The first thing Greta Gerwig did upon sitting down for our interview on May 3, 2013 was to be attacked by her chair. Actually, she sat on her hand, which had a disarming charm to it. As the co-writer of FRANCES HA, along with director Noah Baumbach, it was the perfect indication of how close to, and how far from, the eponymous Frances is in relation to Gerwig herself. Funny, introspective, and bracingly clear about her vision as a filmmaker and actor, our talk covered the unusual shooting schedule that allowed the film to show New York City going through actual changes of season, the logistics of getting the crew to Paris, and why keeping secrets from the cast made for a film where each actor could, and was encouraged to, create a universe for his or her character. She also explained the advantages of multiple takes, and how, despite being counterintuitive, it almost forces spontaneity from everyone concerned.
FRANCES HA is a tale of dreams clung to, dreams evolved, and paying attention to what life is trying to tell you. Gerwig plays the eponymous Frances, a young woman with an uncertain relationship to permanent housing, to where her career as a dancer is going, and to the nuances of her relationship with her best friend, Sophie. As one phase of Frances’ life winds down, new possibilities pop up as Frances wanders from her alma mater to her hometown to Paris letting it all sink in. Or not.The film co-stars Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Zegan, and Patrick Heusinger as the loathsome Patch. It was directed by Noah Baumbach from a script he co-wrote with Gerwig. Their previous collaboration was the arresting GREENBERG with Ben Stiller in the title role.