No matter how the Oscars go down on Sunday, March 4, one thing is for certain and that is that Greta Gerwig’s feature directorial debut Lady Bird has left a lasting impression on many women yearning to become directors.
One of the greatest takeaways for Gerwig from screening to screening is hearing from aspiring female talent who reveal that they too are building their dreams on the big screen. Gerwig has been a complete beacon for them from the film’s premiere at Telluride all the way through its days leading up to the Academy Awards.
“It’s self-generated, it’s something you have to give yourself permission for,” said Gerwig at a recent Lady Bird Awardsline screening about taking the first step behind the camera.
“It probably never stops, it gets easier as you get on, because you have a track record,” adds the actress-turned-filmmaker about the momentum. Given how hands-on she is in multiple production departments, Gerwig informed us the other night that while we can expect more films by her as a director, she won’t ever star in a project that she helms. “It’s just a whole other different side of the brain,” said Gerwig.
In our post-screening Q&A above, she expounds on how she honed Lady Bird into a 94 minute coming-of-age comedy, and brought Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf aboard, both of whom are respectively nominated for lead actress and supporting actress at the Oscars. Having co-written with partner Noah Baumbach on their films Frances Ha and Mistress America, Gerwig says that like him, she’s learned to become a ruthless self editor.
Lady Bird counts five Oscar nominations, and including the above, is also lauded for best picture, original screenplay and director. Gerwig is the fifth woman following Lina Wertmuller (1975’s Seven Beauties), Jane Campion (1993’s The Piano), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) and Kathryn Bigelow (who also won for The Hurt Locker) to be nominated in Oscar’s best director category. Lady Bird has won two Golden Globes for best comedy and lead actress comedy, Ronan; and prior to the Academy Awards the A24 release is up for four nominations –best film, original screenplay, supporting Metcalf and lead Ronan at the Independent Spirit Awards. To date, Lady Bird has cleared close to $50M at the worldwide box office.