Video Interview: FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS’ Simon Helberg dishes about Meryl Streep, talks good-bad movies


IMG_3836Preston Barta // Editor

It’s a big year for actor Simon Helberg. His beloved character Howard Wolowitz is about to become a father in the upcoming 10th season of THE BIG BANG THEORY. He also stars opposite Meryl Streep in Stephen Frears’ wonderfully sentimental biopic FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS.

The film, which opened in theaters today, is inspired by the true story of a 1940s New York opera singer (played by Streep) with a heart full of gold, pockets full of cash and a voice that’s flatter than a pancake.

Her devoted partner (an excellent Hugh Grant) works hard to shield her from any mockery. But when Jenkins lands a performance opportunity at Carnegie Hall, well, it becomes a horse of a different color.

Helberg portrays Cosmé McMoon, a classical pianist who walks a fine line of controlling his reactions to her tuneless singing. It’s a performance that Helberg wears like a suit. He brings forth his comical talents we’ve come to recognize over the years, along with a dash of warmth and charm to savor.

We sat down with Helberg in Dallas, TX, recently to discuss his personal experience of offering criticism, working with the legend that is Streep, and movies so bad, they’re good… like Nicolas Cage’s THE WICKER MAN!


About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.