Just a year ago, everyone was saying that Greta Gerwig was the one to watch – she had big projects ahead and she was going to revolutionize the film industry. Well, she has, and pouring her heart and soul into her award-winning movie, Lady Bird, definitely paid off. In fact, her work is record breaking – it was recently revealed that Greta was the fifth woman ever to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar! Proof that times are changing, and Greta is all part of the progress…
Once a dancer, Gerwig’s career took a complete U-turn. She originally planned on having a career in musical theater, and becoming a playwright, yet she graduated with an English and Philosophy degree from Barnard College in New York. After some minor acting roles, she landed several co-writing jobs alongside LOL’s director Joe Swanberg. She was rising to the top of the Mumblecore film industry – a genre that focuses on dialogue rather than plot, and is big on improvising – but she wasn’t satisfied, “I was really depressed. I was 25 [in 2008] and thinking, ‘This is supposed to be the best time and I’m miserable’ but it felt like acting was happening for me, and I went back to acting classes”. In her twenties, the actress admits that she was trying to find herself and trying to find her purpose – “The blessing and curse of my life is that I think I thrive when I have a singular purpose and a calling. But actually I’m happiest when I’m doing lots of things. And I have to reconcile that” she told Huffpost.
In 2010 came her big break, she got the chance to star in Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg alongside incredible actors such as Ben Stiller and Jennifer Jason Leigh. After being praised for her performance, Greenberg opened up many doors for her not only professionally but sentimentally as they started dating. She got to write her own movie with Baumbach, Frances Ha, in which Greta starred, and it was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2012. As they say, you don’t change a winning team, and that is why the inspirational pair collaborated on a third film – Mistress America – which received appraisal from all over the film industry! Is there something she can’t do?
After a few more acting projects, Greta turned her hand to directing with her teen drama movie – Lady Bird. It had been the movie on everyone’s lips throughout 2017, and we waited with bated breath. The movie premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and was released 2 months after on November 3rd 2017. Set in Greta’s hometown of Sacramento, California, she tells the story of Christine, played by Saoirse Ronan, and her turbulent relationship with her mother Julie, played by Laurie Metcalf. The film is said to be semi-autobiographical, with Greta admitting, “Nothing in the movie literally happened in my life, but it has a core of truth that resonates with what I know”. To help her cast and crew prepare for filming, she took them all her old memories from high school, such as her yearbooks and photos, which got them motivated to create such an inspirational, nostalgic movie.
Of course, with that much love and motivation, the film has received a lot of attention over the last few months, and the journey won’t stop there for Greta! The New York Times labelled the film as “on screen perfection”, and has become the most reviewed film ever, with high scores all round the table. She has received 5 Oscar nominations for the movie, and her plans are to create even more films around her hometown of Sacramento – “I would like to make a quartet of films in Sacramento”, she told The Sacramento Bee, “I have three more before the quartet is done”. We can’t wait for the other stories Greta has to tell us!
Rise To The Top – The Gerwig Way
1) It’s ok to be lost – finding yourself is one of life’s journeys, and it is ok to not know where you are heading. Just continue to be inspired and motivated, and you will get there eventually!
2) Stick to your roots – stay down to Earth and don’t forget where you came from, you will get heaps of encouragement from your hometown, we’re sure!
3) Don’t stop! – once you have reached a goal, don’t stop there, there are goals you wouldn’t have even dreamed of reaching that you could obtain! We believe in you!
Cr: Jenn Streicher, Ladybird Movie, Variety Magazine, Stfoodcinema Daughter’s Design House, Zimbio,