Greta Gerwig reveals the 35 films that INSPIRED her historic Barbie movie


Greta Gerwig made history as the director of Barbie, becoming the first female director to helm a billion dollar film.

What movies did Greta Gerwig reference in Barbie?

The writer and director, who penned the script with her partner, Noah Baumbach, turned to some of history’s greatest movies for inspiration when shooting Barbie.

In an interview with Letterboxd, the Oscar nominee wrote down 32 films, but actually shared 35, some famous and some not so famous, that she paid homage to in her own masterpiece.

One of the first film the 40-year-old filmmaker drew inspiration from was 1939’s The Wizard of Oz when creating Barbie World.

‘I think of the painted backdrop of the Emerald City as they go towards it.

‘In our movie, we have the Pink Brick Road instead of the Yellow Brick Road,’ she explained, ‘We also have beautiful painted backdrops of horizons.’

Greta said she asked Margot Robbie to watch Katharine Hepburn’s starring turn in The Philadelphia Story to craft her performance.

READ ALSO: Twin sisters reveal how they spent $200K on boob, BUTT and VAGINA surgeries to look like Barbies

‘Katharine Hepburn describes herself as being a Grecian statue or something— she’s unflappable and then she starts falling apart, and that’s actually where she finds herself,’ the Critics Choice Award winner said.

What inspired Greta Gerwig to make Barbie?

‘It was actually already one of Margot’s favorite movies; she already had that in her back pocket, as it were.’

For Ken-spiration, the admitted movie buff looked to Drew Barrymore’s grandfather, John Barrymore in 1934’s Twentieth Century.

‘Ryan reminds me of John Barrymore in how funny he is,’ Greta declared.

‘There are scenes (in Twentieth Century) where they’re just screaming at each other; I was like, “This is perfect.” There’s a heightened, dramatic thing that John Barrymore does that I showed to Ryan, then he took that and put it in our movie. It was amazing.’

To portray Barbie’s idealistic world, she looked 1998’s The Truman Show.

‘I had to include The Truman Show both because I watched it again before I made this movie, and because Peter Weir very generously got on the phone with me before I started shooting.

‘He talked to me for a long time about how he shot it and how they made it work. They shot it actually outside, but they hung lights, so it would feel like it was in a studio.

He told me, ‘I don’t suggest that. It was very hot.’

Little details in Barbie included nods to Catherine Deneuve’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and Jerry Lewis’ Ladies’ Man.

Musical such as Grease, Singin’ in the Rain and Oklahoma and Gold Diggers of 1935 and The Red Shoes contributed to the vibe.’The Red Shoes [is] all over the movie,’ Greta explained.

‘There’s a shot of her walking up to that house, which I wanted it to feel like that when Barbie walks up to [Weird Barbie’s] house.’

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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