Filmmaker and actor Greta Gerwig first rose to prominence with her role in Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, and that performance was enough to seal her name as one of the upcoming acting powerhouses in Hollywood. However, Gerwig is now known more for her work behind the camera than in front of it. The two mainstream movies she has made so far- Lady Bird in 2017 and Little Women in 2019, have both met with critical acclaim, proving her command over the craft of cinema. In 2022, 39-year-old decided to try her hands at acting once again, playing the character Babette in partner Baumbach’s new film, White Noise.

Regarding why she chose to make her comeback on screen, the Barbie director said to Entertainment Weekly, “I had a sense of what she was meant to look like,” further adding, “I saw her hair, her acrylic nails, her wardrobe. I just could visualize all of it, and I wanted very much to play her. Then, I think, because we were in the height of lockdown when he was writing it, and starting to dream about this, nothing felt real, so the prospect of doing this was all imaginary in a way.”

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Regarding her trepidations of deciding to play the character in the middle of the pandemic, Gerwig said, When I said, ‘Ah, I’ll play Babette,’ it was almost like a fantasy baseball thing. Like, sure, it’s me, in this world that doesn’t exist. I can’t even leave the apartment. [Laughs] I might as well not play Babette too! And then it became real.”

Gerwig stars in the film alongside Adam Driver, who has been a longtime friend and collaborator of her and Baumbach. Gerwig said that she knows Driver for a long time, having met him when she was 22. 

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The Academy Award-nominated filmmaker further added that the she was familiar with the original book White Noise by Don DeLillo, which she had read when she was 19. When Baumbach asked her to read the book once again, Gerwig “almost had the same experience”.