Greta Gerwig reflects on her Oscars snub in TIME's 'Women Of The Year' issue

“Whatever happens, good or bad, you’ve got to keep going.”
February 21, 2024 11:26 a.m. EST
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TIME’s annual Women of the Year issue is out, and Barbie director Greta Gerwig graces the cover. She shares the title with actresses Taraji P. Henson and Andra Day, and she reflects on issues permeating Hollywood today, from gendered thinking to the big ambitions for her next movie.

Of course, the issue of the Oscars, which air March 10 on CTV, came up, in which Gerwig wasn’t nominated for Best Director, despite the astronomical success of Barbie (it earned $1.4 billion at the box office). According to Gerwig, she isn’t too bothered by the apparent snub, because she’s still nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

“A friend’s mom said to me, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t get nominated,’” she told the outlet, laughing. “I said, ‘But I did. I got an Oscar nomination.’ She was like, ‘Oh, that’s wonderful for you!’ I was like, ‘I know!’”

She also points out that while lead actress Margot Robbie didn’t get a Best Actress nod, she is still nominated because Robbie produced the film. “Of course I wanted it for Margot,” she admits. “But I’m just happy we all get to be there together.” 

When asked if she credits the success of Barbie to a large woman audience resonating with the source material, the doll, and the text (America Ferrera’s monologue specifically), Gerwig states she feels the text isn’t inherently gendered in that sense, and that anyone can connect with it.

“You love something, and you just love it. You don’t think to yourself, ‘I have to love this because it’s by a woman, for a woman.’ That’s part of it. But it’s not why you love it,” she tells the outlet. “You love it because it’s great.”

She also reflects on her commands of a filmmaking space that historically has been dominated by men, and she’s asked if her ambitions and successes are motivated by proving herself therein.

“I don’t know if it’s gendered,” she answers. “But I know I want to be able to make a body of work that feels like it’s undeniable in terms of the work itself. I don’t want there to be an asterisk next to my name. Do I have more of that than male filmmakers? I don’t know! I know plenty of deeply insecure male filmmakers who are plagued in their own ways.”

She goes on to speak about her next project, an adaptation of the first book of C.S. Lewis’s iconic series The Chronicles of Narnia. She reveals that she was working on the script for the movie while still working on Barbie, noting that she was taken in by the “euphorically dreamlike” quality of the famous story.

“It’s connected to the folklore and fairy stories of England, but it’s a combination of different traditions,” she says. “As a child, you accept the whole thing—that you’re in this land of Narnia, there’s fauns, and then Father Christmas shows up. It doesn’t even occur to you that it’s not schematic. I’m interested in embracing the paradox of the worlds that Lewis created because that’s what’s so compelling about them.”

Oscar snub or not, Gerwig doesn’t seem to be winding down in the industry, or resting on her laurels. “Because I know the right thing, for me anyway, is to keep making movies,” she admits. “Whatever happens, good or bad, you’ve got to keep going.”

You can read the entire TIME interview here.

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