Why does Mamie Gummer from “Emily Owens, M.D.” look so familiar?
—Steve John, Springfield, Ill.
There could be a couple of reasons that you may recognize Gummer, 29. The first is since you are watching “Emily Owens, M.D.,” you may be a fan of medical shows and have also seen the now-canceled “Off the Map.” In it, Gummer also played a doctor, just in a different setting: the jungle.
The second reason Gummer may look familiar is that she very much resembles her mother, Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep.
That said, her inclination toward the arts also comes from her father, Don Gummer, a sculptor.
“I was always putting on shows as a kid, and, obviously, my household was really creative,” she says. “My parents both really supported and let that thrive in all of us. I just liked it so much and kept doing it, and then I was at drama school and I was doing it, and then I graduated, and all of a sudden I was a person in the world doing it for real.
“So there wasn’t any kind of epiphany moment. I just really loved [acting] and, obviously, grew up around it.”
Gummer’s other TV credits include the Emmy Award-winning miniseries “John Adams,” “The Good Wife” and “The Big C.”
Married to actor Ben Walker, Gummer has twice appeared in a movie with her mother. First, as a child she had a role in “Heartburn” (1986) under the name Natalie Stern. Then as an adult, she played her mother as a young woman in “Evening” (2007).
“I completely understand, especially when I first started working, [my mother] was what everyone wanted to talk about, and that’s fine,” says Gummer, who feels that is changing now that she is more established as an actress in her own right. “That’s fair. I just wish that it was a more interesting subject. She’s just my mom and she’s wonderful. Both my parents are super-supportive. If I have a job and I have health insurance, they are thrilled.”