Greta Gerwig of ‘How I Met Your Dad’: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Thirty-year-old actress Greta Gerwig, known for her indie career, is taking a giant leap with a mainstream television role. She was cast in How I Met Your Dad, sparking some controversy for her “selling out” as an artist. In the show, a spinoff of the soon-to-be ending How I Met Your Mother, she plays a twentysomething who lacks direction in her life.

Here’s what you should know about this indie queen and her move to mainstream.

1. She Specializes in ‘Mumblecore’

Interview magazine defined her genre of film as “mumblecore” — or “movies … characterized by super-low-budget production quality, improvised scripts, and themes of angst-ridden post-graduate hipster ennui.”

When the Huffington Post asked her about her domination of the indie genre, she said:

I don’t know. I feel like they keep giving the crown to different people. I don’t know that I’m the new indie queen, but I do know I’ve been very lucky to have had opportunities to work with really great directors, so if that counts as being an indie queen, then sure.

2. Her First Mainstream Film Was ‘No Strings Attached’

Gerwig played opposite Natalie Portman, as the negative friend, giving her advice on Portman’s doomed relationship with Ashton Kutcher’s character.

She told I Am Rogue:

And I liked the character. I liked how negative she is, I think that is really fun. She is so sure that things are going to go badly that she already has a bad attitude.

3. At College, She Studied English & Philosophy

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Gerwig attended the prestigious women’s college, Barnard, in New York City. Her academic advisor there, Patricia Denison, told the New York Times:

You had a sense that she was constantly sort of inquisitive and reflective. She was not only thoughtful, but she was thought-provoking. You would watch her onstage even when she wasn’t speaking her lines, because you had a sense that something was going on inside her head, and you couldn’t wait to see what was going to come out.

4. She Co-Wrote a Movie With Her Boyfriend, Who is 16 Years Her Senior

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Noah Baumbach and Gerwig (Getty)

Gerwig met Noah Baumbach in 2009 when he cast her in Greenberg, his sixth film.

Baumbach told the New York Times about that fateful audition, saying, “She had memorized the whole script.”

Baumbach was married to actress Jennifer Jason Leigh during Greenberg. They separated, and at the same time, he asked Gerwig for movie ideas. They come up with Frances Ha. In August, 2011, they began to shoot in New York. A month later, they started dating.

5. There Is Talk She Sold Out By Taking the ‘How I Met Your Dad’ Role

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When the casting news broke, multiple media outlets expressed their discontent. The Daily Beast tweeted:

NPR weighed in on the debate, explaining why Gerwig may have taken this seemingly unfitting job:

It’s easy to chalk a decision like this on Gerwig’s part up to check-seeking or stability-seeking or mortgage-payment-craving, but … who knows? Maybe she loves HIMYM. Maybe they promised her she could write. Maybe they convinced her that her genuinely weird sensibility would be a fit.

According to the Daily News, Gerwig will play Sally, a New Yorker in her late twenties, looking for her soulmate. In the first episode, she will be married, but quickly realize her husband isn’t right for her.

Similar to How I Met Your Mother, the sitcom will have Gerwig explaining to her kids the history of how she ended up with their father.