Greta Gerwig on directing: “It’s the best feeling in the world”

We have questions-and-answers this morning for movie star Great Gerwig, who’s now taken a commanding role OFF-camera. She’s been talking to our Tony Dokoupil:

Enter a Sacramento coffee shop with Greta Gerwig and you might be surprised what happens.

“Nothing. Nothing will happen,” she laughed.

In her hometown, Gerwig doesn’t yet get mobbed in public — and she helpfully spells her name for the barista.

Until this year, the 34-year-old was probably best known as an actor, with roles opposite Ben Stiller (“Greenberg”), Annette Bening (“20th Century Women”), and Natalie Portman (“Jackie”).

Writer-director Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) with correspondent Tony Dokoupil. 

CBS News

But now, she’s written and directed “Lady Bird,” starring Saoirse Ronan, a movie praised as “perfect” by some critics and celebrated as the best-reviewed movie of all time on the sometimes surly film website Rotten Tomatoes.

“I don’t typically read reviews while it’s going on,” she said.

“You must be aware,” Dokoupil said.

“I’m aware. I’m definitely aware!”

Ronan plays an artsy Sacramento teenager — much as Gerwig once was. But don’t mistake “Lady Bird” for an autobiography.

Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf in “Lady Bird.”


Dokoupil asked, “Why do you think it bothers you when people assume that it is?”

“Because I spent so long writing it, and I worked so hard on the script to get it just right,” she replied. “And I don’t like the implication that it’s not an act of imagination, because it is 100 percent an act of imagination.”

You could say Gerwig’s first role was as a pint-sized director. When she was five years old, she tried to organize everybody in her kindergarten to do a production of “Starlight Express.”

With support from her parents, she went on to pursue ballet, theater and playwriting. But when it came to college ……

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