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Article courtesy the Los Angeles Daily News: Jonathan Demme has won an Oscar and also has directed loads of Academy Award-winning performances. So when another Oscar-winner’s screenplay — Diablo Cody’s Ricki and the Flash — came his way with nomination queen Meryl Streep attached to play the San Fernando Valley cover band frontwoman forced to re-engage with her Midwestern family, it felt about as perfect as movie projects get. “ ‘Ricki’ is a truly original, way-surprising screenplay loaded with emotion, humor, great characters and great gobs of top-rate rock ’n’ roll,” Demme enthuses. “Plus, it didn’t hurt that Meryl Streep was already in line to play Ricki.” Yeah, but did the super actress with the can-do-anything reputation play the music? “You bet she did,” the director reports. “This was a no-playback, in-the-moment shoot. Meryl nailed it. She sings on 10 songs (nine rock covers and one original, written by Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice), while accompanying herself on electric or acoustic guitar. “Meryl is such a versatile and charismatic singer/performer, and her movie band the Flash is kind of an amazing supergroup. A Ricki and the Flash concert film would be a joy to capture and present.”
While 1980s music and soap opera heartthrob Rick Springfield may not own any Oscars, he was right in tune with the project, too. He plays a Flash member who loves Ricki. “Oh my God!” Demme declares. “We can’t stop talking about Rick — the king of rock ’n’ roll, a superb actor and a great guy rolled into one dreamboat package. Can’t wait for this to hit for Rick! Rick and Meryl had electricity from the first time we met. “The irony for Rick here is that in his career, he is a singer first and foremost, and has a fantastic lead guitar player with him on all tours. In ‘Ricki and the Flash,’ Rick takes lead and shreds on the highest of levels — a thrill to see and hear. “And, in ‘Ricki and the Flash,’ no lead vocals, he just sings backup. Hilarious!”