Rebecca Miller was back in Berlin on Monday with her Panorama screener “Maggie’s Plan” and cast members Greta Gerwig and Julianne Moore in tow. The romantic comedy, which unspooled in Toronto and marks Miller’s third film in Berlin, revolves around a young woman, played by Greta Gerwig, who begins a relationship with a married man (Ethan Hawke), who splits with his wife (Julianne Moore).
Discussing the pic in Berlin prior to its premiere in Panorama Special on Monday, a hoarse-voiced Moore proclaimed in German: “Ich bin krank” (I’m sick), but it did not stop her from speaking at length about working with Miller and being part of a female dominated production to her personal views on family. “We had wonderful characters and great people to work with,” Moore said of her experience on the production. “It was a very female-heavy set — it was awesome coming to work every day.” Producer Damon Cardasis quipped, “I was in the minority.”
On the film’s subject matter, the writer-director, who based her screenplay on an unpublished novel by friend Karen Rinaldi, said, “I think these subjects are in the air,” adding that the complications of relationship and marriage, children and family, were prevalent among her friends.
Expressing admiration for Miller’s writing and direction, Moore added, “Rebecca is really decisive — she has so much forward momentum.” Asked about her first time working with Hawke, Moore, with a wry smile, described the experience as “sexy,” but quickly added, “Ethan is one of those people who the longer you know, the more you love.”
Miller added that “Maggie’s Plan” was the first time that Hawke, who has made some 40 films, had worked with a female director. “That says something.”
Miller described Hawke and the rest of the cast as extremely collaborative. She described Gerwig as ideal for the role of Maggie due to he “blend of intelligence and innocence.” Gerwig added that as a director, Miller was “completely open to what you bring to the characters. We created this world together.”
Explaining why she set the film in the world of academia, Miller said a close friend was tenured at New York University and she had learned quite a lot about that world. “It’s full of absurdity and very funny. You feel like you making things up but then you realize they really exist. It seemed perfect.”