‘Mumblecore’ muse and indie fave, Greta Gerwig, fell into the world of acting by literally being herself. Her charm and unbelievable realness scored her a role in her first ever feature film and a top spot on Swide’s list of new faces to look out for in 2010.
Greta Gerwig was an aspiring playwright who contemplated applying to law school before she found herself becoming the poster child of indie-film movement, “mumblecore”-a recent genre of low-budget independent movies that are made by friends, casual and serious lovers and are typically about relationships between twenty-something individuals played by non-professional actors with an improvised script. Gerwig’s life changed when then-boyfriend Chris Wells asked to use a voice-mail message that she’d left for him as a message from his character’s fictional girlfriend in "LOL", a Joe Swanberg film. After a face-to-face encounter with between Gerwig and director Swanberg, sparked a collaborative relationship with films," Hannah takes the stairs” and “Nights and Weekends”, spearheading the DIY low-budget movement.
"Hannah takes the stairs"-2007
On the topic of 'mumblecore', Gerwig shares,“I had no idea that people would have so many things to say about them. Had I known, I don’t think I would have been able to do all the weird things that I did.” Although her work generated some buzz, success didn't come easy to Gerwig. She shares with Movieline, "I kept putting the “pause” button on my life. I kept just getting by — just making ends meet. I kept auditioning as just a regular actress in addition to making these smaller films. Luckily the smaller films got attention, although we didn’t know that they would. It’s weird, because you reconstruct narratives backwards. But at the time I just kind of leapfrogged from one thing to another. It was very fortunate that this happened
Gerwig's smaller films soon caught the eye of "Greenberg" director, Noah Baumbach who casted Gerwig in her first-ever feature film." Greenberg" is about A New Yorker (Ben Stiller) who moves to Los Angeles in an attempt to figure out his life while he housesits for his brother, and he soon develops a relationship with his brother's assistant, Florence, played by Gerwig. Gerwig's character is comical, but warmly drawn. Gerwig told Vogue that she developed the Florence's character by "thinking of her as a girl whose thighs rubbed together when she walked, who was seven pounds overweight”. Gerwig also shares her how she feels entering into mainstream cinema: “Every step of the way, I thought, ‘Oh, my god—I can’t believe I am in a position to be rejected from something like this!’” Not that she doesn’t value working economically. “There’s something really great about limitations and having to work around road blocks because you get clever.”
Gerwig's role in "Greenberg" is said to be the breakout role that will catapult her into a full-blown leading lady. Swide is excited to see this indie-flower flourish. Check out the trailer for "Greenberg" that is out now.