Interview: Rebecca Miller Talks 'Maggie's Plan', Making Her First Screwball Comedy, Superhero Movies, And More
I first came to recognize Rebecca Miller's work with the 2002 film, Personal Velocity, a trio of deeply personal stories based on her previous writings. I remember it having a lot of buzz at the time, partially for winning a pair of awards at Sundance that year, but also for exploring private sides to women we don't often see depicted in major films. She would continue to dig deeper in subsequent films like The Ballad of Jack & Rose (which starred her husband Daniel Day-Lewis), The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, and in her screenplay for Proof.
Miller's latest film Maggie's Plan is another female-centric story but it's also her funniest work to date. Taking a page out of the Woody Allen/Noah Baumbach book, it's a screwball-esque comedy starring Ethan Hawke, Greta Gerwig, and Julianne Moore. Gerwig plays a 30-year-old academic who decides she wants to have a baby now, so she gets a sperm donation from a friend but ends up in a romantic relationship with a novelist (Hawke) who is feeling unappreciated by his more successful wife (Moore). There's a lot more to it than that, and as you might expect things get complicated. The cast also includes Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Wallace Shawn, and Travis Fimmel.
I had a chance to sit down and talk with Miller about Maggie's Plan, her interesting career path (she's the daughter of acclaimed playwright Arthur Miller), the decision to tackle screwball comedy, working as a female director in today's Hollywood, and more. Unfortunately I forgot to ask her about playing Neysa McMein in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, one of my all-time favorite films. Maybe next time. I also tried to see if there was any chance she'd direct Captain Marvel, so stick around to hear her thoughts on it.
You can listen to the interview below, and check out Mae's Sundance review of Maggie's Plan here.