Hi Reddit, this is Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant and we’re here to answer your questions! Catch our new film, Florence Foster Jenkins in theaters this Friday, August 12! You can watch the trailer here


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Meryl: Thanks for tuning in! Or whatever it is you're doing and I'm so glad you didn't fall asleep while we were talking!

Hugh: Yeah, very kind of you to take an interest at all. Now go back to work.

Comments: 1707 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

The_Iceman22881916 karma

Meryl - would you be up for playing Batman?

FFJMovie2554 karma

Meryl: Definitely! Boom. Yes.

OminousOrganMusic1727 karma

Hugh - About how often does "PoP Goes My Heart" PoP into your head? For me, it's all the time and I don't know why.

FFJMovie4058 karma

Hugh: I like to perform PoP Goes My Heart with all the dance moves every morning and every evening, with my children. It's our little routine it's like The Sound of Music. If they don't do it I beat them.

Meryl: Oh that will go around the world.

SwankChipmunk41117 karma

1) Meryl Streep - would you actually accept a role playing Hillary Clinton?

2)Hugh Grant - Would you accept a role playing Hillary Clinton?

FFJMovie2651 karma

Meryl: For me...probably we should let Hillary play the role she was destined to play all by herself first.

Hugh: I would love to. From the age of 5 to 18 I played almost exclusively female roles.

Meryl: Is that true?

Hugh: Yea because I went to an all boys school.

Meryl: Because you were so pretty probably.

Hugh: I was pretty and undeveloped.

Meryl: Incurable!

Hugh; In many ways ravishing in dresses. And I miss those days. So yea, I would welcome that part.

Meryl: Go for it.

SinSmithy1115 karma

Hugh have you ever wished you could be James Bond?

FFJMovie2229 karma

Hugh: Not so much in the films, but in real life, very much so.

Meryl: You've achieved it!

Hugh: Yeah well, it's harder these days.

Meryl: You’re a racecar drive, and you're elegant.

Hugh: Well, whenever I'm in Monte Carlo, I always go to the casino, and say, "banco" and "swivy" just like Bond. The fact that they don't actually play those games anymore spoils it slightly. There's mainly fruit machines. But guys say "banco" and "swivy" to everyone.

Chtorrr1037 karma

Is a hotdog a sandwich?

FFJMovie2620 karma

Hugh: I had a very unhappy experience with Nathan's hotdogs.

Meryl: Last night you had a hotdog.

Hugh: I had one last night, I got so hungry at the premier. Which I paid for myself.

Meryl: Only the best.

Hugh: I was filming Two Weeks Notice in Coney Island, and someone told me Nathan's hotdogs were famous. What they didn't tell me is you should only have one. I had seven.

Meryl: Seven?

Hugh: I was unable to return to the set after, because of the condition of my innards. I had a makeup artist from Brooklyn who did not mince her words. She said, "Oh my god, did it blow your ass out?"

Meryl: It's really a lovely story. I want to return to that, over and over.

Meryl: Is a hotdog a sandwich? Well with a bun, yes. Without a bun, no. It's a canapé.

HenroTee966 karma

For Meryl: let's be honest here, you use at least one of your oscars as a door stop right? :P

Serious question though, after so many wins and nominations, do you still get excited for the oscars whenever you get nominated?

FFJMovie1603 karma

Meryl: Of course I do, of course I do. I am a human being, and also I'm sort of in a category of person that is usually out to pasture at this point in their career. A woman and over 60, so it's a miracle. When I get invited back, and I fully am delighted, because it's those nominations come from other actors, they don't come from everybody else, they just come from the people who know what it is. So that's cool.

Any door stops? or are they on a shelf?

Meryl: No, but, no. they are not door stops. but they are not consistently and beautifully stored, I must say. The housekeeping at my house leaves something to be desired to say the least.

The_Real_Roberts834 karma

Mr Grant:

How did you become so very, very charming?

Is it like a thing you can turn on and off, or must you be utterly swoon-inducing in an endearingly self-deprecating way at all times?

FFJMovie1862 karma

Meryl: He turns it off often.

Hugh: Dead right. It is entirely phony, put on- switched on just for the occasion.

Meryl: Bullshit, it is not.

Hugh: No it is, I'm awful. Three quarters of my life I'm hungover, grumpy, and a miserable bastard.

Meryl: But you're perfectly balanced because then you effervesce seemingly effortlessly. And it's a thing a person can't manufacture. You either have that or you don't. You have charm or you don't.

rickthecabbie822 karma

Whom would you have play the role of you in a film about your life?

How much do you love Prof. Brian Cox?

FFJMovie1769 karma

Meryl: Hugh Grant.

Hugh: Colin Firth, obviously. I know it's the role he wants more than anything.

Meryl: He's turned it down over and over again.

Hugh: I love Brian very much. u/rickthecabbie may be him. It may be a trick question.

thoughts-from-alex690 karma

How do you both approach roles that are based on true stories? Do you feel any sort of responsibility towards maintaining historical accuracy, or do you feel it's more important to ensure the film is entertaining?

