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Greta Gerwig Admires Fashion, and Helen Mirren, From Afar

Greta Gerwig at Cynthia Rowley's show.

Adorable, non-makeup-needing Greta Gerwig isn't exactly the first celebrity you'd expect to find front row at a fashion show. But the star of Greenberg — and, more recently, Natalie Portman's sidekick in No Strings Attached — randomly showed up at pal Cynthia Rowley's artsy runway earlier this week. She's friends with the designer, she explained, as well as with Justin Theroux and his long-time stylist girlfriend Heidi Bivens, who may take her to some more shows later this Fashion Week. We talked to Gerwig about why fashion is like a cupcake, what it was like working with SNL host Russell Brand, and what she'll be doing on Oscar night.

I didn't know you were a fashion person.
I'm not fashionable, but I love fashion. I think I, uh, try really hard to look good. I think most of the time I fail. But nobody tries harder than me! I buy Vogue and W. I know the names of models. It's bizarre. I know all the Eastern European names. I grew up in Sacramento, California, and you were really fancy if you shopped at Banana Republic. So it's been a steep learning curve. But I enjoy it. It's so fluffy. It's like a cupcake made of dreams. Dreams and lace.

Why do you think looking good is such hard work?
Oh, it's so embarrassing. I feel like I overthink things, and I usually end up looking like someone else that I don't mean to be. I feel like people who are effortlessly stylish look like they were born in those clothes, like they were made to wear those clothes. And I always feel like I look like I'm trying to get away with something.

Any recent outfits come to mind?
I'm not going to knock anything I've worn, because all the clothes are all beautiful. There's nothing wrong with the clothes. It's the way I've worn them that has not been good, or they haven't been right for my body, which is a drag. I actually did like the way I looked at the Gotham Awards. I felt like that was more of myself. But it's hard to dress in a way that makes you look good and look cool. I'm just impressed. Look at how many people in this room are good at that right now! It's amazing! It's totally amazing! I'm not even good at organizing furniture in my room well. I just put it all against the wall. I don't know how else people do it. And then I go into someone's house where they just have a couch in the middle of the room and it makes perfect sense.

What do you enjoy most about fashion shows?
I like just looking at the models in a voyeuristic kind of way, since it's sanctioned staring at beautiful people.

Where are you watching the Oscars?
From my apartment! Oh, no wait, I'll be in L.A. From my hotel room in L.A.

Any parties?
I'm not going to any parties!

You're flying to L.A. so you can sit in a hotel room alone and watch the Oscars on TV?
Well, I'm nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, which is the day before. So I'll be in L.A., but I won't do any Oscars stuff. And I'm not going to be alone. My mom and dad usually drive down from Sacramento, like, the eight hours. So they'll probably be in the hotel room with me. And they usually bring my dog.

And you just finished filming Arthur, right?
Yup. It's Luis Guzman, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, Russell Brand, and me. It's amazing! I'm obsessed with Luis Guzmán. He was always one of my favorite actors, and I'm so excited he's in this movie. What's amazing about him and Russell is that neither one of them understands the other one's humor. They don't find each other funny.

At all?
I don't think so. But that's what makes them so amazing together. They're, like, speaking different comedy languages. It's, like, Russell being very florid with language and overarticulate and long-winded, and Luis will just look at him and say one thing slowly that's hilarious. And Russell will just look back at him. And everyone else is dying, but both of them don't know what happened.

Did you ever get to see Helen Mirren's awesome body?
I saw her naked in the photos she did for New York Magazine. She's really hot.

See the Complete Cynthia Rowley Fall 2011 Collection
See Backstage and Front Row Photos From the Cynthia Rowley Fall 2011 Show
See Runway Video of the Cynthia Rowley Fall 2011 Collection

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for IMG

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