Greta Gerwig broke records directing Barbie. Amid the hype, she had her second child.

In recent times Greta Gerwig's name has become synonymous with a bunch of films that have put her name on the map as one of our generation's best filmmakers. But for those who have been following her career will know that she's been on the scene for quite some time with her trajectory taking plenty of twists and turns. 

Born in Sacramento, California in the early 80s, Gerwig had a fairly regular upbringing, although she displayed a penchant for theatrics early on. In an interview with The Guardian in 2013, she described herself as being an "intense child" with an obsessive commitment to her hobbies including dance. "When I loved an activity, I had trouble doing it halfway," she said. "It was scary with ballet. I would have gone to class for four hours a day, seven days a week, if I could have."

Upon finishing high school, Gerwig took her flare for writing and channelled it into a degree in English and philosophy, graduating from Barnard College. After receiving her tertiary qualifications she got her first hit of rejection, a pivotal moment that begun shaping the direction of career. A keen playwright, Gerwig was passionate about taking her skills to the next level so she applied to several writing programmes. However, fate had other plans, and she was knocked back.

Watch: The official trailer for Barbie. Post continues after video.

Video via YouTube/Barbie.

"I got rejected from every graduate school I applied to," she said while appearing as a guest on the podcast Employee of the Month in 2016. "I really thought highly of myself. I applied as a playwright to Yale, Juilliard and NYU and just got like a universal, 'No thanks.'"

Despite this big blow, she decided to parlay her skills into another area of the entertainment world: acting. She struck up a partnership with Joe Swanberg and scored some minor roles in LOL and Baghead. She then garnered some more mainstream recognition as the face of a 'mumblecore' movement after starring in the movie Greenberg with Ben Stiller. It is at this point she met director Noah Baumbach who would become a profound collaborator both professionally and in her personal life. They would go on to co-write several films and strike up a romantic relationship. 

Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach. Image: Getty.


In 2012 Baumbach and Gerwig co-wrote, Frances Ha, a brilliant film chronicling the trials of a young woman trying to figure out her place in the world. Gerwig instantly became an Indie film darling and ignited a generation of like-minded women who rallied behind her iconic, deadpan catchphrases like, "I'm so embarrassed. I'm not a real person, yet." Following on from the success of Frances Ha - where Gerwig received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress - she teamed up with Baumbach again with the release of Mistress America which became another hit within Indie film circles.

In 2014, hot off the heels of her acting accomplishments, Gerwig received a big mainstream break when she was cast in the How I Met Your Mother spin-off, How I Met Your Dad, landing the lead role. However, her good fortune was short-lived with the series not being picked up after the launch of the pilot. During a 2017 interview with Stephen Colbert, she went on to explain why the show never got off the ground.


"We shot the pilot, and it was so much fun. I loved working on it. And then they take the pilot to Las Vegas to test it," she said. "The audience, they're given knobs. They turn the knob to the right if they like it and to the left if they don't. And apparently, they turned the knob to the left every time I came on. They didn't like it."

Despite this big blow, Gerwig didn't let it push her down. In fact, it fueled her to chase after her dreams of being a writer-director. In 2017 she released Lady Bird, a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age film that was her solo directorial debut. Starring Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet, it became a critical and box office hit with glowing reviews and a slew of awards. Among the accolades came five Academy Awards nominations including Best Director for Gerwig. She became only the fifth ever woman to be nominated for the award and the gravity of the historic moment was not lost on her.

Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan in the set of Lady Bird. Image: Twitter.


"It's deeply meaningful, I'm very moved by all of it," she told The Hollywood Reporter at the time of her nomination.

Following on from the success of her solo directorial debut, Gerwig sunk her teeth into adapting a remake of Louisa May Alcott's famed novel, Little Women. Once again partnering with Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet as well as a cast of budding young actors including Florence Pugh. After its release in 2019, the film received rave reviews and in came another wave of Academy Award nominations. At the same time as the release of Little Women, Gerwig welcomed a little man of her own with the birth of her first child, a son with partner Noah Baumbach.

Greta Gerwig in the set of Little Women. Image: Twitter.


Throughout 2022 there was plenty of attention on Gerwig after it was announced she was writing and directing the hotly anticipated Barbie film starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. After a press tour of epic proportions, Barbie was released into the world and became a box office hit raking in US$377m during the opening weekend around the world. The huge money maker firmly etched Gerwig's name in the history books making it the biggest debut ever for a film directed by a woman. The impressive stats are made all the more impressive when you learn that she welcomed her second son just three months earlier in February. 

Smack back in the middle of the press tour that painted the world pink, Gerwig sat down to chat with Elle UK about her new baby. "He’s a little Schmoo. I don’t know if you can tell energy from the picture, but that’s very much his energy" she said while cooing over an image of her newborn. "He’s a wise little baby."


While drumming up excitement for Barbie, she was deep in the trenches of juggling the commitments of being a new mum and preparing the launch of one of the biggest films of the year.

"The little guy is sleeping through the night. But I'm still doing that thing where I wake up, every hour to 90 minutes, and just hover. You just keep wanting to look at that baby," she said. “So I'm slightly in a twilight state.”

Listen to The Spill and join the hosts to honestly review the Barbie movie. Post continues below.

Even though she has copped a fair bit of rejection through her career, Gerwig has found a knack out of turning lemons into lemonade. With her star reaching dizzying heights now, it looks like the world is her oyster. She's now tipped to take on writing duties for the live-action remake of Snow White and Netflix are knocking on her door keen to lock in a number of projects including a rumoured re-imagination of The Chronicles of Narnia.

With such a unique take on the world and an ability to bring brevity and humour to her storytelling, we can't wait to see where Greta Gerwig takes us next.

Feature Image: Twitter/Getty/Mamamia.

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