Ricki and the Flash is a film about a woman who left her family to pursue her rock and roll stardom dreams but now has a chance to reconnect. This must-see Meryl Streep movie (as are all of Ms. Streep's movies) has an amazing cast, soundtrack, and behind the scenes backstory.
Here are 5 things you might not have known about Ricki and the Flash:
1. Mother/Daughter co-stars
Meryl Streep and daughter Mamie Gummer beautifully played mother daughter on screen. According to a press conference that NYCsinglemom attended:
Demme [director of Ricki and the Flash] insisted the mother and daughter not talk outside of their scenes. It is quite obvious by their joking during the press conference that the pair are very much at ease with each other but Ms. Gummer rises to the acting occasion being totally enraged and angry at the first sight of her mom when she appears out of nowhere after years away.
2. The Flash
The on-screen band, the Flash to Meryl Streep's Ricki, is compiled of real life rock stars. The lead guitarist, and Streep's character's love interest, is played by Rick Springfield (popularly known for the No. 1 hit Jessie's Girl). The keyboardist is played by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bernie Worrell. Joe Vitale, former Eagles' road band member, plays the drums and the bassist is played by the late Rick "The Bass Player" Rosas who's played with acts such as Neil Young and Joe Walsh.
3. '68 SG
Not only does Rick Springfield appear in the film, but so does his '68 SG guitar.
In the film, Rick Springfield’s character Greg plays a ’68 SG and in real life so does Springfield. In fact, Springfield wrote Jessie’s Girl on the same 68SG featured in the movie. (Source.)
4. Terry Cieri
While the film is fiction, the character Ricki is loosely based on screenplay writer Diablo Cody's mother-in-law Terry Cieri. According to Cody, when she first saw Cieri performing on stage she immediately thought of a screenplay.
“I think it was a few years later [actually] that I started writing it,” Cody says. “That’s when I thought, ‘You know, this character Ricki has been bouncing around in my head. Ricki is obviously a fictional creation—Terry never abandoned her children—but that inspiration was there. And I thought, ‘O.K., what are some of the consequences that a woman like this might have to deal with in her life?’ And that is where the idea of her being estranged from her adult children came from.” (Source.)
A fun addition to the film was that:
Cieri also got a cameo—appearing briefly during a scene in which Streep and her band perform “Let’s Work Together.” (Source.)
5. Meryl Streep's Dedication
Meryl Streep recorded 12 cover songs and spent at least 6 months working on her guitar playing skills.
Streep performed in front of a live audience and no playback was used to enhance her vocals. (Source.)
Demme reveals that the actress was so committed to playing her instrument that she ended up hurting herself:
She goes, ‘Jonathan, look! Blood!’ Meryl had shred so fiercely, a little blood had spattered on her baby blue dress. (Source.)
If there was any doubt about Meryl Streep's awesomeness (personally, I don't know how there could be) this has to negate it. She is so dedicated to her roles and will do just about anything to achieve authenticity!