The Info List - Greta Gerwig

Greta Celeste Gerwig (/ˈɡɛrwɪɡ/; born August 4, 1983) is an American actress, writer, and director.[1][2] She first garnered attention after working on and appearing in several mumblecore films.[3][4] Between 2006 and 2009, she appeared in a number of films by Joe Swanberg, some of which she co-wrote and co-directed.[5]

Since the early 2010s, Gerwig has collaborated with Noah Baumbach on several films, including Greenberg (2010), Frances Ha (2012), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination, and Mistress America (2015). She has also performed in the films such as Damsels in Distress (2011), To Rome with Love (2012), Jackie (2016), and 20th Century Women (2016), the latter of which earned her a nomination for the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress.[6]

In 2017, Gerwig wrote and made her solo directorial debut with the critically acclaimed comedy-drama film Lady Bird, which won the award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 75th Golden Globe Awards. For her work on Lady Bird, Gerwig also received two Academy Award nominations, for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, as well as Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for Best Screenplay; Gerwig became the fifth woman in history to be nominated in the Best Director category at the Oscars.[7]

Early life

A native of Sacramento, California, Gerwig is the daughter of Christine (née Sauer), an OB-GYN nurse, and Gordon Gerwig, who worked for a credit union on small business loans.[8] She has an older brother, a landscape architect, and sister, a Manager at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.[9][10][11] She has German, Irish, and English ancestry,[10] and was raised a Unitarian Universalist.[12] She attended St. Francis High School,[13] an all-girls Catholic school in Sacramento. She has described herself as having been "an intense child."[14][15] She showed an early interest in dance, and had intended to complete a degree in musical theatre in New York, but ended up graduating from Barnard College with a degree in English and philosophy.[15][16] Outside of class, she performed in the Columbia Varsity Show alongside Kate McKinnon.[17]


Early career

Gerwig originally intended to become a playwright, but turned to acting when she was not admitted to playwriting MFA programs.[8] In 2006, while still studying at Barnard, she was cast in a minor role in Joe Swanberg's LOL, and appeared in Baghead by Jay and Mark Duplass. She began a partnership with Swanberg, which resulted in the duo's co-writing Hannah Takes the Stairs (2007), and sharing both writing and directing duties on Nights and Weekends (2008). Through these films, she became known as a key figure in of the rising mumblecore film movement,[3][4] often referred to as an "it girl".[5][18][19] Although she had an association with a number of other mumblecore filmmakers and appeared in several films—among them Ti West's The House of the Devil—mainstream success remained elusive.

Of this period in her life, Gerwig has said "I was really depressed. I was 25 [in 2008] and thinking, 'This is supposed to be the best time and I'm miserable' but it felt like acting was happening for me, and I went back to acting classes".[15]

Mainstream success

Gerwig at the premiere of No Strings Attached in 2011

In 2010, Gerwig starred in Noah Baumbach's Greenberg alongside Ben Stiller, Rhys Ifans, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. In an appraisal of her work in this and other films, the New York Times critic A. O. Scott described Gerwig as an "ambassador of a cinematic style that often seems opposed to the very idea of style." "She seems to be embarked on a project," Scott wrote, "however piecemeal and modestly scaled, of redefining just what it is we talk about when we talk about acting."[20]

Gerwig and Baumbach co-wrote his next film, Frances Ha, which was released in May 2013 after having toured the festival circuit since September 2012. Gerwig played the title role, and received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical for her performance.[21] Her third on-screen collaboration with Baumbach, Mistress America, was released in August 2015 to generally positive reviews. It currently holds an aggregated score of 75 at Metacritic, and has an 82% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[22][23]

Gerwig's next starring role was in Rebecca Miller's Maggie's Plan, which premiered as an official selection of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival,[24] opening to positive reviews.[25][26][27] The film was also screened at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. That same year, Gerwig starred in Jackie, directed by Pablo Larraín,[28] and 20th Century Women, directed by Mike Mills,[29] earning acclaim for both performances, particularly her work in the latter, for which she earned a nomination for the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress.[6]

