight, and that in fact she was her own spotlight. Obviously destined to be an actress from day one.
This experience was once in a lifetime, and I can’t say enough for how wonderful the cast was in person and how much I loved the film. Stay tuned for my review of the movie as a whole!