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Greta Gerwig Biography

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Birth Name: Greta Gerwig
Born: 08/04/1983
Birth Place: Sacramento, California, USA

Greta Celeste Gerwig was born on Aug. 4, 1983 in Sacramento, CA. At Barnard College in New York City, Gerwig wrote plays and cofounded an improv group called The Tea Party Ensemble. She started her career with playwright ambitions, but made the leap into acting in 2006 with a minor role in "LOL," a low-budget film that explored the effects of technology on the contemporary dating scene. She starred as a girl who sent pictures of herself to an admirer using a cell phone. It was a small part but it introduced Gerwig to other top filmmakers in the Mumblecore scene - an independent film movement that started in the 2000s - including "LOL" director Joe Swanberg, who began casting her in many of their genre films.

Gerwig rose to fame with a lead role in the drama "Hannah Takes the Stairs" as a recent college grad interning at a Chicago production company who develops a crush on two of her coworkers. Her honest performance of a young woman drifting along during a hot Chicago summer while trying to fulfill all her romantic longings earned Gerwig critical reviews and made her an instant favorite among independent filmmakers. The year 2008 was a breakthrough year for the talented actress, who co-starred in two indie cult favorites - "Baghead," as one of four friends who suddenly find themselves starring in a real-life scary film, and "Yeast," as a scruffy and physically abusive woman who has a hard time losing an old friend. That same year, Gerwig added filmmaker to her resume as co-director and co-star of "Nights and Weekends," an off-center romantic comedy about a couple dealing with the challenges of a long-distance relationship.

IIn 2009, Gerwig played the loud-mouthed best friend of the protagonist (Jocelin Donahue) in the horror film "The House of the Devil," a role that culminated in one of the most disturbing movie twists in that genre. Gerwig gained mainstream recognition in 2010 when she starred opposite Ben Stiller in the Noah Baumbach-helmed "Greenberg." The intellectual dramedy followed aging rocker Roger Greenberg (Stiller) who goes to Los Angeles to housesit for his brother and reconnect with former close friends. Gerwig's character develops an awkward relationship with Greenberg, made possible by the actress' ability to bring a sense of ease and quirkiness into her scenes. Critics heaped praises on Gerwig's pitch-perfect portrayal of a woman a bit clumsy and naïve, yet one very comfortable in her own skin. She went on to earn an Indie Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress for her work in the film. That same year, Gerwig returned to her indie roots and starred in "Art House," about a group of students forced to prove their artistic value in the community before they are evicted from their free communal housing.

Although Gerwig was miscast for supporting roles in the 2011 broad comedies "No Strings Attached" and "Arthur," a remake of the 1980s hit, she began turning things around with her next projects, including the whimsical Whit Stillman indie "Damsels in Distress" (2011). Later that year, she began dating "Greenberg" director Baumbach and collaborated with him once again for "Frances Ha" (2012) as both lead actress and co-screenwriter. The charmingly understated character study led to more accolades for Gerwig, and she was also featured that year in the romantic comedy "Lola Versus" and Woody Allen's Italian-set "To Rome with Love," along with Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page. Seeking to mix things up a bit, she voiced Pony Merks on the bizarre animated show "China, IL" (Adult Swim, 2011- ), which further highlighted her versatility. Yet in early 2014, that versatility engendered a controversy in indie film circles when it was announced that Gerwig was going to star in the pilot of "How I Met Your Dad," a spinoff of the hit sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS 2005-2014) following a different set of friends than the original series. Debate ensued over whether Gerwig was slumming by appearing on a network sitcom, and what effect this would have on her film career.