Simon Helberg’s Musical Talent Is Seriously Impressive

Simon Helberg’s musical background helped him secure his role in the 2016 film “Florence Foster Jenkins” alongside stars Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant thanks to his ability to tickle the ivories. In fact, Helberg didn’t even audition since the film’s casting director first reached out to him, USC revealed. Though Helberg is undeniably good at playing piano, the actor admitted he may have embellished his piano playing abilities a bit to play the part. Director Stephen Frears “didn’t even care about the acting part as much as the piano and I sort of bluffed because I play, but I don’t play opera. I wasn’t that cool,” Helberg admitted on “Today.” After a meeting with Frears, Helberg needed to quickly reach the level he lied about. “Then I had to learn all this opera and classical stuff,” Helberg explained on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” before showing off his impressive piano playing skills alongside Grammy award-winning artist Jon Batiste. Just two days after first meeting Frears, Helberg studied and practiced like crazy before sending a recording of himself playing a classical piano piece to the director, per USC.

Once filming began, Helberg remembers Frears’ exact directions on what his piano playing scenes should look like. “‘On this note, lift one hand, and then lift ze other hand,’ and I’m, like, ‘You want me to play the piano with no hands?'” Helberg told the New Yorker, while imitating the director’s French accent.

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