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Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern & Greta Gerwig Break Down a Scene from 'Little Women'


– Hi, I'm Saoirse Ronan, and I play Jo March – Hi, I'm Timothee, and I play Laurie

– Hey, I'm Laura, and I play Marmee – And I'm Greta, and I wrote the screenplay, and I directed this movie And this is "Notes on a Scene" – [John] Sit down, Laurie Latin is a privilege

Please, you have to learn this, I can't afford to lose this position Just return to the Cicero– – [Laurie] There's a girl out there – No, there is not – Yes, Mr Brooke, there is a girl

– [John] No, there is not [indistinct talking] Oh, there is a girl – That's a girl – So, this is in Theodore Laurence, Laurie Laurence's house with his tutor John Brooke, and Timothee came up with this idea that he would be standing on a chair, and it was a good idea, it was funny We wanted the Laurence house to be very grand and masculine and not cozy, but it was actually an interesting thing because the way that we structured the movie, we start in adulthood, and that's one timeline, and childhood is another timeline

I wanted childhood to have this golden glow, so we shot with a very specific filter And it kind of worked against the coldness of the Laurence house, because it still had the golden glow of childhood But, so what we wanted to do was give it scale and density that would kind of impart that same coldness without actually having cold color, because we wanted to save that for the adult section [window scraping] – Hello there, are you hurt? – I'm Amy – Hello Amy, I'm Laurie

– I know, you brought my sister back after the dance I would've never have sprained my ankle I have lovely small feet, the best in the family, but I can never go home again 'cause I'm in such trouble [sobbing] Look! Mr Davis hit me

– Amy is fleeing because she's been hit by her teacher and she knows she's gonna be in trouble So she's running over to this house because she doesn't wanna go home And she's very sad – I was there when you shot that scene – Oh yeah

– And she did it 20 times, like one after the other, it was amazing, and every single time, it was hilarious And she just made it bigger and bigger every single time – Yeah, I like in actors in general, and Florence in particular, I like actors who can go almost too big – Yeah – I find it really fun, because I find then, I always, I want the thing either right before or right after the one that's pushed too far

But you kind of have to fling that way to get the thing that's interesting [gasping] – Tell the servants I want this painting purchased for me immediately – [Jo] Amy? – [Meg] Amy, you in here? – Meg! My hand, look – Jo – What richness! – It hurts so much

– Oh, Theodore Laurence, you ought to be the happiest boy in the world – Oh, a fellow can't live on books alone – I could What did you do? – Nothing, I did nothing I did a drawing, and then Mr

Davis hit me – This is one of those scenes where I have almost everyone in the room at once, and here they all start to enter And this just sounds really boring to say because obviously, I'm very proud of how this scene was blocked It's actually really hard – Should be – to block scenes with this many people, and figure out all of the ways that they're moving

And I could only do it because they memorized their lines so precisely that it was like a, it was one of those scenes that was like a hot potato hand-off – We rehearsed all of these overlapping sayings a lot in rehearsals, but then also with this one in particular, I remember, it was a new location for all of us We were used to being in the March house, which was smaller We kinda knew our way around it So this was our first time shooting on this location, all of us together

– And I think that familiarity with the setting, or unfamiliarity with the setting, is important 'cause we knew that March house so well by the second week of shooting or before And that one, it felt as austere, maybe that's not the right word, but as, you know, everything Greta was communicating before It felt properly anonymous – Christopher Columbus, look at that – That's my grandfather

Are you scared of him? – No, I'm not scared of anyone He looks stern, but my grandfather was much more handsome – Jo, we do not compare grandfathers – Laura enters just there and has her line just there, and it was this timing of getting everyone to kind of be exactly where we needed them to be And I remember [laughs] this was, my partner Noah, Noah Baumbach always said this was his favorite line

