How Greta Gerwig channeled her inner Jo March to make ‘Little Women’

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Director/Writer Greta Gerwig and Meryl Streep on the set of Columbia Pictures’ Little Women. Photo credit: Wilson Webb

The new film version of "Little Women," like the book, tells the story of the four March sisters coming of age in 1860s Massachusetts. With their father away fighting for the Union army in the Civil War, the family is scraping by in terms of money. But of course, they are rich in love.  

This adaptation of "Little Women" was written and directed by Greta Gerwig, who was Oscar-nominated for best director and best original screenplay for her 2017 film "Lady Bird."

The story of "Little Women" has been catnip to filmmakers. There are movie versions from 1933, 1949, and 1994. Gerwig puts her own spin on the story, using a non-linear approach that jumps forward and backwards in time. 

For Gerwig, taking on "Little Women" -- a period drama with elaborate sets, costumes, choreography and music -- was a far cry from making the indie, semi-autobiographical "Lady Bird."

She tells us about working on a bigger movie, channeling her inner Jo March when a studio executive wanted her to change the ending of her movie, and the surprise of finding herself in the awards race at the same time as her partner, "Marriage Story" director Noah Baumbach. 

Credits

Guest:
Greta Gerwig - actress and filmmaker

Host:
Kim Masters

Producer:
Kaitlin Parker