'The Prom': Was Ryan Murphy scared of Meryl Streep? Filmmaker says he was terrified to say 'let's try it again'
In a Netflix interview, Murphy revealed a bit more in the production but also spoke of his experience directing his first musical feature film
Spoilers for 'The Prom'
Ryan Murphy is back with a new Netflix-original film, 'The Prom'. All set to premiere on Friday, December 11, 2020, the 55-year-old — known for his shows such as 'American Horror Story' and 'Glee' — will spill magic in the film adaptation of the Tony-nominated Broadway production (of the same name) that debuted in 2016. As reported, the story is an "original concept" by Jack Viertel with a book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, with music by Matthew Sklar, and lyrics by Beguelin.
The star-studded cast headlines Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman and Andrew Rannells. Wondering what happens in the movie? The official synopsis of 'The Prom' reads, "Dee Dee Allen (three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (Tony Award winner James Corden) are New York City stage stars with a crisis on their hands: their expensive new Broadway show is a major flop that has suddenly flatlined their careers. Meanwhile, in small-town Indiana, high school student Emma Nolan (newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman) is experiencing a very different kind of heartbreak: despite the support of the high school principal (Keegan-Michael Key), the head of the PTA (Kerry Washington) has banned her from attending the prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa (Ariana DeBose). When Dee Dee and Barry decide that Emma's predicament is the perfect cause to help resurrect their public images, they hit the road with Angie (Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman) and Trent (Andrew Rannells), another pair of cynical actors looking for a professional lift. But when their self-absorbed celebrity activism unexpectedly backfires, the foursome find their own lives upended as they rally to give Emma a night where she can truly celebrate who she is."
In a Netflix interview, Murphy revealed a bit more in the production but also spoke of his experience directing his first musical feature film. He dished on how there were two things that were "most difficult". After jokingly saying that since this was the first time he was directed Streep, he was terrified to say "let's try it again," he said that one of the things that were difficult was the "tone of it [film]". The tone he said is very "unusual" because the characters from Broadway are being intertwined with "small-town heart" - "I tried to always remember that this is an emotional story and I wanted to stay rooted to the heart of it."
He also revealed that the other scary thing was that the opening is on the streets of Broadway. Murphy revealed that there are two musical numbers that take place in the middle of the street and so the set was built on an "abandoned four-acre lot in Downtown Los Angeles" after production designer Jamie Walker McCall went to NYC and "studied the street where everything is set".
"We built Broadway. It took six months and it was the most amazing thing to walk onto that set," said Murphy who also revealed that Streep "gasped in delight and surprise," at the result. The director said that "getting that right" helped the actors feel like it's real. He said that the week after they had shot 500 people dancing for a number, the production shut down due to the virus and then quarantine was mandatory for 2 months. "We thought it was important for the movie to come out for the holidays," said Murphy and the team ended up working with epidemiologists that helped them with protocols to finish the film.
Catch 'The Prom' on Netflix on Friday, December 11, 2020. You can watch the trailer below.