– [Greta and Laura] Jo, we do not compare grandfathers – It was, for him, it killed him He saw that in the cut and he was like, "It's hilarious" – You think he's more handsome, eh? – Oh, no, actually you are very handsome I didn't mean– – I knew your mother's father

You've got his spirit – Oh, well, thank you, sir [chuckles] – I'm saying this as an outsider who was not part of "Lady Bird," how, no wonder she brought these two actors together, because watching the two of you on screen together, or watching you both act, it's like you're, you just hurl every cell out I mean it's just so beautiful – So do you! – I know

– So do you – It's so gorgeous to watch – Look! – I like people who leave it all on the floor – Yeah, so beautiful – You are not to attend that school anymore

– Good, that man has always been an idiot – [Marmee] Jo will teach you – Me? I already teach Beth – You're a good teacher – Yes, women being taught at home is much more proper, I believe

– Only because the schools for women are so poor – Indeed, quite right – I wish all the girls would leave his horrible school and that he would die – [Marmee] Amy, you did wrong, and there will be consequences – I didn't, I didn't even do anything, I just did a drawing

– Thank you so much for taking care of our Amy – Yes, of course – [Meg] Amy, don't wish death on anybody – My girls have a way of getting into mischief – Mm-hmm, so do I

– Well, then you'll run over, and we'll take care of you – Please, and come over whenever you'd like Invite your sister Beth as well – We blocked it and rehearsed it sort of like a dance for, I would say, an hour on and off And then we went away, they set up the whole thing, and then we came in and shot for the whole day

– Well, what's particularly amazing, as we're watching here, is as she's defining the movement, this dance for this part of the film, every single moment, every move comes with a new dynamic of a different relationship – Yeah, yeah, that's right, that's right – Yes, yeah – So, for example, here Timmy and I are establishing this maternal nature that's being presented to him that he doesn't have in his life You have John Brooke and Meg's sort of first flirtations, you and the girls are dealing with Amy's sort of petuousness and her stuff, their dynamic

Chris, who's sort of a lovely sort of paternal figure in a way to all of us, and even me, as someone who has, – Yes, yes – the man who has left the home, but he is this neighbor overseeing us all, so that was an amazing thing We were having to pay service to about 20 different dynamics – That's true, and it was this kind of like everyone's noticing a different thing, so Laurie's in love with Jo, Jo's in love with books, she's mad and annoyed at Amy Meg is sympathizing with Amy, but Meg's also noticing John

John is really noticing Meg, it like, all of these dynamics that keep shifting and kind of being inside of the emotionality of each character as they're moving around each other, it's a trick of not just where are you putting the camera, it's where are you putting your emotion with everyone, because what you want to feel at the end of it is that you were in the room and you felt everything that everyone was feeling – And I love your filmmaking in this scene, because it's like you never let the camera totally be at rest with it Life is messy, you feel all these things, but it's not suddenly the director's choice to go, "Hey guys, notice this moment; "it will be important later!" It's just so fluid which is gorgeous – I like things that kind of pass you by – It's very quick

Yes, Beth would adore the piano – Is she the quiet one? – Yes – Yes, that's our Beth – Well tell the little girl to use our piano – And you'll borrow whatever book you'd like

– Can I come look at the paintings? – Yes – There's also a lovely greenhouse – We must go, girls [girls chattering] – I'm going to take this I'm gonna take this one if that's okay

[girls talking over each other] – Thank you! – Bye! [chattering dies out] – Oh, Miss Meg, you forgot your glove – Well, back to work – So this dynamic of this whirlwind of people coming into the house and this excitement, and then they're leaving and they're talking the entire way out, what's happening in the end is just these men standing around That's like my experience of my father and brother It's just my mom and my sister and I leave, and they're like [makes funny noise]

[laughing] And I love that about them And right after that, Timothee, you do something that I couldn't put on screen – Really, really? – Yeah, the minute I cut off, like literally to the frame, right after that, you go [makes funny noise] [laughing] – It was a choice! No, I'm kidding – So I was like, Nick, do we have one more frame? And he was like, "Nope

