A Conversation with Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbauch at the Film Society of Lincoln Center
By Susan Kouguell | www.su-city-pictures.comAugust 19, 2015 at 1:00PM
Following the screening of their new film “Mistress America,” writer and director Noah Baumbach and writer and producer Greta Gerwig, shared a lively and insightful discussion about their collaborations, writing, “Frances Ha” (in which Gerwig played the titular character), and her new starring role.
Tracy, a lonely college freshman in New York, is having neither the exciting university experience nor the glamorous metropolitan lifestyle she envisioned. But when she is taken in by her soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke—a resident of Times Square and adventurous gal about town—she is rescued from her disappointment and seduced by Brooke’s alluringly mad schemes.
About Gerwig’s roles as Frances in “Frances Ha” and Brooke in “Mistress America”
Gerwig: Frances and Brooke share a type of madness. Frances literally stumbled at times. She had this running, loping, falling pace to her. Her fits and starts of conversation, and her flashes of confidence and then going back in. And, Brooke, the way we dressed her, was not really of this time — like a misguided businesswoman with little heels, her little boots, and her pants were too short. She stomped around, and would keep stomping. She had no real shame register.
Baumbach: Brooke was someone we recognized. Aspects of Brooke are familiar to us. She felt like someone out of the movies. Brooke is in some ways all performance. Brooke is a movie. The movie is going on for her. That felt intuitively right.
Gerwig: With Brooke’s character introduction “Welcome to the Great White Way,” she starts this gesture that she realizes halfway down the stairs was not big enough to cover the whole stairs and has to keep going. She doesn’t have a moment of “What have I done?” She just keeps going. She’s kind of a hair flipper the way she speaks.