(NEW YORK) — It’s not every day a movie scores a 100-percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but Lady Bird managed to do it. The fabulous reviews are due in no small part to the film’s writer/director Greta Gerwig — making her solo directorial debut — and its star, the enamoring Saoirse [SUR-shuh] Ronan.
But when Gerwig set out to make the film, she wasn’t in search of fresh tomatoes — all she wanted to do was create a story about a young woman that wasn’t solely centered on romance.
“I’ve always been interested in stories about women, not that deny the existence of romance, but that that is not the central question of the character,” Gerwig tells ABC Radio. “I’ve seen a lot of movies about young men where the central question is their personhood and are they gonna step into their personhood. And I haven’t seen as many movies about young women that are about that, and also movies that center around a mother and a daughter.”
While elements of the film are taken from Gerwig’s own life – the Sacramento setting and Catholic school education, for instance – the character Lady Bird was largely inspired by who Gerwig wanted to be as a teen.
“I think in a way, writing this movie was a way for me to explore things that I wasn’t able to access myself,” she says. “I was much more of a rule-following kind of kid. I was a people-pleaser. And I think I was building a deeply-flawed but inspiring heroine that I thought was kind of magical.”
She says she “knew instantly” that Ronan was the right actress to bring the character to life.
The film — a four-time Spirit Award nominee which also stars Laurie Metcalf and Timothée Chalamet — expands to wider release this weekend.
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