Director Noah Baumbach had “no trailers” for his actors in ‘Mistress America’

Director Noah Baumbach had “no trailers” for his actors in 'Mistress America' (Photo: JETSS)
Director Noah Baumbach had “no trailers” for his actors in ‘Mistress America’ (Photo: JETSS)

Interview by Claudia Ciuffo

‘Mistress America’ opens this Friday (14) and stars co-writer Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke and Matthew Shear. However JETSS focus was on the man of the hour Noah Baumbach who co-wrote, directed and produced the feature and his talented partner in crime Greta Gerwig.   JETSS met the super chill Baumbach and the gracious Gerwig in Los Angeles at the London Hotel to chat about his writing and film making style.

Baumbach and Gerwig’s first collaboration, ‘Frances HA’, earned high praise for its stylish portrayal of a young dancer in search of a home. On working with Gerwig again, Baumbach said… “I like working with Greta because I’m always amused and inspired by her. Typically, we talk through the story a lot and both take notes. Once we agree on an idea, we often work on individual scenes separately and pass them back and forth.”

The film backdrop is set in New York City but the project did not have any fancy Hollywood fluff, “It felt like a film making band of brothers; stated Baumbach, all hands were on deck all the time. On most films, everything is all set up by the time they bring the actors on set. Working this way means we build everything together. We didn’t have trailers, so there was nowhere to go away to.” He said everyone was cool and no egos were involved, it worked!

Baumbach’s next project already in the works, ‘The Emperor’s Children’ a comedy starring Jeff Bridges, directed by Lake Bell and produced by the Hollywood legend duo Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

As co-writer Gerwig’s says the characters run a fine line and she took care to show a balance between “normal” and “flawed” saying, “We want to be honest about these people, and we don’t want to make them just have adorable flaws.”

Brooke is not your familiar Brooklyn hipster, just always too cool… “I do know people like that in New York. Not to generalize, but they’ve always got a hustle and every third thing that comes out of their mouth sounds like a lie, but then some if it turns out to be true, and you’re not sure what part is which, and they’re kind of amazing, and you just want to be around them.” That’s not Brooke.

As for Gerwig, she’s also a busy bee with three projects in the works ‘Maggie’s Plan,’ Wiener-Dog’ and ’20th Century Woman.’

‘Mistress America’ tells the story of Tracy (Lola Kirke of ‘Gone Girl’), a lonely college freshman in NYC who envisioned a much more exciting college experience then the one she’s having. That is, until she meets Brooke played by (Greta Gerwig/co-writer). Brook who lives in Times Square is an adventurous, quirky, rule breaker who rescues Tracy from her sad life while seducing her with alluringly nutty schemes.


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