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“The Oprah of Hipsters,” and Other Absurdities from the Noah Baumbach New Yorker Profile

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By Craig Hubert | In this week’s issue of the New Yorker, staff writer Ian Parker profiles director Noah Baumbach, whose new film, “Frances Ha,” opens on May 17. Titled “Happiness,” the fawning profile is less concerned with the director’s film career, instead focusing much of its space on the blossoming love affair between Baumbach and his young girlfriend/muse/protege Greta Gerwig. According to the magazine, where Baumbach once worked (as a messenger, though he’s written pieces for the publication since), the filmmaker is finally, at 43, coming of age — the master of post-graduate malaise finally growing up, with his 29 year old partner at his side. The whole thing is worth reading, but we did you the service of highlighting the most absurd, ridiculous parts.

On Lena Dunham:

Gerwig: “She’s the Oprah of hipsters.”

On Baumbach’s attractiveness:

According to Parker, Baumbach has “the collar-length, well-tended hair of a less worried man,” before launching into this amazing description: “He has a long, square-chinned face whose handsomeness he is said to recognize but not overprize. (“He treats it like he has a good computer,” Gerwig said.)”

A tyrant on set?:

At 3am, while shooting a new film, Baumbach yelled “No tiredness!” at an actress after she yawned. Later, the writer describes watching Baumbach do fifty-five takes of a scene of Gerwig rummaging through a closet.

Hipster Puppies:

The duo is currently working on an animated film: “Baumbach and Gerwig’s screenplay, not yet fully green-lit, is about a Brooklyn mutt, Freddy, who becomes separated from a young girl named Heidi when her parents divorce.” A sample line of dialogue, uttered by a character named Wise Dog: ““Every time, it takes my breath away. This, and side two of Rod Stewart’s ‘Every Picture Tells a Story.’ ””

Lunch with Peter:

While the writer makes it clear that Baumbach and his new girlfriend started dating after he was divorced from his ex-wife, the actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, he doesn’t mention the odd coincidence that one of the director’s good friends is Peter Bogdanovich, a filmmaker who famously left his older wife for a much younger, blond actress.


Gerwig apparently goes to church, even though she doesn’t believe. “I think I do it because it connects me with a story that I don’t think is true, but I think is somehow resonant,” the actress says. “Everything doesn’t have to be true to have power.”

Image: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

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