Many of you have probably not heard of Florence Foster Jenkins, though if you have seen Citizen Kane, her story may sound familiar. While it is not known if Orson Welles was indeed inspired by Jenkins’ distinct lack of singing ability when he fashioned the character of Kanes’ second wife, there are some parallels to be found. Jenkins, however, was not forced in an operatic singing career so much as she forced herself into one. Using an inheritance from her father, Jenkins began self-financing private performances for the better part of three decades up until her death in 1944. However, she was not known for having any musical ability whatsoever, and those who attended her shows possibly did so ironically. (Making them the first hipsters, I suppose.)
For the upcoming film adaptation of Jenkins’s life, Meryl Streep will be playing the singing socialite with Hugh Grant co-starring as her manager, St. Clair Bayfield. Paramount has released a new featurette for the filming, going behind-the-scenes to talk about who Florence Foster Jenkins was and to let potential ticket buyers have a tasteof her world.
Here’s the studio’s official synopsis –
Set in 1940s New York, Florence Foster Jenkins is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite (Meryl Streep) who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her “husband” and manager, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.
Florence Foster Jenkins opens August 12th.