FFJMovie1113 karma

Hugh: Good question. Personally, I think the job is to make it entertaining, and that you mine the history for whatever is useful to making a character entertain and move people. And then you just hope that that character isn't alive, or any of their relations, in case they get angry!

Meryl: I've played a lot of characters who really existed, and some who still exist, or existed when I was playing them. Yes, you feel a special responsibility to get as much as you can right about the essence of the person. You can't replicate another human being, nor would you want to. And inevitably, how movies are made and how dramas are made, distorts to make a dramatic point. But sometimes the dramatic point lands on the truth more clearly than documentaries, so, that's cool.

Fuck-You-Dave620 karma

What is your favourite type of cheese?

FFJMovie2233 karma

Meryl: Well my favorite is really really sharp, extra sharp, aged cheddar cheese.

Hugh: I recently discovered the stuff that comes out of tube in america. What's it called?

Meryl: Velveeta?

Hugh: Delicious.

Meryl: Oh you really--

Hugh: Unmatchable.

Meryl: You're lying.

Hugh: Almost as good as a Nathan's hot dog. Particularly when squeezed directly into the mouth I think.

Meryl: That's far enough.

sak0711546 karma

What movie have you watched more times than any other?

FFJMovie1189 karma

Hugh: I think for me, it's Four Weddings and a Funeral. It's just so charming.

Meryl: For me, The Godfather.

Hugh: I agree. Or Goodfellows maybe, for me.

Meryl: No, no contest.

Hugh: Really? Well, I disagree.

Meryl: I mean I love Goodfellows and I love Nick Palleggi, but no, it's The Godfather, 1 and 2.

chasethewater521 karma

What is your favorite thing about working with one another?

FFJMovie1568 karma

Hugh: Well, Meryl raised my game, for sure she raised my game. It's like playing tennis with Roger Federer.

Meryl: Oh my god. Well, I'm just not into the sports analogy. We had a fight about that last night. To me it was a surprise because...even though I'm an actor, I think I know how people work and what the process is that they go through to get what they've done. So from the films that I'd seen of Hugh's where everybody falls in love immediately when he comes on screen, and it's an indefinable thing. You don't know what that is or how its created, but you just think, like every other audience member you're in the thrall of it, and you think "Oh, it’s just...that's the way he is. That's just natural. And that's just behavior." But of course it's not. It's acting. And I made the mistake of thinking this will just be an effortless thing. He agonized over everything so much that, you know, there was a lot of everybody soothing him to make him feel it's okay. It's not the biggest piece of crap anybody's ever seen. It's wonderful. You're wonderful. And he is! But it doesn't...he's so demanding and so...analytical. It's analytical I think. It's not neuroses, it's a high level of, to use the sports analogy, aiming at some technical perfection, that you actually own without the agony.

Hugh: I wish you'd told me this before we started shooting. You're very nice.

kkkirstenx511 karma

If there's any advice you could give to your 18 year-old self, what would it be?

FFJMovie1485 karma

Hugh: Don't wear that jumpsuit. I had a girlfriend who decided in 1978 that I should have a jumpsuit, which were quite trendy. But mine was too small from crotch to shoulder especially after it had been in the washing machine, so I had to go around with a slight stoop and all the dye ran. I remember when I took it off I was bright blue. It was a mistake. We all made mistakes.

Meryl: I'm picturing that, and it's such a beautiful thing. Jumpsuits for men are always so difficult when you get to that one area.

Meryl: Ok so me. I would say, don't smoke.

Hugh: When was your last cigarette?

Meryl: Uh two days ago.

Hugh: Oh I see.

Meryl: No I'm kidding, but yeah, I did smoke in college and as a young actor and it's stupid.

thoughts-from-alex447 karma

Are there any particular historical figures you'd like to play? Or events you're interested in, which you'd like to see adapted into a movie?

FFJMovie1230 karma

Hugh: I think we could do Adam and Eve.

Meryl: Haha yeah, we could do a revisionist Adam and Eve. Because I think that story has been sourced sort of incorrectly.

Hugh: It's not a feminist tale.

Meryl: Like who came from who. The rib of Adam? Oh really? Talk about reversing the order of events.

Hugh: We'd look nice in our fig leaves, wouldn't we?

Meryl: Yes haha. Well you would.

Hugh: Let's set it up. Come on Paramount.

inheee421 karma

In the film, Florence Foster Jenkins says that Carnegie Hall is her favourite place in the whole world. I would like to ask Meryl and Hugh if they have any particular place they love to return to because it has a special meaning to them? Thank you!

FFJMovie1143 karma

Meryl: Well there's a hammock lakeside that I'm dreaming of and I'm thwarted by from returning to it, but I can't wait to be there, my favorite place.

Hugh: The womb.

OldLadyHazley400 karma

How does it feel to be the inspiration and role models to other, well accomplished, actors/ actresses?

