Greta Gerwig has become a household name over the past few months with her directorial debut, Lady Bird. The film has been an enormous success, earning six Oscar nods at the 90th Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.
Those who are just discovering Gerwig and her impressive resume may be unaware that she is dating a man who has also been nominated for an Oscar: filmmaker Noah Baumbach, perhaps best known for The Squid and the Whale.
Read on to learn more about Gerwig and Baumbach, how they met, and their relationship.
1. They Have Been Dating Since 2011
In 2011, Gerwig and Baumbach wrote the film Frances Ha together. According to In Style, they started dating one month into production, and have been together since.
In an interview with the New Yorker about Frances Ha, Baumbach, “Greta has old studio-system chops. Carole Lombard, Katharine Hepburn, they could be in something totally dramatic, or totally funny; they could sing, they could dance. ‘Frances’ was intended to be a showcase for her to do a lot of this.”
Frances Ha premiered in 2012 at the Tulluride Film Festival. It was eventually released by IFC Films.
2. Baumbach Was Married to Jennifer Jason Leigh from 2005 to 2013
From 2005 to 2013, Baumbach was married to actress Jennifer Jason Leigh.
According to The Guardian, Leigh and Baumbach met in 2001. They were introduced by a mutual friend and worked together on the Broadway show Proof.
After marrying in 2005, the couple began working on Margot At The Wedding with one another.
Leigh filed for divorce from Baumbach in 2010, just seven months after giving birth to her son. According to an article published by the Daily Mail in 2010, Leigh initially sought alimony and primary custody of their son with visitation rights for Baumbach.
Leigh got her start in the industry as a teenager in the 1970s. She guest-starred on a number of television shows, and in 1982, she booked her breakout performance as Stacy Hamilton in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. She has acted in a number of films, including The Hateful Eight in 2015, for which she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Leigh’s latest film White Boy Rick, is currently in post-production.
3. They Met on the Film ‘Greenberg’
Baumbach and Gerwig met in 2009, after he cast the actress in the film Greenberg, starring Ben Stiller.
Speaking to The Globe and Mail about the film at the time, Baumbach said, “Greta’s one of the funniest people I’d ever met, both as an actor and a person, and she also has this incredible vulnerability… She’s very present, always… I felt that together we could do a character where the humor was more front and centre, and at the same time, you’d really feel for her. With Greta, you can get away with things that you might not be able to with another actor. I could have her running down the street, and then start dancing down the street, in a way that felt like it came from the moment, because she can do that.”
Baumbach also cast Gerwig in a pilot for an HBO show called The Corrections, but the network ended up passing.
4. Baumbach Has One Child and Shares Custody
Baumbach has a son with Leigh, named Rohmer, after French film director Eric Rohmer.
While Leigh is very private about her personal life, she shares with The Guardian that she and Baumbach “co-parent really well.”
Baumbach was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, as the third of four siblings. His father, Jonathan Baumbach, worked as a novelist and film critic for the Village Voice. In 1991, Baumbach earned his BA in English from Vassar College. His writing and directing debut was made at age 26 with the film Kicking and Screaming.
5. Gerwig Has Been Referred to as “Baumbach’s Muse”
Gerwig has been referred to as Baumbach’s muse; a title she isn’t a fan of. A 2015 article in The Economist titled, “Noah Baumbach’s Muse”, starts “The actress Greta Gerwig has had the same liberating effect on Noah Baumbach as Diane Keaton had on Woody Allen: she has opened him up, lending his films a giddy sense of release.”
In a more recent interview with Vulture, Gerwig opened up about her feelings on the subject. “I did not love being called a muse,” she said. “I didn’t want to be strident about it or say, ‘Hey, give me my due,’ but I did feel like I wasn’t a bystander. It was half-mine, and so that part was difficult. Also I knew secretly that I was engaged with this longer project, and wanted to be a writer and director in my own right, so I felt like the muse business, or whatever it was, was a position that I didn’t identify with in my heart.”
Gerwig’s Oscar nomination this year is certainly a testament to the fact that she has showcased her capability and talent as a director and writer. Asked by a reporter if dating a prestigious filmmaker like Noah Baumbach had “opened certain doors for her,” the actress acknowledged that it may have, but added on, “I don’t mean to sound annoying, but I would have done it anyway. I will find that one door and then push it wide open. I’m lucky to find collaborators and kindred spirits. But I don’t need a man, and I would have done it anyway.”
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