Oscar Week: Podtalk with Greta Gerwig, 2018 Oscar Best Director Nominee for ‘Lady Bird’

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CHICAGO – One of the most fulfilled movies of 2017 was the sublime “Lady Bird,” the major film debut of actor Greta Gerwig. Nimbly shooting her own script, the achingly honest story about a teenager (portrayed essentially by Saiorse Ronan) going through her Senior Year of high school in Sacramento, California, was a breakout film of the year, and was nominated for Best Picture, as well as Best Actress for Ronan, Best Supporting Actress for Laurie Metcalfe (as the Ronan character’s mother) and Best Original Screenplay/Best Director for Greta Gerwig.

Ms. Gerwig was born and raised in Sacramento, but has insisted that Lady Bird is an imaginary character, not an autobiography. After graduation from Barnard College, she intended to be a playwright, but scored roles in a couple of early “Mumblecore” indie films, Joe Swanberg’s “LOL” and Jay & Mark Duplass’ “Baghead.” Her first directorial film was a collaboration with Swanberg, “Nights and Weekends” (2008). She then embarked on a successful film acting career, appearing memorably in “Greenberg” (2010… her first collaboration with current partner Noah Baumbach), “Frances Ha” (2013, co-writer), “Mistress America” (2015, co-writer), “Jackie” and “20th Century Women” (both 2016).

Best Director Nominee Greta Gerwig (right) with Saoirse Ronan on the Set of ‘Lady Bird’
Photo credit: A24

This 2015 Podtalk is published in audio form for the first time. Gerwig was doing a promotional tour for “Mistress America” with Lola Kirke, her co-star in that film (the other voice you hear). “Brooke” was the character in the film, and “Frances” refers to “Frances Ha.” The insight of her writing and directing philosophies is right in line with the results of “Lady Bird.”

The 90th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will take place on March 4th, 2018, at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater, and will be broadcast on ABC-TV beginning at 7pm ET/6pm CT. ”Lady Bird” features Saoirse Ronan, Tracy Letts, Laurie Metcalfe, Beanie Feldstein, Odeya Rush and Timothée Chalamet. Written and directed by Greta Gerwig. For another look at Oscar 2018, click here for an interview with Michael Stuhlbarg, who appeared in three Best Picture nominees, “Call Me By Your Name,” “The Post” and “The Shape of Water.”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2018 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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