Greta Gerwig has found herself having a moment with the premiere of “Frances Ha” in select theaters last week. As the film’s distribution continues to grow, Gerwig’s role in the lead has gained more and more attention, but she also had a hand in bringing Frances to life behind the scenes.
Gerwig co-wrote the screenplay with the director Noah Baumbach, and when she spoke with MTV News’ Josh Horowitz, she explained how she approaches creating fully fleshed-out people.
“I don’t really think about character. I find characters through what they say and what they do. I have trouble conceptualizing who people are outside of that,” she said. “Any time I try to think of a character outside of writing action, it always is like ’Gina, a doctor.’ What? That’s not a person. A person isn’t a list of qualities. It sounds goofy, but you discover while you’re writing. Your characters surprise you.”
Creating Frances with Baumbach left an impression on Gerwig, who said she is very fond of the character they made for the film. “I love her,” she said. “I love her because she has a lot of struggles, but she’s also got swagger. She’s got a lot of confidence. She’s kind of cocky. I don’t think I actually do share her swagger. Maybe when I have a few drinks.”
And since it’s impossible to bring up swagger without discussing Justin Bieber, Gerwig compared the singer’s confidence to Frances’. “I feel like lately that he’s been very emotional, and that’s not swaggery. I don’t even follow Justin Bieber, but I’ve seen some pictures… like he looks sad,” she said. “I liked ’Never Say Never.’ I didn’t know anything about him, so I was totally drawn in by it. ”
“Frances Ha” is in theaters now.