Blame that horror show.
Meryl Streep has revealed that she was “terrified” at the thought of working with Ryan Murphy on The Prom.
The beloved actress stars in the upcoming Netflix adaptation of the critically-acclaimed Broadway musical as Dee Dee Allen, a narcissistic, Tony Award-winning entertainer.
To help repair her public image, she and three other struggling actors – played by James Corden, Nicole Kidman and Andrew Rannells – travel to a conservative town in Indiana to help a lesbian student who has been banned from bringing her girlfriend to prom.
Although she wanted to work with Murphy for years, Streep admitted to press: “I was a Ryan Murphy fan, but I was also terrified of Ryan Murphy because of American Horror Story.
“I was pulled to it in its scariness and it was beautiful, horrible, grotesque and something very, very true. So I knew he had a sharp eye for what’s really scary in life.”
The star continued to say that she was “unprepared for the joy he brings to the work” and that she “loved” the experience.
“I feel the same as James [Corden] that we were in on the birth of two gigantic careers with Ariana [DeBose] and Jo Ellen [Pellman],” she added. “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.”
The Prom’s star-studded cast also includes newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman, Ariana DeBose, Keegan-Michael Key, Kerry Washington, Kevin Chamberlin, Sofia Deler, Logan Riley Hassel, Mary Kay Place, Nathaniel J. Potvin, Nico Greetham and Tracey Ullman.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy said the film was a “healing” process for him because of his own personal high school prom.
“I didn’t have that. If only I would have had this feeling of acceptance and belonging, how different my life would have been,” he explained. “I went to my junior prom and the next day my parents took me to a psychiatrist to cure me.
“Thankfully, I had a really good shrink, who at the end of our several sessions called my parents in and said, “You have a choice here: You can try and change him and lose him, or you can accept him and love him.”
“I was very blessed. When I went to my senior prom, I had been through that but I still took a girlfriend because I wasn’t allowed to come in with my fellow. The prom is very emotional for me, as you can tell.”
Pellman said the film will show LGBTQ+ kids across the world that “they are worthy of a big, joyous happy ending,” adding: “There are people out there, who you might not even know yet, who can’t wait to love you and support you.”
The Prom will be released 11 December on Netflix – watch the first trailer below.