“I love working as an actor with filmmakers that I admire, but what I realised on the Woody Allen set is that I definitely wanted to be in the movie, but, more than that, I wanted to be Woody Allen, which is a different impulse” – Greta Gerwig in The Independent.
“the idea of an actor who becomes the writer, the director, the true auteur, who places himself at the centre of that cinematic universe consistently through a number of films so that ultimately the persona does enter the culture” – Annette Insdorf on Woody Allen.
Greta Gerwig takes the lead role in new film, Frances Ha. Shot in black and white, she plays a New York dancing apprentice who “throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles”. Gerwig co-wrote the script (and is currently doing another one with the same director).
Being Woody Allen means being an actor who has created a whole aesthetic. Allen’s desire to project his vision on to the world is so strong that it has lead to the production of more than forty films in nearly forty years. He has had total control of his career and his output.
Gerwig it seems, has many reasons for taking to filmmaking in addition to acting. Apparently sick of reading scripts where the only part on offer was the one-dimensional girlfriend, she took to writing scripts in order to create for herself exactly the roles she wants to do, to project her vision of how it should be done.
This really backs up the point I was trying to make in yesterday’s post, The Driven Actor.
Further reading: “Woody Allen – Actor As Auteur”.