Gerwig with Bryan Cranston at the Isle of Dogs press conference at Berlinale in 2018

In 2017, Gerwig made her solo directorial debut (after having co-directed Nights and Weekends) with the teen comedy-drama film Lady Bird, which she also wrote.[30] The film's cast includes Saoirse Ronan, Tracy Letts, Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Lois Smith.[31] Lady Bird premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 1, 2017, was theatrically released in the United States on November 3, 2017 by A24, and in the United States it has grossed more than $50 million against its $10 million budget.

Upon release, critics praised Gerwig's screenplay and direction.[32][33] The film was later chosen by the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute, and Time magazine as one of the top 10 films of 2017.[34][35][36] At the 75th Golden Globe Awards, Lady Bird won the awards for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress – Musical or Comedy (Ronan), and also received nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Metcalf) and Best Screenplay. At the 90th Academy Awards, it is nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Gerwig, Best Actress for Ronan, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Metcalf.[7] Gerwig became the fifth woman in history to be nominated in the Best Director category at the Oscars.[7]

In 2018, Gerwig was part of the ensemble cast of the 2018 animated film Isle of Dogs, by Wes Anderson, which premiered at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival.[37] She is slated to star in director Mia Hansen-Løve's upcoming film Bergman Island, alongside Mia Wasikowska and John Turturro.[38]


Gerwig made her first talk show appearance in 2010 on Jimmy Kimmel Live! She was later cast as a lead in the HBO pilot The Corrections (2011)[15] and a spin-off of How I Met Your Mother titled How I Met Your Dad (2014),[39] but neither were picked up to series.[40] Gerwig voiced one of the main characters in the Adult Swim animated series China, IL. In 2016, she guest-starred in two episodes of the comedy series The Mindy Project.[41]


In May 2014, Gerwig made her stage debut as Becky in Penelope Skinner's The Village Bike at the Lucille Lortel Theater in New York. The show ran until the end of June.[42] She was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actress for her performance.[43]


In 2011, Gerwig won an award from the Athena Film Festival for her artistry as one of Hollywood's definitive screen actresses of her generation.[44] In 2014 she was selected as a member of the jury for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.[45] Her 2018 nomination for the Best Director category at the Academy Awards for Lady Bird makes her the first woman in eight years (and one of only five women in the academy's history) to have been nominated for the category.[46][47]


In July 2017, Gerwig was among 60 artists who signed an open letter organized by the New-York-based group Adalah-NY that called on Lincoln Center to cancel performances of a play by Israeli author David Grossman staged "with support of the Israel's Office of Cultural Affairs in North America."[48][49] In September 2017 Gerwig apologized, saying signing the letter had been "a mistake. I was unfamiliar with the complexities of the letter and I did not take the time to study them."[50][51]

While promoting Lady Bird, Gerwig came under scrutiny for her past work with Woody Allen, in the midst of renewed media interest in sexual assault allegation against him.[52] After being publicly criticized by Dylan Farrow for ignoring her allegations, Gerwig apologized for working with Allen and said that she "will never work with him again".[53] She elaborated in an interview with The New York Times:

Dylan Farrow’s two different pieces made me realize that I increased another woman’s pain, and I was heartbroken by that realization. I grew up on his movies, and they have informed me as an artist, and I cannot change that fact now, but I can make different decisions moving forward.[54]