FFJMovie704 karma

Meryl: Daunting. It does. But I know what people meant to me when I was coming up. I know that certain actors and actresses really meant a lot. And so I get it. But I feel...yeah...I feel not up to the job sometimes. Every time out is kind of terrifying like it is for you, but I guess I'm an example that in spite of your terror you can continue.

_Cotton_Teeth357 karma

Who are your favorite directors to work with?

FFJMovie922 karma

Hugh: Well, I like any director who's complementary to me. That's the only quality I need, is someone who just tells me I'm marvelous. I can't think of any other purpose for a director. Can you Meryl?

Meryl: I always like the directors that haven't asked me to dance yet, you know? But no, I loved working with Mike Nichols most especially and Sidney Pollack.

Xomad317 karma

Which of you had the most fun on set?

FFJMovie1214 karma

Meryl: Me haha.

Hugh: I think that's true, I've never had any fun on a set.

Meryl: He's in agony.

Hugh: I'm a miserable presence and I like to make other people miserable too if I possibly can.

Graphitetshirt302 karma

Meryl, where might one buy that shirt you wore to the DNC? Just..... curious

FFJMovie693 karma

Meryl: Oh, it's not a shirt, it's a dress. So if you're a girl, you can buy it from Catherine Malandrino. If you're a fella, you can too I guess!

illusive000299 karma

When did you realize the desire to be an actor was a legitimate passion to pursue?

FFJMovie1026 karma

Meryl: Probably the third year of graduate school in acting, I realized that. After I slept through the law boards, the tests that you're going to take, because I was sure I should give up, and do something more meaningful, and measurably helpful in the world. But, I took it as a sign; I slept through the test. I spent a lot of money on the application fee, and had a late performance and a lot of beer the night before, and boom! Missed it. So, you know.

Hugh: Well, it was my triumphant success as Brigitta Von Trapp, the third daughter of the Von Trapp family in a school play when I was about 14. I wore a white dress with a blue satin sash, and I had a very funny line, and I got a big laugh. I realized this was my destiny.

Meryl: Irresistible, isn't it? Big laughs.

Hugh: Yeah!

pm_me_anything_funny267 karma

I love both of you and will be watching the movie. These questions are for Meryl Streep ( sorry Hugh Grant)

What more can be done to have more character roles for women in the industry?

You're an institution, are you ever planning to teach/train/mentor other actors?

Would you consider making a movie with Netflix? I think Netflix does provide a better platform for storytelling.

FFJMovie474 karma

Meryl: What more can be done? Well, in the industry I think there are lots of roles now in television, which is where sort of everything is happening, where best writing, the edgiest of programing, most ambitious work, the long-form serial things are very exciting and very friendly to all kinds of women. Movies- lag, and that probably has to do with the hierarchy of who decides what movies are made.

You're an institution, are you ever planning to teach/train/mentor other actors?

Meryl: A crumbling institution. I've been asked to do that at various times and I always come up against a blank wall of "What do I actually know? What's conveyable?" and I kind of wouldn't know what would be on the syllabus, you know? Like how to teach. It's not my skill set, you?

Would you consider making a movie with Netflix? I think Netflix does provide a better platform for storytelling.

Meryl: Sure! I agree with you- do you know anybody there?

mlavan243 karma

How did you guys first find out about the movie? What was your first thought when hearing about it?

FFJMovie674 karma

Meryl: I first found out about it when the director called me up at home and said--I didn't even know he had my phone number--but he said, "This is Stephen Frears," and I said, "Oh! God! I love you!" And he knows I love him, because we almost worked together a couple of times. He said, "I have a film for you," and I said, "Yes, I'll do it. Yes. Definitely yes." He said, "Don't you want to know what it is?" And, he said it was a story about Florence Foster Jenkins, and I had known about her since I was a student, so I was thrilled. The script was great, and I was elated to be employed once again.

Hugh: A similar story, really. To my great surprise, I received a brilliant script through the post from a very classy director, and with Meryl Streep already attached. So that was impossible to say no to him.

inheee195 karma

Meryl, what do you like about shooting films in London and are there any things you don't like about it? How does the experience compare to shooting films in the States?

FFJMovie452 karma

Meryl: I love shooting in London. The last few things I've made, I've made a lot of films in London, most recently. A string of them. Because I guess, the economics are better, for a lot of, productions go there to shoot. What do I like about it? Everything. I like the gardens mostly, the gardens throughout the city, there isn't one unrelieved section of city that doesn't have, within three blocks, a garden. Sort of a miracle.

Hugh: And you like some of our reality shows don't you?

Meryl: Yes, I do like-

Hugh In the Attic, was it?

Meryl: No! I like Grand Designs.

Hugh: Oh "Grand Designs", haha, Unmissable.

Meryl: Unmissable.

Pamelaaciccone181 karma

Hi, Meryl ... You like to meet your fans?

FFJMovie594 karma

Meryl: Do I like to meet my fans? Yes. I don't like to meet the people who don't like my work. The fans I love.

Hugh: On the whole, yes. But there is one who tries to stab me and I'm not so keen on him.

Meryl: Eww…