Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
BEST MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
“Lady Bird” ‑ Eli Bush
ELI BUSH: The only person who should speak for “Lady Bird” is Greta Gerwig.
GRETA GERWIG: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you to the HFPA. Thank you to my producers, Eli Bush, Evelyn O’Neill, and Scott Rudin. Thank you to A24 for everything you’ve done. Thank you to Barry Diller. Thank you to my cast, my beautiful cast, the goddesses Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf are incredible, and Timmy and Lucas and Beanie and Odeya, and ‑‑ I have eight seconds left. I want to say thank you to my mom and dad and the people of Sacramento who gave me roots and wings and helped me to get where I am today. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Q First, the film is sort of a coming-of-age story and, sort of, a great exploration of life and coming to age. Is your life as exciting as Lady Bird’s was during this time period of your life?
SAOIRSE RONAN: It was. Yes, it was. I’ve been very, very lucky that, from an early age, I’ve gotten to do what I love to do and have been surrounded by really brilliant, creative people all my life. And, yeah, when I was about 17, 18, that was happening. It was definitely a time though where you are trying to figure out what your role is, and so I was, sort of, moved into this next stage of going from being a child actor to a grown-up, and the role of Lady Bird was not around back then, and that was only a few years ago. It is an incredibly special thing to have a character like this exist now finally.
Q Greta, I’m very curious. How much of this is biographical, and what kinds of projects will you be doing next?
GRETA GERWIG: Actually, the character of Lady Bird, in a lot of ways, was sort of the opposite of how I was when I was growing up. I was very much a rule follower and a people pleaser, and I never made anyone call me by any name, and I didn’t dye my hair bright red. And in a way, when I was writing a character, it was an exploration of, kind of, a person I wish I could have been but didn’t have any ability to be when I was that age. And it wasn’t until I heard Saoirse read the lines that I was getting to meet my very human, very beautiful heroine who I had dreamt up. That being said, I’m from Sacramento, and I went to a Catholic girls school, and that’s a part of my life. But who Lady Bird is was born of my imagination, and it didn’t make sense until I saw this beautiful, young lady do it.
Q This win tonight, so many of the other wins tonight, “Big Little Lies,” “Three Billboards,” all of these are stories about women. Do you think it’s going to be easier, as a storyteller, as a filmmaker, to make more stories about women?
GRETA GERWIG: Yes. I think it’s been such an incredible year for women in film both as actors and also writers and directors and producers and people who are really coming to the forefront to tell their stories about the world as they know it from where they are standing, and I think that the response to these projects and the support that these projects have gotten and the way that audiences are going to see them or watching them in their homes, I think all of this just makes it so much easier for the next crop of filmmakers who want to tell stories about women.
Q Congratulations. My favorite film of the year. Such a great performance. I saw the letter that you handed to Justin Timberlake about using his song.
SAOIRSE RONAN: He’s here tonight.
Q Can you talk about that? Was he somebody you were expecting to see?
GRETA GERWIG: I did. I saw Justin Timberlake. And he has seen the movie, and he gives his thumb’s up, which is honestly that was — that began my night, and I just, sort of, felt like, man, that’s amazing. That’s all you need. Justin Timberlake is, like, “Yep. It’s amazing.”
Q So recently a few actors who have appeared in Woody Allen’s films said that they regret working with him. So I wonder how you feel about your decision to work with him.
GRETA GERWIG: Well, you know, I’m so thrilled to be here tonight as a writer and director and creator and to be making my own movies and putting that forth, and it’s something that I’ve thought deeply about and I care deeply about. I haven’t had an opportunity to have an in-depth discussion where I come down on one side or the other, but it’s something that I’ve definitely taken to heart. And, honestly, my job right now, I think, is to occupy the position of writer and director and to be that person and to tell these stories.