Reimagine the magic of Broadway with The Prom.
The musical romantic comedy directed by Ryan Murphy is based on the Broadway musical of the same title. Ryan Murphy took on the challenge of bringing Broadway to downtown Los Angeles and reminding everyone of the magic of prom and the beauty of equality. The Knockturnal was able to attend the virtual premiere and panel.
In the film, four broadway actors decide to take on the task of changing the world: “one lesbian at a time.” After the realization of their declining approval and fame, the four actors decide to rebrand themselves as humanitarians because “nobody likes a narcissist.” They decide to take on the challenge of fighting against bigotry in the small town of Edgewater, Indiana. Teen Emma wants to take her girlfriend to the prom, however, due to an enraged and hostile PTA, the possibility of an inclusive prom seems impossible. Emma shows the struggles of “being gay in Indiana.” For Ryan Murphy, the play spoke to him. Murphy, who is from Indianapolis, related to the character of Emma and the story of The Prom. In Ryan’s own words :
“I think that the reason that it spoke to me was I wish when I was young I had a film like this to see…Searching for community a place to belong I just loved that the musical was actually about something it was about the fight to be seen and to be included in the conversation”
The film’s ensemble not only mirrors one of a Broadway production but is star-studded. The film stars Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, Keegan Michael Key, James Corden, Ariana DeBose, Andrew Rannells, and newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman.
For the cast, one of the greatest experiences of working on the film wasn’t just the beautiful and inclusive story of The Prom, but the opportunity to work with Meryl Streep. Keegan Michael Key said:
“I am doing this with the greatest actor of the generation.”
Key goes on to compare Meryl to football legend Tom Brady further cementing her status of being one of the greatest actors in history.
For Meryl Streep, her depiction of Dee Dee Allen might feel familiar or similar to another diva she has played in the past. “It was such a stretch playing someone so vain. I don’t know where I pulled it from. I am all of those things, probably, but I am not a diva, those are big shoes for me. I loved playing someone who walks in and thinks she owns the room.”
For Kerry Washington, the actress took on the challenge of reshaping the idea of who and what a protagonist should be.
“I don’t want her to be a stereotypical bad guy. It’s so easy for us to judge and say you’re a bad mom. I really loved finding that and bringing some additional duality.”
Through the humanization of her character, audiences will find themselves rooting for Mrs.Greene’s growth instead of her downfall.
James Corden discussed the joy experienced by the cast:
“It was astonishingly good fun because the great thing about Ryan is that he knows exactly what he wants but he gives you great license.”
The fun and the joy experienced onset can be felt by audiences around the world. The Prom has the power to bring joy and happiness to the world while also working against homophobia.