Greta Gerwig is a hot property in Hollywood. She’s also kind of a hipster intellectual multi-hyphenate It Girl. I’ve always felt like there’s something so familiar about Gerwig, like she’s living the life hundreds of actresses want for themselves but only Gerwig was able to do it – be an indie-film actress with a lot of credibility, then transition to an acclaimed writer-director. Mix in commercial work with artsy work. And have a family on top of everything else – she’s currently pregnant with her second child with her partner Noah Baumbach. Baumbach left his wife Jennifer Jason Leigh for Gerwig. What’s most interesting about Maureen Dowd’s profile of Gerwig is that Dowd spoke to Baumbach about the start of their relationship and didn’t position Gerwig as the mistress/other woman. It was a messy start but they managed to own it breezily. Still, I wonder how JJL really feels. Some highlights from this NYT profile:
Gerwig loves donuts & junk food: “I think, particularly on film sets, I become the child version of myself that wants just junk food,” she said. She read that Steven Spielberg had wooed a reluctant David Lynch to play a cameo as John Ford in “The Fabelmans” by acceding to his request for Cheetos on the set. “Then I felt like a kindred spirit with David Lynch, since we have the same addiction to the salty, cheesy goodness of Cheetos.”
On Barbie dolls: “My mom was a feminist, and I think there was some resistance to all of it and eventually there was relenting. I think I was totally compelled by hair that was 10 times bigger than your body.” She wants the movie “to be something that is both able to come from the adult part of your brain and also remember what it was like to be a little girl just looking at a beautiful Barbie.”
She didn’t care about fashion while directing ‘Barbie’: Ms. Robbie recalled that, in order not to “waste brain power” on her wardrobe, Ms. Gerwig wore the same boiler suit, in different colors, every day of the shoot. “We did pink on Wednesdays,” Ms. Gerwig said.
She hates ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’: “I just never liked it. It made me uncomfortable. There’s something at its core I just don’t like.”
She doesn’t offer directing tips to her partner Noah Baumbach: “He’s incredibly open to suggestion. The truth is, I think if I had wanted to sit there all day, every day, even when I wasn’t on the set, he’d be happy to ask what I thought of every shot. I think also, as a director, there’s a certain loneliness. Mike Nichols said directors need a buddy. So someone who has a thought or a point of view or is looking over your shoulder makes you feel less like you’re having an isolated existential crisis every day.”
They voted for themselves at the 2019 Oscars: “It was so weird in the moment when we actually were there. It’s very funny, but we did actually vote for ourselves. We were at our computers and I was like, ‘Just so you know, I’m going to vote for myself,’ and he said, ‘OK, I’m going to vote for myself, too.’”
Their equanimity with their competing careers: “I feel like it must be hard if you’re 25. I think as you get older, things work, things don’t work. You’re up, you’re down.”
Baumbach on leaving Jennifer Jason Leigh & starting up with Gerwig: “I was going through a hard time in my life, and [Greta] was going through a different time in her life. We really wanted to make it work together, we really wanted to be together, and we were both drawn by that. That’s how we still feel about each other.” He said that he and Ms. Leigh — who has stayed publicly silent about the dissolution of the marriage and her opinion about “Marriage Story” (although Mr. Baumbach told The Wall Street Journal that he screened it for his ex-wife and she liked it) — co-parent their 12-year-old son, Rohmer. “In another completely different way,” he said, “you have to work together on that so that you can be the best parents you can to your great kid.”
The thing about Breakfast at Tiffany’s… it’s not a good movie and it’s also racist AF. But I always understand why Holly Golightly was one of Audrey Hepburn’s most iconic characters – she’s incredible in that role and it was all very iconic and still is. But yeah, she played a hooker and a hustler. Maybe that’s what Gerwig doesn’t like?
“I feel like it must be hard if you’re 25” – meaning, I think, that it must be hard to have a career at 25 and date guys your age with similar careers and have professional jealousy wreak havoc. Baumbach is 53, Gerwig is 39. He already had the “starter marriage” and he left his (older) wife for Gerwig. The age difference and life experience when Gerwig and Baumbach met and fell in love is significant.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.