Despite having just three movies under her belt as a stand-alone director, Greta Gerwig has cemented herself as one of the best modern filmmakers. Initially rising to prominence with the enormous success of Ladybird, a film that deeply resonated with fans around the globe, Gerwig’s brilliance has once again taken the world by storm following the enormous success of Barbie.
And while Ladybird is arguably her best work to date and Barbie is her biggest hit, she also didn’t drop the ball with her 2nd major release, and part of the reason behind its success was Steven Spielberg.
Steven Spielberg Helped Greta Gerwig Perfecting Her Passion Project
Like Ladybird, 2019’s Little Women too scored extremely high among critics, earning Greta Gerwig her second Oscar nomination for Best Director. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s novel by the same name, the period drama takes place in the 19th century, the same timeframe in which Steven Spielberg‘s acclaimed Lincoln took place. And upon learning about the Ladybird director’s plans of bringing Alcott’s novel to life, Spielberg didn’t mind assisting Gerwig with the research he did for his own period drama, lending her beneficial advice in the process.
But the most notable advice she received from Spielberg was to avoid shooting digitally and use films, as it’d help her achieve the look of the story’s time period. Interestingly, Spielberg had a funny way of making sure Gerwig would stick to films, as she recalled,
“And he opened the camera he shot Jurassic Park with and he had me smell celluloid, because he said, ‘You have to shoot on film. It smells different. You cannot shoot a story that takes place in 1861 digitally. I won’t let you do it!’ And so I actually did end up shooting on film.” she explained in Roundtables.
The Jurassic Park director’s advice did come in handy, as Little Women garnered 6 Oscar nods, taking home one, further proving why Gerwig is currently one of the best in the business.
Greta Gerwig Was Adamant About Adapting Little Women Even Before Ladybird Hit the Screens
Despite being adapted numerous times for the big screens, Greta Gerwig was adamant about bringing her own spin to Louisa May Alcott’s work. And despite her agent being skeptical whether she’ll be allowed to bring the iconic IP back to the screens, as she was yet to make a notable impression as a filmmaker, Gerwig didn’t lose hope. Fortunately, after Ladybird brought her directing skills to the light, she was eventually hired for the job. She told Time:
“When I heard they were interested in making it, I said to my agent, ‘You have to get me a meeting because I have to make this movie.’ I had not made Lady Bird yet. And he said, ‘I don’t think they’re ever going to hire you for this.’ And I said ‘Well, they have to.’ Then I was able to go talk with them about my ideas, and they did hire me to write it, and it was after Lady Bird had come out that I heard that they would like me to direct it.”
From crafting Indie gems to hitting it out of the park with her first blockbuster Barbie, which is currently standing at $1.417B, fans can’t wait to see what comes next for the acclaimed director.
Little Women is available to stream on Apple TV.