While Meryl Streep‘s extensive and unparalleled filmography features roles such as TV cook Julia Child, a stop-motion fox, former United Kingdom prime minister Margaret Thatcher, a fashion magazine editor, an animated queen ant, and plenty more disparate parts, there is still a rockstar-shaped hole in it. Or rather, there was before Ricki and the Flash, which is in theaters now and features Streep’s character leaving her family to pursue the dream of making it as a badass rocker.
Streep’s preparation for the role was about as perfect as could be expected, but also completely unsurprising because we’re talking about Meryl frickin’ Streep here. Like in this recently surfaced video—that you can check out above—where Streep learns her way around the frets from legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young.
Young’s lengthy jams, like the 9-minute “Down By The River”, the 16-minute(!) “Ramada Inn”, and the 27-minute(!!) “Driftin’ Back”—as well as his more traditional length numbers like “Cinnamon Girl” and “Heart of Gold”—have, to put it very lightly, established and cemented his status as somebody who knows what he’s doing. This makes him one the planet’s few guitar instructors qualified to guide Streep, while Streep is one of the few students lucky enough to get personalized instruction from Young. This interaction was a true meeting of the minds between titans of their fields, and while we’re grateful for the video of their fateful summit, we’re also happy the earth didn’t implode when they met.
It’s also a ton of fun to see Streep completely geek out at the grungy, distorted guitar sound and exclaim “Oh man, that’s fun!” before letting out a big laugh, and to see Young give Streep an ultimate piece of rock advice: always turn the volume up, “no matter what they give you.”
Ricki and The Flash opened in theaters on August 7, 2015.