Meryl’s Progeny: Mamie Gummer

Photo: Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan

Imagine being an actress and having Meryl Streep for your mother. Then imagine starring in the same movie as her, an adaptation of Susan Minot’s Evening, and playing the same character, a sweet fifties blue blood. Sara Cardace spoke with Mamie Gummer, 23, about the experience.

How did you and your mother come to be in Evening together?
I was cast before she was, I’ll say that.

You must have had a conversation with her: “Is this a good idea?”
We did, but it was brief. Basically, it was, “You know, fuck it. Why the hell not?”

Did you always want to be an actor?
Yeah, despite my better judgment. When I was 6, I did plays in the living room and the bathroom was my dressing room. I would hold court and sign autographs. I [acted] all through high school, and it had to have meant something because it’s sort of social suicide to do theater in high school. My friends would come to shows and shout things like, “Goody Proctor’s a fox!” It’s The Crucible, my husband’s being hanged, and there’s the football team.

Did you work with your mother much on set?
We play the same person. So, time-space limitations didn’t really allow for that.

Okay, but would you be interested in actually working with her in the future?
In the distant future, maybe. Waaaaay down the line.

June 29

Meryl’s Progeny: Mamie Gummer