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Meryl Streep’s Eccentric Socialite Comedy ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ Begins Filming

Meryl Streep's Eccentric Socialite Comedy 'Florence Foster Jenkins' Begins Filming

After belting out Swedish pop in “Mamma Mia!,” show tunes in “Into the Woods” and rock in the upcoming “Ricki and the Flash,” Meryl Streep will turn to opera in the period comedy “Florence Foster Jenkins,” which began principal photography yesterday. 

Though Streep took opera lessons during childhood, the three-time Oscar winner won’t have to transform herself into the next incarnation of Renee Fleming for her latest film. That’s because Streep’s character, Florence Foster Jenkins, was never very talented — though she was convinced that she was. 

Jenkins was a young piano prodigy, but the musicality in her fingers didn’t translate to her voice box. She gave her first singing performance at the age of 44 and was convinced that the audience laughter during her arias were “hoodlums… planted by her rivals.” The socialite, who died in 1944 at age 76, steadily gained notoriety over the years for her annual concerts, culminating in a sold-out Carnegie Hall recital that eventually earned her heaps of mockery. 

Rebecca Ferguson and Nina Arianda will co-star in the film, as will Hugh Grant, who will play Jenkins’ common-law husband St. Clair Bayfield. 

Here’s the PR description of the film: 

 
“Florence Foster Jenkins” is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great opera singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her “husband” and manager, St Clair Bayfield, an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944, St Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.

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