Opening in limited release Friday in New York and Los Angeles, Maggie’s Plan centers on Maggie Hardin (Greta Gerwig), a thirtysomething New Yorker whose plans to have a baby with a sperm donor (Travis Fimmel) takes a left turn after she falls in love with an anthropology professor (Ethan Hawke). Complicating matters is the professor’s seemingly distant Danish wife (Julianne Moore) who still has feelings for her all too distracted spouse.
Written and directed by Rebecca Miller (The Private Lives of Pippa Lee), the project brings a light screwball, comedic touch to the proceedings, and during the Maggie’s Plan interviews I asked Gerwig if she was inspired by such comedic queens as Carole Lombard and Judy Holliday:
“Carole Lombard is my favorite lady of all the ladies. She’s just so funny and beautiful and can totally ride language in a ridiculous way that’s utterly satisfying. For me, the movie stars of the ’30s and ’40s, they have this feeling of using their whole bodies the whole time they were acting and that’s something I’ve always really responded to.”
***Gerwig, whose previous credits include Mistress America and Frances Ha, also said her background as a dancer influenced early love for cinema:
“I was really interested in movie musicals more than anything. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly films – but (with) Oklahoma!, the Agnes DeMille choreography is just amazing. I’ve always liked that kind of head to toe framing and that’s how I like to act and that’s what inspires me. It grew for me and it keeps growing – I feel like I keep discovering knew things about filmmaking that inspire me and actors that inspire me. But sure – sure Carole Lombard and Diane Keaton – I can’t get them out even if I tried.”
The audio version of Gerwig’s answer is below:
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