Mamie Gummer and mama Meryl


I’ve blogged about the movie Evening a couple of times already, and despite my reservations about the treacly trailer, I’m excited to see it tonight. The list of names on the poster still stops me in my tracks. And sometimes it almost worries me — is it really safe to put that many great actresses in one location? Isn’t that just inviting the universe to fold in on itself or something? Luckily, many of them didn’t actually have scenes together, so that allays my concern. Take, for example, Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep: They play the same character (the younger and older versions of her), so they’re not on the screen together.

It must be strange to be Mamie. I mean, Meryl is her mom. What is dinnertime like? “Mom, could you pass the Oscar-winning ketchup?” And what are heart-to-heart talks like? “I need to talk to you about something, but could you not slip into a Polish accent for this conversation, please?”

Nah, I bet Meryl’s a cool mommy. And Mamie’s been getting some attention despite that very long Streep shadow. New York magazine has interviewed her twice recently (excerpts are here and here). Here are my favorite bits:

How did you and your mother come to be in Evening together?

I was cast before she was, I’ll say that.

You must have had a conversation with her: “Is this a good idea?”

We did, but it was brief. Basically, it was, “You know, f— it. Why the hell not?”

What was [filming] like after-hours?

Chowder [laughs]. Lots of chowder. It was like camp! We’d have lots of impromptu dance parties. … [a]lso lots of Scrabble games, which I wouldn’t recommend with a Pulitzer Prize–winning author. You will develop an inferiority complex pretty quick. Michael Cunningham was insane: He utilized two Xs, which are worth I don’t know how many points, in a triple word score! It was really something for the books.

Wait a minute, are there even two Xs in a Scrabble set? Hmm. Maybe it was that new Super Scrabble version. All I know is I’d like to see the footage of Vanessa Redgrave, Toni Collette, Glenn Close and Claire Danes playing Scrabble. How many points is M-I-N-D-B-L-O-W-I-N-G? (Damn, it’s hyphenated.)

In November, Mamie can be seen in Stop Loss, the new film from Kimberley Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry). And here’s something interesting: Mamie also appeared in The House of the Spirits and Heartburn, playing “Clara del Valle as a child” and “Annie as a baby,” respectively. Meryl played the older version of Clara del Valle, but the Annie role in Heartburn was not Meryl’s — clearly Mamie was no one-trick baby. In both films, Mamie was credited as Jane Gray. Guess that’s how Take Your Daughter to Work Day played out in the Gummer household!

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