Greta Gerwig on Her Directorial Debut, ‘Lady Bird’

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"Once I finished writing, I felt like it was the moment I had been working toward for 10 years — I’d always wanted to direct."

Lady Bird screened to a full house at the Paramount Theatre in Texas on Thursday night during the Austin Film Festival, as Greta Gerwig's directorial debut.

“It was a very long process of writing the script but once I finished writing, I felt like it was the moment I had been working toward for 10 years and I’d always wanted to direct," she said. "This is the moment, this is when you do it. I don’t know that you ever quite feel ready, but I think I felt like, enough is enough. You’ve got enough training. Go for it.”

Gerwig’s movie has traveled to festivals all around the U.S., receiving accolades and high praises along the way. Lady Bird is a comedy about a young girl in Sacramento named Christine. She refers to herself as Lady Bird. It’s also a semi-autobiographical story about Greta Gerwig.

The story revolves around Lady Bird’s senior year of high school, figuring out how to leave home to pursue her life dreams in New York City because (she thinks) she hates California, only to realize how beautiful it is upon leaving.

Asked whether it was more difficult to express her art on-camera or off, Gerwig told The Hollywood Reporter, “The more authorship I’ve taken of a project, whether by writing or co-writing, and now writing and directing on my own — the more authorship, the more I find it’s possible to express the kind of work I want to do. I think that’s the direction I want to move in."

As for what's next for the budding auteur? "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," she said.

Gerwig also gave advice for aspiring artists who are new to the industry. “Figure out what you really don’t like in movies and figure out what shots that make you feel like, 'If I see another film with that shot or another movie with this kind of character, I’m just going to pull my hair out!' Especially when you’re young and starting out, I think it can be a really inspiring thing, a little bit of righteous anger.”

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