Monday night was Mamie Gummer’s birthday, and the actress had a lot to celebrate. It was also the world premiere of her newest film, “Ricki and the Flash,” in which she costars with a very familiar figure — her own mother, Meryl Streep.
“I’ve been working with my daughter for 32 years,” a beaming Streep noted. “Finally I had somebody who directed her and she listened to.” (That “somebody” happened to be the revered and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme.)
Marisa Tomei, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Tune, Laverne Cox, Pat Cleveland, Prabal Gurung, Wes Gordon and Grace Gummer, another Streep scion, joined the cast for the world premiere of the film at AMC Lincoln Square theater.
Mamie Gummer and Streep portray a mother-daughter duo on screen, with Streep playing the titular role of Ricki, an aging rocker mom who left her family behind to chase her dreams of being a musician. She returns to town after her grown daughter Julie — played by Gummer — goes through a sudden divorce, causing her to lash out.
Streep was floored by her daughter’s portrayal.
“I was blown away. I’m not objective — I think she’s fantastic,” Streep admitted. “But I think other people have corroborated that.” Streep was also playing the part of democratic mother: “I’m very proud of all my children,” the mother-of-four stressed. “It’s not just her. I’ve got some stars at home, too.”
Gummer elaborated about the unique dynamic of acting with her mother onscreen. “The characters are so far from who we are, so that [dynamic] wasn’t as strange as one would think,” she said. “We were greatly aided by the fact that there were these indisputable traits that I’ve inherited. There was a shorthand in terms of that.”
Streep also got a rave, but from a different costar — pop legend Rick Springfield, who continues his acting career as Ricki’s bandmate and lover.
“I don’t think [Streep] really needed to play the guitar as well as she did, because the character was so powerful,” Springfield said. “But she did. She killed it.” That’s high praise from the man responsible for “Jessie’s Girl.”