Writer/Director Noah Baumbach Discusses

While We’re Young

by Susan Kouguell

Displaying NOAH1.JPG Photo Credit: Tatiana Kouguell-Hoell

In writer/director Noah Baumbach’s latest film While We’re Young, a middle-aged couple’s marriage and career are turned upside down when a disarming twenty-something couple enters their lives. Thematically, the film centers on age – growing up and growing older in one’s relationship and career, as well as taking ownership of one’s life.

I asked Noah Baumbach about his writing process on While We’re Young and how strictly he stuck to the script as the director.

Baumbach smiles and states: “My writing process is not going on the Internet.” More serious now, he continues: “I have to spend a lot of time on the script – for me, and for the actors. I stick close to the script when shooting. Scripts are a blueprint of a film. Actors bring their own interpretations. Going on set with actors on location you discover even more about the characters. Knowing that you are going to discover something else about the characters on location is something I have to acknowledge. I think about how it is going to be when they are in a certain location, how they are going to react. As the director, you’re guiding and controlling what you can.”

When asked about Jamie’s character (played by Adam Driver) Baumbach responds to the line in the film about Jamie: “He’s not evil. He’s just young.” Baumbach states: “I think that’s true. He is who he is.”