Personal life

Gerwig has been dating writer-director Noah Baumbach since late 2011.[55][56]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 LOL Greta
2007 Hannah Takes the Stairs Hannah Also co-writer
2008 Baghead Michelle
2008 Yeast Gen
2008 Nights and Weekends Mattie Also co-writer, co-director and producer
2008 Quick Feet, Soft Hands Lisa Short film
2008 I Thought You Finally Completely Lost It Greta
2009 You Wont Miss Me Bridget
2009 The House of the Devil Megan
2010 Greenberg Florence Marr
2010 Art House Nora Ohr
2010 Northern Comfort Cassandra Also co-writer
2010 The Dish & the Spoon Rose
2011 No Strings Attached Patrice
2011 Damsels in Distress Violet Wister
2011 Arthur Naomi Quinn
2012 To Rome with Love Sally
2012 Lola Versus Lola
2012 Frances Ha Frances Halladay Also co-writer
2014 Eden Julia
2014 The Humbling Pegeen Mike Stapleford
2015 Mistress America Brooke Cardinas Also co-writer and producer
2015 Maggie's Plan Maggie Hardin
2016 Wiener-Dog Dawn Wiener
2016 Jackie Nancy Tuckerman
2016 20th Century Women Abigail Porter
2017 Lady Bird N/A Writer and director
2018 Isle of Dogs Tracy Walker (voice)
2018 Untitled Noah Baumbach Project Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2011–2015 China, IL Pony Merks (voice) 21 episodes
2014 How I Met Your Dad Sally Unsold CBS pilot
2015 Portlandia Mermaid Episode: "Doug Becomes a Feminist"
2016 The Mindy Project Sarah Branum 2 episodes
2017 Saturday Night Live Office Boss Episode: "Saoirse Ronan/U2"

