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Five questions with actress Greta Gerwig, of ‘Frances Ha’

Posted 12:00am on Sunday, Jun. 16, 2013

Greta Gerwig

If you want to see Greta Gerwig’s new film, Frances Ha, you’re going to have to do it the old-fashioned way — by going to the movie theater.

Gerwig said she appreciates the convenience of on-demand viewing but believes the film “plays great in the theater with people on the big screen.”

Another old-school aspect of Frances Ha is that it was shot in black and white, which Gerwig said was a natural decision.

“Since making a very intuitive decision, we’ve intellectualized the decision and come up with a lot of fancy reasons for it, but really it was just one of those things that felt right and we could do it,” the 29-year-old actress said. (She co-wrote the movie with boyfriend Noah Baumbach.)

Gerwig’s previous films include No Strings Attached and Greenberg. In Frances Ha, she plays a young woman named Frances who is trying to find her own path in life after her best friend and roommate decides to move out to go live with her boyfriend. It’s now playing in limited release.

In a recent interview, Gerwig talked about film, popcorn movies and staycations.

1 Frances Ha shows a friendship that’s evolving. Do you think that’s common?

I think it’s pretty universal for men or women. [There’s a] moment when you’re exiting your youth and you really only know it when it’s gone. It doesn’t announce that it’s the last day of youth, it just leaves, and I think it’s really difficult when someone that you’ve been so close with grows away from you, especially since there aren’t a lot of cultural touch points to talk about it. There aren’t songs about a friend growing faster than you or movies about it or poems about it.

2 You’re often described as an “indie movie darling.” What do you think of that label? My heart doesn’t like indie films or studio films. I love a big movie. I love seeing something that really feels like Hollywood and I’d love to do more of them. I just don’t want to do things … where the female part is just a cipher where you’re just kind of not really doing anything and you’re just there to look nice.

3 What’s the last Hollywood popcorn movie that you were really entertained by?

Star Trek! I watched Star Trek. Loved it. Awesome. I love Zachary Quinto.

4 You live in New York. You’ve made a lot of films in New York. Did you ever think you’d have to move to Los Angeles for your career?

I grew up in Sacramento, Calif. We never went to L.A., because it’s like an eight-hour car ride. I always loved New York and a lot of it was Woody Allen movies. I went to college here, I just love it. I like L.A., too, but there’s something for me, I always feel like I’m living out a childhood dream when I’m here, even when things are going badly for me.

5 What’s your favorite New York City borough?

I love Queens for food. Queens has the best food. For just like walking around and loving life: Brooklyn. I don’t live there but a lot of my friends do and I do like staycations with them on the weekends. I’m like, ‘I’m just going to pretend I live here and go take yoga in a brownstone,’ and it’s so nice. I love it.

— Alicia Rancilio, The Associated Press

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