Exclusive Interview of Simon Helberg from Florence Foster Jenkins
|Photo by Dominick D (Flickr)|
Blueprint Magazine: Hi. So, I also loved the movie. So, what drew you to the part of Mr. McMoon in the movie?
SH: The script was so unique, and the scenes, I guess really speak to me and not just the love of music, but this idea of perception and the sort of disparity between our perception of ourselves and what other people perceive and the question of the question therein, I guess, being does it matter that, you know, we hear one voice in our head and other people hear a different one, if at all, maybe it all leads to the same place.
The Nerd Repository: You speak with a slightly higher pitch voice in this film, and you kind of changed up your speaking patterns. What went behind your decision to do that and is that something you pulled from actual recordings of his voice, or things that you researched about him or what came about to make that decision?
SH: I saw him as being very pure and very chaste and very innocent, and having no sense of cynicism or – and he hadn’t really been corrupted in any way whatsoever. I’d like a little kind of bird or a gecko or something and I thought, well, this is something very childlike and I feel like he’s probably unaware of his sexuality
Pulse Radio: What was it like to work with everybody who’s just so talented and how do you all bring out the best in each other?
SH: Well, I was probably the odd man out in the sea of talent. No. I mean, well, it was both like every actor’s dream to, you know, when you can kind of jump into part with the, honestly, the greatest people working today and maybe ever….So with that also came quite a bit of paralyzing fear, as well, because you don’t want to be the one that brings Meryl Streep down. Not that that’s possible, but you know, it just is scary to get to work with people that are your heroes. But then, what you kind of realize when you – I hope this is true for everything and everyone, but when you get around people that are that great, usually, they’re there to make the best thing they can make and they bring them their whole self to it and in order to make something wonderful, I think you have to be – you have to be sensitive and you have to be generous and you definitely have to be passionate.
The Cinema Files: What I was wondering, in the scene when Florence first sings, were you already aware of exactly what Meryl Streep was going to sound like or were those expressions real?
SH: We had already rehearsed her about a week and a half, the music, and we had actually recorded at Abbey Road as well, which is amazing. So we had a lot of time to laugh and to figure out what we were doing. And then of course, they ended up wanting to shoot it all live, so all of the stuff that we had recorded was kind of thrown out. And because of that, we’re playing all of that music live as you are seeing it and as it was being shot, which I think both helped – well, it helped us kind of contain our laughter and sort of focus because we had to actually get through the music, but it also made all of it very authentic.