Noah Baumbach stars on Five Things with Lynn Hirschberg, Episode 4.
On Five Things with Lynn Hirschberg—the new podcast from W—Hollywood’s brightest sit down with the magazine’s Editor-at-Large to talk about “Five Things” that have made them who they are: a person, a place, an object, one positive event, and one negative event that ultimately turned into something positive.
The result: candid, insightful, intimate conversations guided by Hirschberg’s singular skill as an interviewer. Topics range from the deeply personal to the nitty-gritty professional—Hirschberg covers the craft of filmmaking and the ins and outs of public life with equal parts curiosity, sensitivity and humor.
In this episode, Marriage Story director Noah Baumbach sits down with Hirschberg to discuss the films that have impacted him the most, his deep connection with Brooklyn, collaborating with his partner Greta Gerwig and the most difficult time in his professional career.
To listen to the full podcast, click on the link below:
He developed his creative vocabulary as a child growing up in Brooklyn’s Park Slope, a neighborhood in which he has set multiple films. When he was young, his father, a film critic, would drive him and his siblings to see screenings in Manhattan.
“Once I started seeing movies, I really did think and communicate in terms of movies, even if I wasn’t making them,” he says. He would continue these conversations with his father. “We would come up with alternate endings to movies: Oh, it should have ended here, or what if. There was a lot of trying to improve movies that didn’t quite work for us, or books.”
Baumbach discusses having a difficult few years, after the release of his second film, Mr. Jealousy, which didn’t receive the same level of critical attention as his debut, Kicking and Screaming.
“After Mr. Jealousy, I found myself a little bit lost, and it took me a long time to make another movie,” Baumbach says. “There’s a line in Francis Ha that I think about. She’s asked what she does, and she sort of answers, she says, ‘But I don’t really do it.’ And I felt a little bit at a certain point, like I don’t even know if I’m a filmmaker anymore. I mean, I made these two movies, but I wasn’t able at the time to make another one.”
That sentiment ran strongly through Frances Ha, the film he co-wrote with Gerwig. “I’m asked about autobiography in my movies a lot, but it’s interesting because a movie like Frances Ha, I get asked less about it because people assume, ‘Oh, it’s Greta’s thing’” Baumbach says, “But actually that time of being 27 and being lost and feeling like you identified yourself a certain way, and suddenly you’re not able to do it, the way she can’t dance, I related to very strongly.”