[WATCH] Greta Gerwig (’20th Century Women’) dishes her role of Abbie and working with Annette Bening

“I read the script and felt very protective of Abbie, which is always a sign for me when I want to take care of the character,” reveals actress Greta Gerwig about her role in the new film “20th Century Women.” Set in 1979 and directed by Mike Mills, the movie has Abbie living in a home with Dorothea (Annette Bening) and her teenage son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann). She is a photographer trying to adjust to life after a cancer diagnosis who is entrusted to help guide Jamie as he is growing up. The A24 film will be released nationwide on December 25.

In our recent interview (watch above), Gerwig adds, “The late 70s is before my time, but I feel very connected to that time. I also procedurally feel connected to Abbie’s story of being from California and going to New York and coming back to California. I’m from up north and not from the beach, but that relentless sunlight if you are a punk is hard.”

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On working with Bening, she proclaims, “She’s incredible! Annette Bening is one of my idols as a woman and an artist and as an actor. She’s always chosen really interesting things to do. She’s funny, and she’s sweet, and she’s a prize fighter like when she’s acting. She can hit harder than anyone. Just to be around her and watch her work feels like an education.”

In her decade making films, Gerwig has had several awards nominations. For the comedy “Frances Ha,” she was a contender at the 2014 Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards in the lead actress category. She was also nominated for her lead performance in “Greenberg” at the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards. Along with “20th Century Women,” she has a featured role in “Jackie” starring Natalie Portman this month and earlier this year starred in “Maggie’s Plan” with Julianne Moore and Ethan Hawke.

In addition to acting, she was also the writer on “Frances Ha” and “Mistress America” (2015). She is now in post-production on her directorial debut of “Lady Bird,” which will be released in 2017. That film will star Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges, and Tracy Letts.

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3 thoughts on “[WATCH] Greta Gerwig (’20th Century Women’) dishes her role of Abbie and working with Annette Bening

  1. “The late 70s is before my time, but I feel very connected to that time. I also procedurally feel connected to Abbie’s story of being from California and going to New York and coming back to California. I’m from up north and not from the beach, but that relentless sunlight if you are a punk is hard.”

    Gerwig represents everything wrong with her generation and 2017 Hollywood; Technologically informed and haunted by the absence of a renaissance past, but not insightful about it, desperately seeking credibility from it, but not able to ascertain the specific significance that would enable it to be anything but an animatronic re-enactment in the most facile sense, blunting the capacity to create something equally as challenging and relevant for the present or allowing it to transcend it’s historical shadow. Weather and geographic location had nothing to do with the socio-political dynamics of that particular era, or a civilization and it’s discontents in ANY era; the inability to articulate those details is the difference between being an artist who can create anew, and a dilettante….and we are now in a golden age of critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning, culturally enabled dilettantes,with no one any the wiser.

  2. A critical review of Mike Mill’s “20th Century Women” hints a the truths of the previous post’s ruminations:
    “It reeks of a film which has gotten away from its filmmaker. He wants to say something significant about the joys and pitfalls of charting a course of personal growth against the tide of conformity and about the facts of the human condition which modern drama ignores, but he doesn’t seem to know how to put those two things together.

    Instead we’re left with quite a bit of bobbing and weaving and character choices which don’t make much sense, not in the context of fallible people, but in the context of a fallible director who’s scenes don’t go together in any sort of meaningful way.”

  3. “I love learning about the ’60s and ’70s and all that went on during that period, but I’m also glad I wasn’t living in a world when the expectation is I get married and shut the … up,” she laughs in all seriousness. Because I didn’t live through either, when I think of say, the 1970s I think of the best of the ’70s — the great American cinema, music, art. But the truth is there was a lot of crap in the ’70s; I’m cherry-picking the parts I like best. I think time periods are like a rubber band and you stretch things [to get freedom] and then it snaps back. It’s really only in retrospect you have a sense of what the moment was about and that snap. It just feels like a scary mess while you’re going through it.”

    These recent quotes from Gerwig make it painfully clear not only how little understanding of the sociopolitical dynamics of that time she really has (the 60’s and 70’s were the apex of women questioning the institution of marriage and the traditional roles of monogamous heterosexual subservience) but is equally talking out of both sides of her mouth: one side is desperate to cultivate a connection to that long-ago cultural renaissance (the greatest American cinema, art, music) and with the other side claims that she’s glad to “not have been a part of it” implying that things went too far, that it was a “scary mess”, that things “snap back” conservatively for justifiable reasons rather than in reactionary ones.

    A dilettante, indeed.

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