It’s an ailment that has afflicted me since birth,” groans 22-year-old actress Mamie Gummer of the endless comparisons to her mother, Meryl Streep (Dad is sculptor Don Gummer). No matter. Making her New York stage debut as the hyper-precocious tot Lucy in Noah Haidle’s Off Broadway play Mr. Marmalade, the 2005 Northwestern grad proves she’s ready to take her own bow.
You beat out more than 100 actresses for this role. I auditioned in late August and went in three times and was so nervous.
What’s it like having to down so much junk food every night? It’s awful. You can’t fake that kind of thing. You gotta just choke it down. At first it was kind of fun; it’s like, I’m eating Doritos every day! But now it’s just nasty.
While rehearsing for the play, you shot a scene for Lasse Hallström’s Hoax, starring Richard Gere and Hope Davis. I had two lines. Hope was like a mother/sister to me, pointing out my mark and making sure I could get from point A to B without tripping.
Sounds comforting. People might assume I know something about movies, and I don’t! I know how to be really bored in a trailer and eat at craft services, but that was my only experience with moviemaking until last month.
Even with an Oscar-winning mom? I am very lucky and I do have these connections that I’m not going to deny. But I’m also open to more scrutiny. It’s not always all fun and games, but it is every night when I get to wear [Lucy’s] tutu. Who else gets to wear pajamas to work?