Interview (Video): Greta Gerwig

The filmmaker discusses her career and her directing debut ‘Lady Bird’.

An Interview magazine conversation between writer-director Francis Ford Coppola and young filmmaker Greta Gerwig, actor, writer, and now director with the debut of her movie Lady Bird.

Greta Gerwig, Interview magazine (photograph by Victor Demarchelier)

COPPOLA: You said something to me in a previous conversation that I thought was very smart — and it’s something I’ve done in my work as well. You said you deliberately — both as an actor and later in your writing and directing — put yourself in a position where accidents are going to happen. Because when you’re dealing with shaky ground, that’s a moment of truth, and whatever happens is probably going to be really honest.

GERWIG: I think being attracted to mistakes is one of the things that film can capture in a way that theater can’t. Film can capture a moment of spontaneous life that will never be captured again. I like a lot of structure and a lot of lines, but then within that I make room for things to happen that you couldn’t have predicted.

COPPOLA: When you made Lady Bird, did you have any time to rehearse before shooting?

GERWIG: Yes. I cast it pretty early, so before we were even in the official rehearsal period, people came to my house and I worked with two or three actors at a time on the scenes. It wasn’t just working with the lines; it was also a lot of talking and investigation. I would have them all dance together, because when I worked with Mike Mills, he had us do that. I found it useful because it makes you less embarrassed of your body and less embarrassed in front of other people, so I stole that from him. And then we had a couple of weeks of more intense rehearsals before we started shooting. I wanted there to be this core of love and understanding with each other that we could work from. It needed to feel like a communal experience, not an individual one.

COPPOLA: I’ve never made a film where I didn’t request two weeks of rehearsal, but I rarely got it. I would get one week.

GERWIG: I also wanted it to feel like every single character in the film mattered, even the ones who only had a couple of scenes. So I had at least one conversation with everyone, where we would talk, and they would give me their ideas, and we’d build something that had a backstory, so that nothing felt sketched. Everything felt full.

Here is an “Anatomy of a Scene” video featuring Gerwig narrating a scene from Lady Bird:

For the rest of the interview with Gerwig and Coppola, go here.

Movie website

Twitter: @LadyBirdMovie.

And if all that isn’t enough, A24 is distributing the movie in North America. As far as I’m concerned, they are the gold standard for indie movies.

Go see Lady Bird as it rolls out in more theaters this weekend.d


Interview (Video): Greta Gerwig was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

‘Lady Bird’: Greta Gerwig on Why a Screenwriter’s Job is to Listen as Much as to Write

Greta Gerwig may be a new director, but she knows a thing or two about movies.

Greta Gerwig first came onto the film scene as an actress associated with New York City’s mumblecore movement. She was cast in a small part in Joe Swanberg’s LOL in 2006, while she was still a student at Barnard College. Though her career successes pulled her towards acting, Gerwig’s original and prevailing dreams were behind the scenes. She had gone to Barnard with the intention of becoming a playwright, and now all these years later, she’s finally taken the plunge.

“When I finished the script I was like, ‘you’ve always wanted to do this, you’re not going to get any more information, you just gotta jump.'”

Lady Bird is Gerwig’s first directorial work, and it’s strikingly personal. The film resonates with a soulfulness that is in part due to Gerwig’s leadership, but also due to the phenomenal acting presences of Saoirse Ronen and Laurie Metcalf. It’s clear from the film’s steady hand that Gerwig’s long-gestating directorship was well worth the wait.

Read More

No Film School

Saoirse Ronan in Trailer for Greta Gerwig’s Directorial Debut ‘Lady Bird’

Lady Bird Movie Trailer

“You both have such strong personalities.” A24 has unveiled the first trailer for actress Greta Gerwig’s feature directorial debut, an indie coming-of-age drama titled Lady Bird, being released by the excellent A24. This film actually just premiered at the Telluride Film Festival over the weekend to rave reviews, which means it already has some great buzz to go along with this trailer. Saoirse Ronan stars as Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson, a quirky teenager living in Northern California with her eccentric nurse mother. The cast includes Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Lois Smith, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Odeya Rush, Jordan Rodrigues, and Marielle Scott. As seen in this trailer, the film examines “both the humor and pathos in the turbulent bond between a mother and her teenage daughter.” Looks great! I’m looking forward to seeing it, A24’s films are always top quality. ›››

Continue reading Saoirse Ronan in Trailer for Greta Gerwig’s Directorial Debut ‘Lady Bird’


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