If you’re looking for a fun movie to watch this weekend, check out Meryl Streep’s “Ricki and The Flash.” In an original and electrifying film loaded with live musical performances, Streep stars as Ricki Rendazzo, a guitar heroine who made a world of mistakes as she followed her dreams of rock-and-roll stardom. Returning home, Ricki gets a shot at redemption and a chance to make things right as she faces the music with her family. Streep stars opposite her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer; Rick Springfield, portraying a Flash member in love with Ricki; Kevin Kline as Ricki’s ex-husband; and Audra McDonald as Kline’s new wife. Read what some of the stars told us on the red carpet on Aug. 3.
Shaina Moskowitz: So you were the drummer in the film. So how was it working with Meryl Streep?
Joe Vitale: I love her in movies anyway, and then all of a sudden I’m in a band with her, it’s pretty remarkable. Exciting that she brought such an energy and professionalism to it, and you know the first day of rehearsal is like any day of rehearsal of what I do for a living with bands and stuff. We showed up and rehearsed for two weeks like any band before a tour. Except we were shooting a major film with Meryl Streep and the likes. Rick Springfield I love, Rick Springfield is a “Beatle nut” he knows every Beatle song so in between filming we would play Beatle songs and the whole cast and crew enjoyed it.
SM: Is this your first time being a drummer in a film?
JV: It is, I’ve done many videos, rock and roll videos but nothing like this. This is a full on, you know, but thank God I didn’t have to do too much acting, just had to be a drummer you know.
SM: How was it like working with Meryl Streep and the entire cast?
Rick Springfield: It was a great experience, couldn’t have asked for a better one. First time back in movies and it was really incredible.
SM: Were you surprised by Meryl and her acting chops?
RS: She brought it, totally brought it. Incredibly great stuff and it’s all live. Everything you hear, we’ve all done on the set.
SM: You just played the whole thing through tell me about the experience.
RS: Jonathan wanted it played live. He didn’t want any over dubbing or any lip-syncing. He wanted an actor who could really play guitar. The other musicians are incredible and we rehearsed for two weeks and got it up on its feet and worked out all the arrangements. Showtime came and we had to do it.
SM: What’s next for you?
RS: I’m going out on the road for a short tour. I have a new record coming out, my eighteenth studio album, at the beginning of next year.
SM: What surprised you about working with Meryl?
RS: She was so gracious. I knew she was incredibly talented but she is so gracious and open. She pulls you in as an actor. It’s amazing.
SM: What song did you enjoy performing in the film?
RS: “American Girl,” I love that song and it was fun to play and I think we killed it.
SM: What do you do everyday that makes you happy?
RS: I meditate and then I have a glass of wine.