There are a few women making it in Hollywood as film directors and Greta Gerwig, is one of them. Her 2017 film Lady Bird which was her solo-directorial debut (she had been co-directing since 2008) was highly acclaimed by critics.
It won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture and earned her an Oscars nomination for Best Director, making her the 5th woman ever to receive the nomination in Oscar’s 90-year history. The last woman to score the nomination was Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010.
Launching her career in 2006, Gerwig has excelled as an actress, writer, and director. She announced herself after appearing in a number of mumblecore films (low-budget, improvisational productions) before transitioning into the mainstream with films like No Strings Attached, Baghead, Arthur, To Rome with Love, Greenberg, Frances Ha, 20th Century Women and more.
Greta Gerwig Biography (Age, and other Background Information)
Greta Celeste Gerwig was born on August 4th, 1983 in Sacramento, California, to father Gordon Gerwig, a financial consultant, and computer programmer and mother, Christine (née Sauer), an obstetrics/gynecology nurse. She is of German, Irish, and English descent. Greta has a younger brother who is believed to be a landscape architect.
Growing up as a kid, Greta loved to dance and hoped to perform in musical theater. Despite being raised as a Unitarian Universalist, (a liberal religion characterized by a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning”) Greta’s parents sent her to an all-girls Catholic school, St. Francis High School.
Following high school graduation, she attended a private women’s arts liberal college, Barnard College from where she graduated with a degree in English and philosophy.
While at Barnard, Greta launched her acting career making her debut in the Joe Swanberg film, LOL (2006). This would become her first of many future collaborations with the mumblecore filmmaker.
They would later co-write 2007 film Hannah Takes the Stairs with Greta starring role as the titular character. The following year, both starred and also directed the film Nights and Weekends which would become Greta’s first experience behind-the-scenes as a co-director.
In addition to Joe Swanberg, Gerwig also worked with other prominent mumblecore filmmakers like the Duplass brothers in films like Baghead.
In 2010, she met the Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Noah Baumbach who would become her next frequent-collaborator and partner. She appeared in his comedy-drama Greenberg which also starred Ben Stiller. Next, the duo who had had began dating by late 2011, co-wrote Frances Ha (2013) and Mistress America (2015) with Greta starring in both.
Greta had other gigs that didn’t involve Bambach like Northern Comfort where she also served as a co-writer, The Dish & the Spoon, Damsels in Distress, and more. She grew more into the mainstream with films like Maggie’s Plan, Jackie, and 20th Century Women.
Gerwig also tried her hands on the small screen. She voiced the character of Pony Merks in China, IL from 2011 to 2015. She landed the lead role in a pilot for How I Met Your Dad, a spin-off of How I Met Your Mother but it was unsold.
Gerwig has had guest roles in Portlandia and Mindy Kaling‘s The Mindy Project. She made her stage debut in May 2014 in Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike at the Lucille Lortel Theater in New York.
When she began acting, Gerwig aspired to become a playwright but when she applied to study for a masters degree in Fine Arts, she was turned down.
However, Gerwig kept hope alive as she learned from the directors she met on-set including Mike Mills, fellow female director, Rebecca Miller and of course her partner Noah Baumbach.
Gerwig did learn rapidly on the job and Lady Bird is proof of that. The teen drama film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 1, 2017. It hit theaters on November 3, 2017. Against a budget of $10 million, the film has grossed over $50 million.
Gerwig isn’t the only one to receive accolades for the film. The lead and supporting actresses Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf both scored Oscar nominations.
Awards and Nominations
Greta Gerwig has earned a plethora of award nominations in her career, winning at least 9. Here are some of the most notable ones.
Detroit Film Critics Society – Breakthrough Artist (Nominated)
Gotham Independent Film Awards – Best Breakthrough Actor/Actress (Nominated)
Independent Spirit Awards – Best Female Lead (Nominated)
Damsels in Distress (2012)
Detroit Film Critics Society – Best Actress (Nominated)
Dublin International Film Festival – Best Actress (Won)
Frances Ha (2014)
Chlotrudis Awards – Best Actress And Best Original Screenplay (Nominated)
Critics’ Choice Movie Awards – Best Actress in a Comedy (Nominated)
Golden Globe Award – Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical (Nominated)
London Film Critics’ Circle – Actress of the Year (Nominated)
20th Century Women (2016)
Detroit Film Critics Society – Best Supporting Actress (Won)
Nominated: Houston Film Critics Society, Austin Film Critics Association, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, London Film Critics’ Circle
Lady Bird (2017)
Won: BCharts Annual Film Awards (Best Screen Play), Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF Award), National Board of Review (Best Director), Satellite Awards, (Auteur Award)
Nominated: Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Best Screenplay – Golden Globe Award Best Motion Picture.