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Gerwig: We did talk a lot about not selling anyone out. Sophie, like in that moment, she might seem kind of harsh, but then you see Frances in the rest of the movie and it’s like, well, she had to do it. She had to—can you imagine telling that girl that you don’t want to live with her? You’d have to do it brusquely or else you’re going to end up living in Brooklyn with this woman till they’re both old and gray because that’s kind of what this woman wants. Sophie has to pull away. So it’s like she’s being selfish in a good way—she’s acting for herself.
Sumner: Which is the adult thing to do.
Gerwig: We also talked about at the dinner party, when Frances makes an ass of herself, we didn’t want the people there to be mean to her. They weren’t mean. Nobody’s mean to Frances. Nobody’s out to get her. We wanted everybody to have their say. But so then at the end, when everybody shows up for her even that girl Rachel, who doesn’t even really like Frances, but she’s not like a bad person, she just thinks Frances is kind of annoying and Frances is kind of annoying. It’s so easy to treat characters harshly, and so hard to treat them fairly, and you want to show them without glorifying them and without vilifying them and I think that’s something that Noah in his work does so well, he just takes the time to treat them like human beings, and that was just never going for the joke of that moment.
Frances is always moving throughout the film, sometimes quite literally running and dancing down the streets. Do you think she's settled at the end? Does being settled and stationary mean growing up and being ok?
Gerwig: Well, she felt like she was going to be ok. I think you leave feeling she’s going to be ok, or at least that’s what I was trying to do in the ending and I don’t know what the rest of Frances’ life is but I think...she’s going to be able to enter the next phase of her life, she’s going to do it and they’re going to be fine. I feel like I think of movies, movies and plays, but especially movies, but I always think of them as gifts because you work so hard on them and they take so long to make and then it’s like this ninety minute thing where...I think it’s beautiful because it’s a disproportionate amount of labor for what it is, and I don’t know, I always get so touched by that. And I like having a frame on the movie, I like that you tell this story that has a beginning, middle, and end and has this structure and it holds a life at a moment. I love that. It sounds weird and it sounds almost old-fashioned because it’s like making this perfect present for someone to see. I love looking at paintings, Mickey’s an artist as well. And I love looking at paintings because to me there’s something about theatre and paintings and films and when I look at a painting, like a Picasso or a Van Gogh at the Met, and it’s like I just can’t believe that they put it all on this box, like it’s just one painting of one field and it has so much emotion and there’s so much in it, and it’s just in this box. I can’t even totally explain what it is, but I feel like there’s so much art and design around us and there’s so many moments of great songs or great television shows or great videos but something that’s contained for some reason it’s just moving. The containment makes me emotional. Mickey was in a play recently. Even when I was sitting, waiting for the play to begin, I was emotional about the stage. There were all these people there sitting waiting for people to act for us.
Sumner: It’s sacred. And I hate religion. But it’s spiritual. When you sit in a small dark place and you watch another life that might transform your own life, or not, even if it just amuses you, it’s spiritual. Without sounding like a wanker.
Gerwig: I wish I can use the word wanker. It’s such a good word.
Sumner: You can, just without the “r.”
Gerwig: I feel like the American equivalent of the word "wanker" is "douche."
Sumner: Douche is a good one. I use douche.
So what's next for you? Anything specific?
Gerwig: I’m writing a lot. I’m having weird dreams while I’m writing. I had a dream the other night that I was given a really expensive antique oboe and I was like, "I gotta learn how to play the oboe." What does that mean?
Sumner: I think it means you’ve got to learn how to play the oboe. I love the oboe.
I think that's everything then!
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen