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Sweetheart of Early-Adult Angst

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Gerwig with Greenberg co-stars Rhys Ifans and Ben Stiller  

Gerwig’s career is about to change in any number of ways. She went to the Berlin International Film Festival and walked the red carpet in a long red Dior dress. She had her photograph taken for Vogue. She’s in talks to do a “cool indie movie about a rock band that breaks up.” And then? Who knows. There hasn’t yet been a hugely apparent difference between Gerwig and any of the characters she’s played onscreen. Though in the case of Florence, this blurring of lines was difficult: “I thought I was doing a really good job of separating Greta from Florence, and I don’t think that was true at all. When I came home, I didn’t know who I was or what I was and I didn’t have one inch of backbone left. I just felt like a marshmallow.”

Gerwig’s never been a robot or a druid or a single mother with a regional accent. Her career thus far seems to consist of characters you can’t imagine having careers or frames of reference different from her own. But she’s in love with the idea of making movies. Big ones, like Singin’ in the Rain. “I was the youngest child, and it was always just me and my parents, and I loved the idea of a big family, and there’s something about a big movie—about the community that springs up to make a movie—that I love,” she says. “And, I mean, you’re making movies! For people to go sit in the dark and feel something!” Gerwig laughs. “So,” she says. “That’s me on movies.”


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