Oscars: 10 Things to Know About Best Picture Nominee 'Lady Bird'

4:38 PM 2/28/2018

by Deirdre Durkan

No, Greta Gerwig is nothing like the title character, and more revelations from interviews with the writer-director and her cast.

LADY BIRD  -Still -Publicity -SPLASH - 2017
Courtesy of A24

The coming-of-age tale Lady Bird captures the quintessential life of an early ‘00s teenager. The Oscar contender marked the first feature film that Greta Gerwig has written and directed solo. The unconventional writer, director and actor’s style proved to be wildly successful despite her not following a traditional movie-making path, like going to film school. 

Gerwig used her own childhood as inspiration, including her time as a theater nerd in Sacramento. Despite her shared hometown and New York City aspirations, she is not Lady Bird.

In fact, Gerwig says, “Lady Bird is the opposite of how I was in Catholic school. I was a real rule-follower and a people-pleaser and a gold star-getter. Lady Bird is a flawed heroine that I invented."

Below, find 10 revelations from interviews from the cast and director of Lady Bird that have ranged from Gerwig's directing style and what star Saoirse Ronan hopes audiences take away from the movie to why Ronan believed she was psychic as a kid.  

  • Gerwig Always Knew Ronan Would Play Lady Bird

    Gerwig said, "I knew on Page 2 that she was Lady Bird.” Despite this, Gerwig confessed she had Ronan keep reading because she, “selfishly wanted to hear the entire thing read out loud."

    The pair met at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, where both actresses had films premiering. 

  • Ronan Learned About Being an American Teen Through 'Saved by the Bell'

    Saoirse Ronan, who grew up in Ireland, shared that most of her knowledge about being an American high school student came from growing up watching shows like,Saved by the Bell and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

    While on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Ronan revealed that, “Everyone outside of America, pretty much, definitely in the Western world, obviously, grows up with American pop culture,” which explains her television choices.  

    Watching the Disney Channel series That’s So Raven even convinced her she she was psychic.

  • Not Everyone Understood the Film's Mother-Daughter Relationship

    At THR’s Director Roundtable, Gerwig said, "If these men — because it's mostly men that have the money to make movies — had daughters or were raised with sisters, they totally understood the movie. They were like: 'Yup, that's my wife and my daughter.' Or 'That's my sister and my mom.' If they [didn't], they would say, 'Oh, do women really fight like that? Weird.'" 

  • Jennifer Lawerence, Jessica Chastain and Emma Stone Love Ronan's Accent

    At THR’s Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain and Allison Janney all seemed endlessly fascinated by the thick Irish accent of Saoirse Ronan, so much so, nearly everyone attempted their own Ronan impression before the hourlong conversation was over. 

    Ronan was born in The Bronx, in New York City, but moved to Ireland when she was 3 years old. 

  • Finding Early 2000s Clothing Was Difficult

    Lady Bird costume designer April Napier discovered that while L.A. costume houses had clothes from the '50s to the '90s, they had nothing from the early 2000s. "It was the age of throwaway fashion," she points out. 


  • Gerwig Wanted "More Crucifixes. Everywhere."

    Due to budget constraints, the film wasn’t filmed in Sacramento, Calif. Instead it was were shot at a single-story home in Van Nuys and a Catholic school in Pasadena. Production was able to spend a week in Sacramento, shooting exteriors and landmarks, like the capitol building and the Tower Bridge.

    To properly transform the school, Gerwig told production designer Chris Jones, who was charged with dressing the school: "Add more crucifixes. Everywhere." 

  • Jonah Hill's Younger Sister Plays Lady Bird's Best Friend

    Beanie Feldstein, who plays Lady Bird's best friend at her Catholic school, is the younger sister of actor Jonah Hill. 

    Previously, she has acted in Neighbors 2: Sorotity Rising and on Broadway, alongside Bette Midler, in the cast of Hello Dolly! 

  • Gerwig Treated the Actors Like They "Were Her Kids"

    When asked about Gerwig's directing style, Ronan says, “We were like her kids. What makes a great director is also what makes a great parent — knowing how to discipline their children but also [letting them] know that they are completely loved.”

    The writer-director told The Hollywood Reporter, “I never want to stop acting, but for me [directing] is the thing that I felt most fulfilled my idea of what I want to do the rest of my life."

  • Ronan Wants Moviegoers to Call Their Moms

    Due to the film’s core mother-daughter relationship, Ronan says, "When people ask what I want audiences to take away from the movie," she says, "I tell them, 'I want them to call their moms.'"