Greta Gerwig is thanking Steven Spielberg for advising her on the historical accuracy of the 19th century setting for her “Little Women.”

The “Barbie” director revealed in a recent Vanity Fair cover story that Spielberg was “generous” with his research for 2012 film “Lincoln,” about the legendary president’s steering of the final stages of the Civil War. Spielberg’s research for the period piece impacted how Gerwig approached “Little Women,” which is also set during the Civil War.

“My experience with directors is totally generous. They’ll get on the phone and talk to you about how they did it. It’s not guarded at all,” Gerwig said. “I mean, everybody has their own ego and their own sense of competition, but if I asked, they would spend all day showing me how they did it. I know because I asked Steven Spielberg to do it before I shot ‘Little Women.’”

She added, “He showed me all his research from ‘Lincoln,’ he showed me everything.”

“Little Women” went on to be nominated for six Academy Awards, except for in the Best Director category. Spielberg had formerly spoken out about the decade-long production process to bring “Lincoln” to the big screen, with the film taking on a “paternal father figure” approach to the president who abolished slavery.

Further in the Vanity Fair interview, Gerwig noted that being a female filmmaker has come with its own struggles despite the support of iconic fellow directors.

“I think, particularly for female artists, there are very few admissions of knowing,” Gerwig said about career reassurance. “Aside from being a woman, the parallel world I see is getting stuck in some whirlpool of development where you never get out, you never get the thing made or find the right champions. I’ve been extremely lucky that I’ve managed to be supported by the system and not eroded by the system.”

She added of famed advice from another auteur, “I want to do this into my seventies. I think it was Truffaut who said, ‘Sometimes, quantity is impressive.’ I know what he means. I just want to be thought of as, like, she’s good. She can do it.”

Leave a comment