The actress Beanie Feldstein is currently making her Broadway debut in the revival of the musical “Hello Dolly” alongside Bette Midler as well as playing Julie in the new critically acclaimed movie “Lady Bird.”
“Lady Bird” follows Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (played by Saoirse Ronan) through her senior year of Catholic high school. She has a complicated relationship with her parents (Lauri Metcalf, Tracy Letts) and an inseparable friendship with Julie (Beanie Feldstein).
Julie and Lady Bird are both involved in theater, acting in their high school’s production of the musical “Merrily We Roll Along.” Lady Bird dreams of attending college on the East Coast, where, “culture is,” according to her, while her mother wishes she would go to school in their hometown of Sacramento, California. This butting of heads follows Lady Bird and her mother throughout the movie as heartbreak and popularity test Lady Bird and Julie’s friendship the year before they leave for college.
Although her character, Julie, stars in her first musical in the movie, Feldstein began her acting career in a local theater’s production of “The Sound of Music” in west Los Angeles. With too many kids in the production and not enough roles for everyone, the Von Trapp family was expanded to give them 18 children. “I was a made up Von Trapp child named Ingrid and I was twins with my best friend Kaitlin,” said Feldstein.
Feldstein said she and her friend looked nothing a like making it difficult for the audience to believe they were twins.
Feldstein said her relationship with costar and leading lady Saoirse Ronan clicked instantly and the pair became close friends off screen much like their characters in the movie.
“Anyone that meets Saoirse will just be instantly in love with her, she is just pure light, so charming, and super warm,” said Feldstein. “I feel so lucky to have acted with her and to create that chemistry on screen, and I also feel so lucky to have a friend that I cherish.”
Feldstein was immediately drawn to the roll of Julie when she read the character description of Julie, who is supposed to be a sweet chubby girl who loves theater and great friend. “Julie is deeply loyal and never questions her love for Lady Bird,” said Feldstein.
She fell in love with the script, written by the film’s director Greta Gerwig, saying it was one of the most beautifully written things she has ever read.
“The combination of feeling so connected to the character and then just wanting to live in this world that she [Gerwig] had created is what drew me to the project,” said Feldstein.
“Lady Bird” marks Gerwig’s first time behind the camera. She previously starred in and co-wrote the movies “Frances Ha” and “Greenberg” along with her partner Noah Brumbach who directed the movies.
“She never once felt like a first-time director,” said Feldstein. “She had such a beautiful quiet confidence about her and clarity to what she wanted it to feel like, Greta has created something that is deeply human, vivacious, and heartfelt.”
“Lady Bird” is currently in theaters across the U.S. It is currently playing at Cinema Detroit until January 18.