" – Wait, you said "one more frame" to the editor? – Yeah, and it was like, is there one more frame? – Oh god, sorry – No, no, it's great, – You could've froze me? – it's great, I could've froze you [laughs] – Correct me if I'm mistaken, this is the vest that's, that's like the one I wear the most – This is the one you wear the most We have a bunch of vests that, actually, Saoirse ends up wearing at different point– They end up switching vests the whole movie, because they were, you know, their androgynous other half, which is something that Jacqueline invented with the two of them

And then you would always take your jackets off because you liked your billowy sleeves – Yeah, yeah, I'm not sure why – You didn't wanna be encumbered by a jacket – The costumes are Jacqueline Durran, she's an incredible costume designer, and I don't know, I find that you work with someone who's an excellent head of a department in movies, or I guess just in life, and then you realize like how good people can be at that job, kind of thing, and ego-less – She's a very emotional costume designer

She always comes at it from an emotional angle, and I've been working with her since I was like 12 – That's right [whispers] – Oh really? – That's true – Yeah, on "Atonement" – She did "Atonement" – and "Hanna", I knew this

And for me, it was very helpful to know that the other girls had to wear a corset and I didn't, and I, and Jo chooses not to wear a hoop or sometimes even an underskirt And so with the result, she just had this freedom of movement and fluidity, and I could, you know, walk like a boy and I could slouch and I could, you know, do the Laura Dern [laughs] hand move So yeah, that all helped Color is always something that's very important, like everybody has their color – Amy has her blue skirt, which is her color

Saoirse, as Jo, has this red cape, and Emma, as Meg, always has green, and they have these specific colors And this is, I mean this is hyper nerdy, but this green scarf that Emma's wearing, I remember the first time Jacqueline showed it to me and I thought, "That is too bright, "that feels like chartreuse," and she said, "No, no, no "In the 1850s, they had just figured out "how to dye fabrics really outrageous colors" And we think of the past as being monochromatic because all of the photographs are sepia, but actually they were dying their ballgowns bright orange or bright yellow and bright, you know, these really bright, electric colors And so this woven scarf which she had made is actually with the dye that they would've had at the time

And then the other beautiful thing that I'm gonna point out is Laura's colors, which is a little dimmer here, but all of Laura's costumes weave the colors of the four girls in her costumes, because she is all of them in one And different parts of her spirit went into each girl, and the same was true of her hair, that she had little pieces of each of them in her hair And it was just those kinds of details of character that to me, it's like what helps me believe in this world that we're making And also, I make movies that I want, I hope some nerdy lady will watch it 20 times and pick up on all this stuff, and I want them to have lots of goodies, anyway I tried to keep things together as much as possible, but there was no way, with the schedule, with the– We were doing four seasons, 10 years, eight plot lines

And there was no way to keep all of those in order We did shoot the end at the end – On schedule – On schedule, mm-hmm – No re-shoots

– No re-shoots But it was, they had to keep all of these things in their mind, so they always had to know where they were, because we were flipping back and forth much more I wish it was the 70s when we could just be like, "See you in springtime" [laughing] – Yeah – I'm just gonna go to Big Sur and work on my pottery

[laughing] – Wait, who inspired that? – It's Richard Burton – Okay – There's like a weird– – Really? – Yeah, there's like a weird– – He did pottery? – There's a Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor documentary about that movie they did in Big Sur, and he's like, "Just drink a jug of wine "and work on your pottery" – Anyway – That is you! [talking over each other] – I just pictured like "Ghost", like the scene from "Ghost" and Richard Burton's just

– And you could just see Elizabeth Tyler like, "Richard? Richard!" – That's where I painted – Could we do the scene from "Ghost"? – "Richard, you bastard!" [laughing] – Well, back to work

Source: Youtube

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