From Mumblecore to Mainstream: A Look into Greta Gerwig’s Path to Stardom
Breaking into the entertainment industry as an actor, writer, producer, or director is one hell of a roller coaster ride – steep climbs, sharp turns, heart racing, and unexpected breakdowns that leave you stuck upside down, utterly helpless. Nonetheless, it’s an exhilarating, entertaining, and euphoric experience once you endure through it all.
There’s not a better or more deserving woman in Hollywood who personifies #girlboss and #lifegoals other than triple threat director, writer, and actress, Greta Gerwig. Her creative mind, revolutionary ideologies, and unparalleled influence has demonstrated that the power of storytelling, if done authentically and righteously, could move mountains. The exceptional and eccentric characters she has flawlessly created serve as a leading exemplar and voice of today’s youth to strive to be dauntless, ambitious, audacious, and to make their own mark in this world.
Her creative mind, revolutionary ideologies, and unparalleled influence has demonstrated that the power of storytelling could move mountains.
As dramatized in her Academy Award-nominated film, Lady Bird (2017), Gerwig was raised in Sacramento, CA and attended an all-girls Catholic school. In her formative years, she developed an interest in the arts as a playwright and forged her own path to make a life for herself in New York City. When her application to playwriting programs got rejected, she pursued acting on the side and graduated with a degree in English and Philosophy at Barnard College instead.
At the start of her acting career, she starred in various mumblecore low-budget films by esteemed independent filmmaking directors such as the Duplass brothers, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, and eventually landed on the set of Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love (2012). Despite working with award-winning directors and being a talented actress, her career only started to pick up after starring in Noah Baumbach’s film, Greenberg (2010), turning heads at the Gotham Independent Film Awards as one of the breakthrough actors of the year – but not big enough to give her the opportunities she needed to reach stardom.
As she moved on to co-write and star in Baumbach’s hit black and white dramedy, Frances Ha (2012), it eventually fueled her interest to work more behind the scenes. Years later, she took the leap of faith and wrote and directed a coming-of-age story loosely based on her experiences, which ultimately put her at the top of Hollywood’s A-list filmmakers. This film earned her 5 Oscar nominations and recognized her as the fifth woman nominated for Best Director in the history of the Academy Awards.
Reforming Women in Hollywood
The release of Gerwig’s Lady Bird (2017) couldn’t be at a more perfect time. It was one of the pioneering female-led stories that proved during the height of the #MeToo Movement that it’s about time for Hollywood to reform the system that has been unjust and discriminatory for decades.
Gerwig continues to be the voice of strong, fearless, and influential women by tackling social issues told through the eyes of her multi-dimensional characters in her film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel and writings, Little Women. Her fascination for the story stems back from her childhood and she fought her way to convince studio executives at Sony Pictures Entertainment that she was the right person for the job. Prior to its public release, Little Women (2019) has already won the hearts of critics as a strong contender alongside Parasite (2019) and Marriage Story (2019) for Best Director and Best Picture at the upcoming 2020 Academy Awards.
Little Women (2019) has already won the hearts of critics as a strong contender alongside Parasite (2019) and Marriage Story (2019)
It’s astounding to see the huge transformation of Hollywood as we see more diversity, inclusion, and equality in storytelling. Greta Gerwig remains to be a living testament as to what we could achieve in terms of social awakening, intellectual growth, and purposeful entertainment if we give women the power to share their vision and shape narratives. She trusted the process and remained fervent and determined in ensuring that she has a voice and seat at the table.