Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and the rest of The Prom's star-studded cast on making a teen's dream come true

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Nicole Kidman plays a down-on-her-luck actress Angie Dickinson, in the star-studded, edgy musical The Prom on Netflix. (PHOTO: Netflix)
Nicole Kidman plays a down-on-her-luck actress Angie Dickinson, in the star-studded, edgy musical The Prom on Netflix. (PHOTO: Netflix)

GLITZ & GLAM

Out-and-proud lesbian high-schooler Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) is not allowed to take her girlfriend to the end-of-year dance, thanks to the controlling, conservative and buzz-kill parent-teacher association head, Mrs Greene (Kerry Washington). 

Emma’s plea for permission to attend the prom reaches the ears of over-the-top Broadway stars Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (James Corden) whose star power has dimmed, along with that of their acting mates, Angie Dickinson (Nicole Kidman) and Trent Oliver (Andrew Rannells). 

The four actors then make it their mission, with some help from the school’s principal, Hawkins (Keegan-Michael Key), to host an all-inclusive glitzy “prom of their dreams” for Emma. Emma is now thrust into the spotlight of LGBTQ activism along with her secret girlfriend, Alyssa (Ariana DeBose), who also happens to be the daughter of Mrs Greene, and their classmates.

Host of The Late Late Show, James Corden, who’s no stranger to singing and musicals after starring in last year’s adaptation of Cats, had this to share about the film: “I hope so much that anybody out there watching it realises that acceptance is everything, to be accepting of who someone is and who they are and what their heart might desire. That is a glorious message to try and share with people.”

Hollywood icon Meryl Streep and The Late Late Show
Hollywood icon Meryl Streep and The Late Late Show host James Corden in a scene from the film. (PHOTO: Netflix)

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

The Prom is an adaptation of composer Matthew Sklar’s 2018 Broadway musical of the same name, which gained seven Tony award nominations. The musical’s co-writer, Chad Beguelin, said the story was inspired by many real-life instances of gay kids being banned from their proms. 

“[Producer Jack Viertel] had seen several instances where, you know, same-sex couples were banned from their prom,” Chad said. “The depressing thing is they keep happening. Every once in a while a few months will go by and then someone will email us another, you know, high school that decided that no gays or lesbians can come to the prom. It’s sad that it still happens.”

Director Ryan Murphy (front, second from left) wit
Director Ryan Murphy (front, second from left) with the cast of The Prom which includes Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington and James Corden. (PHOTO: Netflix)

REAL-LIFE & RELATABLE 

The film echoes director Ryan Murphy’s real-life experiences that left him feeling like “an alien, an outsider”, growing up gay in Indiana, in the US, and not being able to take a date to prom.

“The Prom is for anyone who ever felt like an outsider, and for anyone who just wants to be their authentic self – which I think is a universal conceit,” he shared on Instagram. Ryan, a seven-time Emmy winner, is also behind popular series Nip/Tuck; Glee; American Horror Story; and, most recently, Ratched, on Netflix.

“I have to say I was unprepared for the joy he [Ryan] brings to the work and the love and the size of that. I loved this experience making this film,” Meryl shared. “I was unprepared for his big-hearted gesture of this piece. It’s how attached he is to try and get the truth of something, but he’s unafraid of the great big gesture and that’s what this is. 

“It’s just a big embrace and, boy, do we need it right at this time of the world.” 

SOURCES: OPRAHMAG.COM, DIGITALSPY.COM, USATODAY.COM, DECIDER.COM

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