Meryl Streep Thought Jim Parsons’ “Hollywood” Drag Number Was “Brilliant”
If you’re a lover of classic movies, then you probably spent your weekend in Dreamland binge-watching Ryan Murphy’s latest Netflix series, Hollywood.
The show depicts a revisionist history of the film industry’s heyday, which includes prominent gay screenwriters and actors, like Rock Hudson, being out about their sexual orientation from the early days of their careers.
One of the villains of the Hollywood ’verse is Henry Willson, who was the agent for heartthrobs like Hudson, Tab Hunter, and Troy Donahue. Willson is played by Jim Parsons, who really dials up the dark side the real-life Willson was known for.
In the third episode, in addition to attending one of director George Cukor’s salacious Sunday night parties, Willson also invites Hudson over to his house for some drinks and proceeds to dress in drag and dance for the new Tinseltown hunk.
According to the Hollywood press notes, Parsons was so invested in his role that he actually choreographed the drag number himself. After filming the scene, Parsons received a “huge round of applause” from the crew. But they weren’t his only fans: As it turns out, legendary actress Meryl Streep also had some kind words for him.
During the production of Hollywood, Murphy was off set filming the adaptation of Broadway musical, The Prom. The movie has an all-star cast featuring James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells, and Streep in the lead roles.
While on The Prom set, Murphy received a cut of Parsons’ drag dance scene and showed it to Streep.
“She was like, ‘Oh my God, this is so brilliant.’ And if Meryl thinks you’re brilliant, that’s the best you can do,” Murphy recalled.
When The Big Bang Theory actor sat down with NewNowNext to talk about his role in Hollywood, he revealed he had—shockingly—not heard Streep’s praises. Watch him talk about the physical transformation he underwent to play Willson, and what he thinks about Streep being a fan of his, in the video interview below.