According to the biography "Nicholson" (2013) by Marc Eliot and the 29th October 2013 "Daily Mirror" article by Mark Jefferies entitled "Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep 'had [a] fling' while filming. The biographer claims the stars Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson allegedly had a personal relationship during the making of this movie. The book claims the two stars met in his trailer on set. It states: "Often during shooting, his Winnebago seemed to be balanced on four overworked Slinkys . . ." As soon as filming began, rumours exploded like wild mushrooms that something was going on between Jack and his co-star Meryl "I'll-never-work-with-him-again" Streep. There had been talk that the two had grown unusually close, but both denied it. Jack was in a bit of a bind, as he was actively, if secretly, still seeing actress Veronica Cartwright. However once filming began, everyone on set and those who heard about it were talking. Not about the film's script, direction, or scenic design, but about Jack and Meryl.
The scene in The Bird in a Gilded Gage, where Meryl Streep sings "The Mayor of Albany", Tom Whalen is an extra. The scene was shot in what was the Boulevard Cafeteria and has been operated as Restaurant Paridiso at Central Avenue and Robin Street in Albany, NY. The Boulevard Cafeteria was a famous hangout for students at the New York State Teachers' College (now UAlbany)and it was famous for its nude murals, its coffee and black and white cookies.
This film's director, Argentinean Hector Babenco, has said of this picture: "It is a movie that tries to embrace the territories of love, and it's also about the courage and beauty of people we don't usually think of as having deep and complex emotions".
A large part of the picture was filmed on location in Albany, the state capital of both New York and Albany County, in the USA, where the film's actual story is set. Specific Albany locations included Jay Street, Lark Street, Clinton Avenue, The Miss Albany Diner and The Albany Rural Cemetery.
The film's source novelist William Kennedy wrote a non-fiction book about the production of this picture with it being entitled "The Making of Ironweed (1987)" and it being first published in 1988 which was the following year after Ironweed (1987) had been first released into theaters.
Of the two pictures actress Meryl Streep and actor Jack Nicholson have made together, both got star teaming above-the-title billing. Streep got first billing and Nicholson was second billed in Heartburn (1986) whereas in Ironweed (1987) it was the reverse with Nicholson getting top billed and Streep following next after.
The picture was nominated for two Academy Awards. Both of the movie's two lead stars, actress Meryl Streep and actor Jack Nicholson, were Oscar nominated for their lead acting roles, but both failed to win in each of their categories.
A special feature on the movie's DVD states that due to the earlier film Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), which was this film's director Hector Babenco's previous picture, that "its success ensured major Hollywood studio support for Ironweed (1987)".
The film and its source novel are set in Albany, New York, USA. Source novelist William Kennedy has also written a non-fiction book about Albany entitled "O Albany!". This work is also known by the long title of "Albany!: Improbable City of Political Wizards, Fearless Ethnics, Spectacular Aristocrats, Splendid Nobodies, and Underrated Scoundrels". Both this book and the film's source "Ironweed" novel by Kennedy were both first published in the year of 1983.
The film's source "Ironweed" (1983) novel by author William Kennedy is included in the "Western Canon of Harold Bloom". Bloom is an American critic, teacher and literary scholar who is well known for his studies on William Shakespeare and the 19th Century Romantic Poets.