Greta Gerwig is one of those girls. One of those girls that’s getting a lot of “buzz” and is being dubbed an “it girl” with “effortlessly cool” style. If you’ve heard of her already, you undoubtedly want to be friends with her. If you’re just now tuning in, she’s about to be one of those girls that you won’t be able to ignore.
Gerwig, 29, wrote and stars in Frances Ha, a black-and-white indie darling set in New York, with her boyfriend, director Noah Baumbach. “Here,” writes a New Yorker reviewer, “[Gerwig] puts the movie on her back and carries it from begining to end.” Ha is a light exploration of the increasingly-familiar struggles of the 20-something: love, friendship and finding yourself. It’s about becoming “a real person,” a transformation that both Ha and Gerwig have seemingly struggled with. But Gerwig, who recently chatted with The Guardian about the film and her burgeoning career, has been determined to succeed from a young age. It was only a matter of time before one of her “obsessions” stuck.
“I was an intense child,” she says. “When I loved an activity, I had trouble doing it halfway. It was scary with ballet – I would have gone to class for four hours a day, seven days a week, if I could have.”
When Gerwig finally directed her intensity towards acting (by way of stage management and technical theatre), she wasn’t an overnight star. One of the reasons that Gerwig’s character, Ha, is so inherently likeable is because she’s so relatable – and there’s a lot of Gerwig herself in Ha. She finally thought she’d hit her big break with Greenberg, a Ben Stiller movie also directed by Baumbach. But she didn’t. And instead of giving up, she worked on improving her craft.
“I was really depressed [after Greenberg]. I cried a lot. It was a hard year. I was 25 and thinking, ‘This is supposed to be the best time and I’m miserable.’ Looking back, I wish I had taken that time and written more, but it felt like acting was happening for me, and I went back to acting classes. 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.”
And she kept going. And then Lola Versus happened. And then Ha happened. And then Gerwig happened — the good ol’ fashioned way, with cultivated talent, determination and hard work. Now that’s a girl I can get behind.