In Jonathan Demme’s upcoming movie Ricki and the Flash, Meryl Streep plays “Ricki Randazzo, the frontwoman of a cover band who abandoned her three children to chase her rock and roll dreams.” Being frontwoman of a cover band means Meryl will be singing covers of classic songs. Twelve of them, to be exact. Twelve classic songs, including Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” sung by the original Queen of Dragons, Mary Louise Streep.
The dozen covers were all recorded in front of a live audience. “We didn’t use playback,” Demme says. “We’re not sweetening it up on the soundtrack. It’s performance! I have to say with our band – I shouldn’t say it, but I want to say what I feel in my heart – Ricki and the Flash blow away every original.”
There are living, breathing people who have watched Meryl Streep on stage, singing “Rah rah ah ah ah, roma ro ma ma, Gaga ooh la la!” And they presumably did so without bursting into billions of little pieces.
The director says Streep prepared for the role of a leather-clad rock star by practicing guitar for six months. And the three-time Oscar-winner’s commitment was so intense, she even suffered bodily harm. “She goes, ‘Jonathan, look! Blood!’,” Demme says. “Meryl had shred so fiercely, a little blood had spattered on her baby blue dress.”
“Jonathan, look! Blood!” will be followed next winter by, “Jonathan, look! A Golden Globe nomination!” which will then lead to, “Jonathan, look! An Oscar nomination!” and, eventually, “Jonathan, look! A Grammy!”
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