Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant star in the new film about the world’s most infamously bad (yet indomitable) singer.
A teaser trailer for the highly anticipated Florence Foster Jenkins biopic has been released, showing three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep in the title role as the American opera diva, infamously known as the world’s worst singer.
Florence Foster Jenkins was renowned for her obsessive dream to become a great opera singer – despite her lack of pitch and dubious tone. She managed to fill the likes of Carnegie Hall and throughout her career, it was unclear whether audiences loved her confidence or attended concerts for the sheer amusement of her dreadful singing. Director Stephen Fears, whose previous work includes The Queen and The Grifters, has retold the true story of the New York heiress as she worked towards a public Carnegie Hall concert in 1944.
Hugh Grant plays the role of Jenkins’ manager and partner, St Clair Bayfield, an aristocratic Shakespearean English actor who was determined to protect Jenkins from the reality of her woeful voice. Simon Helberg, immediately recognisable as Howard from The Big Bang Theory, appears in the role of Jenkins’ long-suffering accompanist. The cast also includes Rebecca Ferguson and John Kavanagh, among others.
Another biopic about Jenkins is also due out later this year, ironically starring one of the world’s most accomplished opera stars, Joyce DiDidonato.
Regardless of her lack of abilities, Jenkins was an extraordinary character. “People may say I can’t sing,” Jenkins once said, “but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.”
Florence Foster Jenkins opens in the UK this May. Release dates for the US and Australia are yet to be announced.