Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan discuss Lady Bird
I had the great pleasure of seeing Lady Bird at the Telluride Film Festival right before the film became one of the most talked about films of the year. I loved the film and think it was easily one of the best Coming-of-Age films in years. Lady Bird ranks up there with the John Hughes classics as well as The Perks of Being A Wallflower. It is an absolute joy to watch from beginning to end and cannot recommend it enough.
When I was presented with the opportunity to interview Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan I was extremely excited. I, somehow, missed Gerwig at Telluride even though I always saw her walking around but never wanted to interrupt her because she was always in a conversation whenever I saw her. I didn’t get to talk to Gerwig or Ronan for very long but I can honestly say the two are just lovely in person. Below is my short and sweet interview with two future award nominees.
Scott Menzel: Congratulations. I loved this film.
Greta Gerwig: Thank you.
Scott Menzel: I saw this at Telluride.
Saoirse: Ah! Were you at Telluride?
Scott Menzel: Yes. Somehow I kept missing you because I saw you walking around, but you were always talking to someone so I didn’t want to interrupt so.
Saoirse Ronan: You do talk a lot.
Greta Gerwig: I’m really a talkative lady.
Saoirse Ronan: She really likes to talk.
Scott Menzel: Apparently. I saw this movie twice now and I think both of you are just so amazing. Saoirse, you’re gonna get it. The best actress nomination. You definitely are.
Greta Gerwig: She bet… She’s so great!
Scott Menzel: She’s so good.
Greta Gerwig: She’s so great.
Saoirse Ronan: Were you gonna say she better?!
Scott Menzel: She better get it!
Greta Gerwig: I just feel like with Saoirse, and with Lori, I just feel like, give them all the prizes. They are my favorite actresses, even if they weren’t in this, they are so amazing. I just love watching them, and I think yes, they deserve it.
Saoirse Ronan: She’s our campaign manager.
Scott Menzel: She sure is.
Saoirse: They’re like, who would you be from Veep? Mike?
Greta Gerwig: I know.
Saoirse: You’d be like Mike or someone?
Greta Gerwig: I’m Jonah. Obviously.
Scott Menzel: Can you talk a little bit about how you created such that remarkable chemistry for your actors? I mean, it’s all so wonderfully written.
Greta Gerwig: I didn’t create it.
Scott Menzel: You wrote the words. So they had to bring in the life, so it’s a dual responsibility.
Greta Gerwig: I will give you that, I wrote the words and between my casting directors and Scott Rudin and me we gathered just an aces team, and that bench is so deep like every single person in this movie is incredible. I knew I just wanted every single character to be a character that you feel like they could have their own movie if you went and followed them. I tried to do that on the page and it was on the page but you also need great actors who are able to really fill that out. I felt like everyone was so talented and Saoirse is my favorite of all. She is the best actress. She’s so funny and she’s so heartfelt and she’s able to transform herself and not ever lose that spontaneous life. Its just a filmmakers dream to sit there with that footage and be able to put it together and everybody loved each other.
Saoirse Ronan: Yeah, and also though, even though you can’t necessarily create chemistry, I think you allowed it to breathe and to happen and you facilitated that by just even giving us the time to figure out a scene. Giving a scene time to breathe, playing music on set, nobody brought their phones to set, like it was a set that was filled with respect for what the other person next to you did and that all came from you, and you don’t get that on every film set. I think definitely for actors, cause you do, you’re putting yourself out there for sure and to know that everyone is on the same page and everyone is coming at it from a place of love, it really motivates you to do better. And we, and you know, Lori has put it so well, that the joy on Greta’s face every day when she would watch us work made us want to do that for her every day.
Scott Menzel: This was sadly so short because I would love to talk to you ladies longer. Final question, how would you pitch this movie to an audience? How would you sell it?
Greta Gerwig: I would say you’re gonna laugh, you’re gonna cry, and you’re gonna wanna call your mother.
Saoirse Ronan: Yeah, that’s what I’ve been saying to everyone, when anyone leaves the movie, they always say that they want to call their moms right away.
Greta Gerwig: Or call their kid.
Saoirse Ronan: Yeah.
Greta Gerwig: Yeah. It goes both ways.
Saoirse Ronan: And if nothing else, surely you wanna go to the movie and feel like that after you leave the theater.
Greta Gerwig: I think it’ll make people happy, and I think there’s a joy and also I think it will connect back to their own lives and their families and where they’re from and no matter what age they are or what gender they are.
Scott Menzel: Great answer. Congratulations again.
Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan: Thank you so much.
Lady Bird is now playing in limited release. It will continue expanding into more theaters throughout the next few weeks so be sure to check your local theater listings and go see Lady Bird in theaters.