Greta Gerwig was terrified to direct three-time Oscar-winner Meryl Streep in her new movie adaptation of Little Women.
Gerwig was beginning to put together her cast for the period drama when Streep reached out and expressed her interest in the project, based on the literary classic by Louisa May Alcott, and bagged the role of Aunt March.
However, the filmmaker says it was a daunting experience making a movie with the acting legend, as she was intimidated by her excellence on set.
“I was terrified as a director, because what am I going to say to her? She’s so smart and she knows more about how films are made than anyone,” the 36-year-old actress and director tells Elle UK.
“There were a couple of lines I wrote to get a character from A to B, inelegantly, and you know when Meryl asks, ‘Now why do I say that?’ you’d better have a f**king good answer.”
Revealing her fear of looking silly in front of the movie icon, she adds: “It’s intimidating, but it forces you to be better. Unfortunately, it’s uncomfortable to get better, because it means you have to look like an idiot in front of her. But she’s fabulous.”
Despite her apprehensiveness in front of Streep, Gerwig seems to have built a rapport with her cast, which also includes Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, and Timothee Chalamet.
Praising the filmmaker, Chalamet tells Elle: “She has a way of talking with actors that is uniquely insightful. That’s perhaps because she’s an actress herself, but also because she has this intuitive way of speaking about movies, about acting and about the direction of a story.”
Gerwig has missed out on directing nominations at both the Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards – but isn’t bothered by the snubs.
“It’s wonderful when people tell you how great it is, but that doesn’t really change you making the next thing,” she adds. “You’re in a dance with yourself in some way that is really untouched by the world’s approval or disapproval.”