After the gigantic success of the musical dramedy series Glee, producer and filmmaker Ryan Murphy has gone all out with The Prom, an exuberant Netflix musical that features some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. In a press conference for the film, Meryl Streep revealed she was under the impression she would not have to dance too much, based on her knowledge of the Broadway play which inspired the film. But the actress turned out to be sorely mistaken.
"I'm the oldest person in the cast and I have the most dancing, which didn't make sense to me. I noticed that the leading lady didn't do a lot of dancing [in the Broadway show], so I was very encouraged [Laughs]. And all hell broke loose when I got to Los Angeles and they laid out for me what it was. So it was a lot of dancing and I got in shape. It's a lot of stamina and, man, it was hard work, but it was really, really fun."
The Prom tells the story of a group of fading Broadway stars who decide to take up the cause of a student in Indiana who has been banned from attending her prom with her girlfriend. The self-absorbed stars quickly make the student's problem all about themselves, until they come to realize the importance of putting the needs of the student before theirs, through a series of energetic song-and-dance numbers, as is the case with musicals. For Ryan Murphy, making The Prom was a deeply personal experience.
"The thing that was interesting to me is the heroine is from Indiana, where she is denied going to her prom, and halfway through the musical, I realized that was my experience. I'm from Indiana and I was not allowed to go to my prom. So it became a very personal thing for me. And I just thought it had so much joy and optimism and it was about something, and yet it was also just fun."
The Prom is a bit of a departure from tradition for Meryl Streep, who is best known for her dramatic roles, even though she has proven she can shake a leg with the best of them in Mamma Mia!. For her latest musical Streep was paired opposite comedy star Keegan-Michael Key, who was thrilled with the opportunity his role provided, especially in the romance department.
"When you're a kid in theater school, and you're 22 years old, if your future self came back and said, 'I just want to know that in 2020, you're going to be kissing Meryl Streep, you're going to be Meryl Streep's love interest in a movie.' You'd just be like, 'Get out of here, lying demon. You're not real!' So it was exhilarating [...] and I was waiting for it the entire shoot."
Directed by Ryan Murphy and starring Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Ariana DeBose, Jo Ellen Pellman, and Kerry Washington, The Prom premieres Friday, December 11 on Netflix. This news originated at ComicBookResources.