“When I finished the draft for this movie, I looked at it and thought if I don’t do it on this one, I’m never going to do it. This is the one,” reveals Greta Gerwig about making her directorial debut with the new film “Lady Bird.” In our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above), the actress and writer chats about the personal project, which centers on a teenage girl (Saoirse Ronan), who now refers to herself as Lady Bird, during her last year of high school in Sacramento. Her mother (Laurie Metcalf) is supportive yet demanding, while her father (Tracy Letts) is in a financial crisis.
While there are elements of Gerwig’s actual life in 2002 of attending a Catholic high school in Northern California, the title character is not a duplication of her life. Ronan, who joins Gerwig in the interview, says, “I don’t know if it’s necessarily autobiographical. The emotional truth is one that’s quite authentic and very much comes from Greta and your love for Sacramento.”
Gerwig adds, “The character of Lady Bird is really an invention. I wasn’t like Lady Bird and neither was Saoirse. It was a character on the page, and then she invented and made her exist. So it really feels like this combination that we gave birth to this girl.”
This A24 release has already been playing the festival circuit to great reviews and awards buzz. It is nominated at the Gotham Awards for Best Actress (Ronan), Best Screenplay (Gerwig), and Best Breakhrough Director (Gerwig). Co-stars include Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith.
Gerwig has already had several major nominations in her short career. She had a bid at the Golden Globes for “Frances Ha” (2012), Critics’ Choice Awards noms for “Frances Ha” and “20th Century Women” (2016), and a nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards for “Greenberg” (2010).
Ronan received nominations for the 2007 film “Atonement” at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice. Just two years ago, she had bids for “Brooklyn” at the Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and SAG Awards.
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