NEXT|January 2020

As Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott novel hits cinemas on January 2, we speak to the director about bringing the beloved literary classic to life

NEXT: Greta, when did you first read Little Women and why did it become so meaningful to you?

Greta: Little Women has been something that’s been part of who I am for as long as I can remember. It seems there was never a time when I didn’t know who Jo March was. She was always my girl, the person I wanted to be and the person I hoped I was. I saw myself in everything she did, so I always had an idea of that character as one I might someday make something out of.

N: You and many others relate to Jo March strongly, even though she was created in such a different time. What makes her feel like a modern person to us?

G: As I was doing my research on Little Women, I kept finding all of these different, amazing women who had this same love for Jo I had, from Patti Smith and Simone de Beauvoir to Elena Ferrante. Jo has meant something to many writers and thinkers from completely disparate backgrounds, and many of them are people that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with loving Little Women. There’s a rebel spirit contained in Jo, and I think this hope for a life beyond what your gender dictates is completely exciting to us still. She’s this girl with a boy’s name who wants to write, and she’s ambitious and she’s angry and she’s so many different things that we identify with.


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January 2020