“I didn’t have her in mind when I was writing,” said Greta Gerwig about Saoirse Ronan, who stars as the title character in “Lady Bird,” which Gerwig wrote and directed (watch above). “In 2015 I met her at the Toronto Film Festival. She read the script and really responded to it. I was going to be there with ‘Maggie’s Plan,’ and she was going to be there with ‘Brooklyn.’ We met and we sat in her hotel room, and she read all of Lady Bird’s lines and I read all of everyone else’s lines. I knew within the first two pages that she was Lady Bird and that she had the part, but then I just selfishly wanted to hear it all out loud.”
Gerwig unveiled “Lady Bird” to press and industry at the New York Film Festival on October 6 in advance of the film’s official NYFF premiere on October 8, and she couldn’t contain her enthusiasm for Ronan, who stars as a teenager coming of age during her senior year of high school from 2002 to 2003. Laurie Metcalf plays her mother, and Gerwig was equally enamored of her. “I knew that she had this enormous power,” she said about Metcalf. “She’s a genius … Working with her was extraordinary, and I learned so much from her. Getting to watch her and Saoirse work together was like a match-up of two greats.”
Follow the links below to hear more of Gerwig’s discussion about “Lady Bird”:
On whether the film is autobiographical: “Nothing in the movie literally happened in my life, but it has a core of truth that resonates with what I know.”
On being inspired to direct: “I’d been working in film for 10 years. I’d done every job that I could do … you’ve always wanted to do this and you’re not going to get any more information. You’ve just got to jump.”
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