Director Whit Stillman and Greta Gerwig Talk DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, Favorite Movies, Karaoke, and More

     April 6, 2012


Opening this weekend is writer-director Whit Stillman‘s (Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco) first movie in thirteen years: Damsels in Distress.  Filled with the unique characters and dialogue that populate all of his works, Stillman’s latest film is about a group of college coeds (Greta Gerwig, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Carrie MacLemore, Adam Brody, and Analeigh Tipton) whose friendship is threatened by a series of romances, “including slick Charlie (Brody), dreamboat Xavier (Hugo Becker), the mad frat-pack of Frank (Ryan Metcalf), and Thor (Billy Magnussen) — who threaten their friendship and sanity.”  For more on the film, here’s the trailer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Stillman and Gerwig. We talked about the dialogue, favorite movies and actors, karaoke, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

damsels-in-distress-greta-gerwig-ryan-metcalf-imageFinally, if you missed my extended interview with Stillman which goes into a lot more detail on the making of Damsels in Distress, click here.

Director Whit Stillman and Greta Gerwig

  • Karaoke.  Gerwig says “We Built This City” and “Fist City” are her go-to karaoke songs.  Stillman blanks, but does tell a karaoke song from the Barcelona shoot
  • 1:40 – Gerwig cites Woody Allen, Howard Hawkes, Preston Sturges, Ernst Lubitsch, and Whit Stillman as favorite directors.  She’s been watching a lot of John Wayne lately.
  • 3:00 – Stillman mentions how much he likes Gay Divorcee director Mark Sandrich as well as Jimmy Stewart, Fred Astaire, Margaret Sullivan.  Says Gerwig reminds him of Irene Dunn.
  • 3:30 – Gerwig didn’t alter too much of the dialogue, but did make a few minor changes.  Stillman admires Gerwig’s “gulp.”
  • 4:40 – Gerwig prefers a lot of takes.  Stillman says he usually did about 6-8 takes with Gerwig.


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