In reviews of Damsels in Distress Greta Gerwig has been getting as much attention as the rest of the cast put together, so I guess it’s not a surprise that nearly all the interviews that aren’t with Whit Stillman are with her.
From last Friday we have this interview with Christopher Rosen at the Huffington Post:
“[Whit] was thinking about me for the role of Lily [played by Analeigh Tipton in the film]. I would have played Lily happily, but I had kinda fallen in love with Violet. I begged him to read for it; I wanted to audition for it. I brought my tap shoes. I did a tap dance and I sang. They didn’t ask me to do that, I just did it on my own. But I really wanted the part. In retrospect, it seemed like a really Violet move.”
The next day she’s interviewed by Tara Aquino at Complex at a little more length:
Do you believe any of [your character Violet’s] offbeat convictions?
Gerwig: I believe all of it. My mom is actually a psych nurse. She saw the movie when it premiered in L.A. and she had really interesting things to say about it. She really thought it was very smart, and very, in its own way, realistic about how something like dancing can make you feel better and connect you with people, and get your body moving and get your endorphins going, and how it’s really helpful.
The following day Hermione Hoby had an interview with Gerwig in the (UK) Sunday Telegraph, although despite the headline (“Whit Stillman’s new star”) Damsels is a minor point:
Gerwig was desperate for the part. ‘I tap-danced!’ she exclaims, when she describes her audition. ‘He didn’t ask me to, I just showed up and said I had tap shoes and I’d like to tap and then I’d like to sing a song. I just really went for it. Ha!’
Ha, yes, who knew?!
On Monday it was the turn of Matt Pais at RedEye who interviews Gerwig on video. They also have a transcript of the exchange:
What do you think the movie is getting at with the passive-aggressive, arguable empty-headedness of the leader?
Gerwig: I think actually the leader of the pack—it is a situation of, “Physician heal thyself”—but I think she’s not empty-headed. And I do think that Whit really loves Violet. And I think of all the characters I think Violet is the closest to his worldview. I think he actually does think that tap dancing and musical theater and sharp dressing and perfume can make people feel better about themselves. That’s not satire for him; that’s totally 100 percent how he thinks. So even though she suffers from some of the things that she’s trying to correct for other people, she’s incredibly sincere about what she’s trying to do. She really does believe in all of it. And she really wants to help people. She’s not just trying to control them for the sake of controlling them. She really wants people to be happier.
That’s all the Greta for now!