Greta Gerwig, with full name Greta Celeste Gerwig, is a fascinating actress for ÉCU, because she is known as one of the main participants in the so called Mumblecore mouvement, which is characterized as a sub genre of the American independent film. This genre is mainly focusing on low budget production values and amateur actors who engage in a very naturalistic dialogue.

Greta Gerwig was born on the 4th of August 1983 in the U.S., more specifically in Sacramento, California. As one can detect from her name, she does not only have american roots, but also possesses German ancestors. Greta Gerwig did not grow up in an artistic environment, as her mother, Cristina Gerwig, is a nurse and her father, Gordon Gerwig, is working as a computer consultant and computer programmer. As a child, Greta went to an all catholic school and was described as a rather intense child who knew what it wanted. Already in her youth, Gerwig wanted to obtain an artistic education and therefore aimed to do a degree in musical theater in New York. However, that dream was never accomplished and instead Greta decided to study English and Philosophy at the Barnard College with the intention to become a script writer. Only by chance, Gerwig was casted for one minor role in the film LOL (directed by Richard Swnaberg) which was released in 2006.

This moment marked the start of Greta Gerwig‘s acting career and she continued to collaborate with several other American indie filmmakers and appeared in films such as ‚Hannah Takes the Stairs‘ (2007), ‚Nights and Weekends (2008) and ‚Greenberg‘ (2010). Greta Gerwig made her first mainstream appearance in the film „No Strings Attached“ in 2011 (starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher) and also played in the mainstream production „To Rome with Love“ and „Arthur“. However, it is easy to see that Greta Gerwig‘s heart will always be owned by independent films and especially the Mumblecore mouvement.

Gerwig is said to be romantically involved with the director of ‚Greenberg‘ since 2011 and Noah Baumberg also helped Greta Gerwig to co-write her successful film „Frances Ha“ and furthermore directed it.

The film ‚Frances Ha‘, which was released this year, speaks for the young generation of the 20 year olds. Gerwig plays the character of Frances Handley who tries to make it as a dancer. She is drifting between different cities and different lifestyles, always trying to search for her identity, but never really succeeding. Frances Ha perfectly describes the dilemma of today‘s generation. The hipsters and semi-bohemians who desperately try to be unique and independent but at the same time have to attain the adulthood, society expects of us! In „Frances Ha“, Greta Gerwig plays one of the most honest characters we  have seen in a long time and manages with her performance to portray the problems of our generation. Maybe this is what explains the incredible success of the film „Frances Ha“!

Anna-Louisa Werner


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