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ Heyman, Stephen (January 28, 2010). "The Nifty 50 Greta Gerwig, Actress". T Magazine. The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Noah Baumbach Hires Mumblecore's Meryl Streep, Readies Greenberg". New York Observer. February 9, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Bunbury, Stephanie (2013-07-19). "Real to reel: The rise of 'mumblecore'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-01-09. 
  4. ^ a b "Sweetheart of Early-Adult Angst". NYMag.com. Retrieved 2018-01-09. 
  5. ^ a b "Mumblecore queen Greta Gerwig laughs last in Frances Ha". Georgia Straight Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly. 2013-06-20. Retrieved 2018-01-09. 
  6. ^ a b Thompson, Anne (2016-12-21). "'20th Century Women': How Mike Mills Empowered Annette Bening and Greta Gerwig". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  7. ^ a b c CNN, Sandra Gonzalez,. "Greta Gerwig's best director nomination is a huge deal". CNN. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  8. ^ a b Smallwood, Christine (2017-11-01). "Greta Gerwig's Radical Confidence". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  9. ^ Greta Gerwig Toronto Interview accessed 10/26/2016
  10. ^ a b Gilbey, Ryan (June 6, 2010). "Greta Gerwig – great expectations". The Sunday Times. [dead link]
  11. ^ Adams, Guy (April 16, 2011). "Greta Gerwig: The queen of low-budget cinema is breaking into the mainstream with her role in Arthur". The Independent. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (August 15, 2013). "Greta Gerwig, UU film star". UU World. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  13. ^ https://www.stfrancishs.org/page/the-arts/alumnae-in-the-arts
  14. ^ Adams, Thelma (June 22, 2012). "'To Rome With Love' star Greta Gerwig is wild about Woody Allen — just read her high school yearbook". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d Brockes, Emma (July 13, 2013). "Greta Gerwig: daydream believer". The Guardian. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Hannah Takes The Stairs". hannahtakesthestairs.com. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Varsity Show Endears and Endures Columbia College Today". College.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  18. ^ Olsen, Mark (2008-07-26). "The accidental 'It' girl". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-01-09. 
  19. ^ "Lola Versus: Indie It girl Greta Gerwig still has it". Retrieved 2018-01-09. 
  20. ^ Scott, A. O. (March 24, 2010). "No Method To Her Method". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  21. ^ Strecker, Erin (2013-12-12). "Golden Globes: 'Frances Ha' star Greta Gerwig is 'just very happy right now. I can't make sense!'". EW.com. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  22. ^ "Mistress America". August 14, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Mistress America". Metacritic. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Toronto to open with 'Demolition'; world premieres for 'Trumbo', 'The Program'". www.screendaily.com. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  25. ^ Harvey, Dennis. "Sundance Film Review: 'Maggie's Plan'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  26. ^ Lawson, Richard. "Julianne Moore Shows Off Her Delightful Comedy Chops in Maggie's Plan". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  27. ^ Smith, Nigel M. (2015-09-13). "Maggie's Plan review: Julianne Moore steals agreeably messy comedy". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  28. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 30, 2015). "Greta Gerwig Joins Natalie Portman in 'Jackie' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  29. ^ McNary, Dave (May 14, 2015). "Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning Join '20th Century Women'". Variety. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  30. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. "Greta Gerwig To Direct Her Script 'Lady Bird' For IAC Films". Deadline. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  31. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (September 7, 2016). "John Karna Joins 'Lady Bird' Bevy; Natasha Liu Bordizzo Checks Into 'Hotel Mumbai'". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  32. ^ "'Lady Bird': Film Review Telluride 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 8, 2017. 
  33. ^ Debruge, Peter (September 4, 2017). "Telluride Film Review: Saoirse Ronan in 'Lady Bird'". Variety. Retrieved September 8, 2017. 
  34. ^ "AFI Awards 2017". AFI. Retrieved December 8, 2017. 
  35. ^ "National Board of Review Announces 2017 Award Winners". National Board of Review. November 28, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017. 
  36. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (December 7, 2017). "The Top 10 Movies of 2017". Time. Retrieved December 13, 2017. 
  37. ^ Meza, Ed (2018-02-15). "Berlin Opening Night: Wes Anderson, Tilda Swinton, Greta Gerwig Celebrate 'Isle of Dogs'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  38. ^ Erbland, Kate (May 18, 2017). "Mia Hansen-Løve Lines Up Greta Gerwig, Mia Wasikowska & John Turturro". www.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2017-11-11. 
  39. ^ Nellie Andreeva. "Greta Gerwig To Topline CBS' 'How I Met Your Mother' Spinoff - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  40. ^ Malone, Noreen. "Greta Gerwig Is a Director, Not a Muse". 
  41. ^ Bacle, Ariana (March 18, 2016). "Greta Gerwig to guest-star on The Mindy Project". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  42. ^ "The Village Bike - Off-Broadway Tickets - Broadway - Broadway.com". Broadway.com. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  43. ^ "The Village Bike - Lortel Archives". Lortel.org. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  44. ^ "2011 Athena Award Winners". Athena Film Festival. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  45. ^ "Berlinale 2014: International Jury". Berlinale. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  46. ^ CNN, Sandra Gonzalez,. "Greta Gerwig's best director nomination is a huge deal". CNN. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  47. ^ "Oscars 2018: Greta Gerwig gets first female director nomination in eight years". Sky News. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  48. ^ "Artists Protest Lincoln Center Play Backed by Israel". New York Times. July 5, 2017.  "The New York Times". 
  49. ^ "Artists protest Israeli-gov't sponsored play in New York". 
  50. ^ "Greta Gerwig Regrets Signing Letter Against Israeli-Backed Play". New York Post.  "The New York Post". 
  51. ^ "Actress Greta Gerwig regrets signing Israel boycott letter". 
  52. ^ "Greta Gerwig Side-Steps Question About Working with Woody Allen at Golden Globes". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  53. ^ "Greta Gerwig regrets working with Woody Allen". EW.com. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  54. ^ Bruni, Frank; Gerwig, Greta; Sorkin, Aaron (2018). "Opinion Greta Gerwig, Aaron Sorkin: Hollywood Must Change". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  55. ^ Olsen, Mark (September 7, 2012). "'Frances Ha' bonds Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  56. ^ Parker, Ian (April 29, 2013). "Happiness". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 

External links