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  • - 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