The film “Lady Bird” is gaining critical acclaim for its poignant message of the complexities behind mother-daughter love. The story follows Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, played by Saoirse Ronan, in her final year of high school and her transformation as a teenager. Director Greta Gerwig grew up in Sacramento and created the film in part as a love letter to her hometown.
Ronan joins Insight to share her experience filming here and the inspiring message the film has for women.
On working with Gerwig to shape the character of Lady Bird:
Ronan: It’s a good way to be when you’re collaborating with someone. When we started working together neither of us was like Ladybird when we were that age. Greta would say it herself; she was very much a real follower and I was too. And definitely she (Ladybird) definitely has guts to really put herself out on a limb. So I think because we both aspired to be that type of girl and weren’t, when we came together that girl was born and she just took on a life of her own and we were just trying to keep up with her.
On the portrayal of women in film
Beth Ruyak: It’s interesting that reviewers are writing about the fact that Ladybird isn’t stifled inside and that its notable that she isn’t. That perhaps this is the way teenage girls should be depicted in, that they love themselves and that their dreams are precious. But that’s not common in films is it?
Ronan: But it is the usual in real life. And its crazy that more portrayals of teenage girls on screen haven’t been more honest. As someone who’s only recently come out of teenagehood, I believed in myself and was very driven and worked hard and had really good friendships. My relationships with my friends and family and teachers were as important if not more important than any relationship with a boy. I was validated by so much more. So I hope a film like this will make other female writers and female storytellers feel like they do have a voice and hopefully they will be supported in telling that story.
On her time in Sacramento
Ronan: I remember I had a really nice pizza. The first night I was there, I think I was in Downtown Sacramento. I remember there was a quiz night going on and I had a really lovely time there. I remember everyone was very friendly and warm and chatty. The scenery was beautiful. Laurie and I did that scene in the car, it was one of the opening scenes and we drove all through the countryside. It reminded me of the Midwest and it was gorgeous. And just seeing the amount of people Greta knows there visit us on set, so many people from her life there that were part of it. That was really great to see."