During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday night, the 36-year-old director recalled arriving at Sunday’s awards ceremony early, alongside her partner Noah Baumbach, who was nominated for his film Marriage Story.
“I was two hours early to this,” the director explained. “I was in an empty banquet hall — because I was actually not nominated, my brilliant actress Saoirse Ronan was nominated for her performance, my composer Alexandre Desplat was nominated for his work — but I was not nominated, but I was there to support Noah.”
Gerwig explained that she ended up speaking with members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the voting body that decides on the annual Golden Globe Awards, ahead of the ceremony.
“He was doing all this press, but I was just there early,” she said. “So I was in this banquet hall with no one there and then I saw all the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press inside and they were all like, ‘We voted for you’ and I was like, ‘Well, you didn’t because I didn’t get nominated. So like, maybe one of you did, but it’s not possible that all of you did.'”
“A lot of controversy about our next category: No female directors were nominated this year. Not one,” he said before introducing the presenters for the award. “I mean, that’s bad.”
Gervais then went on to say that he spoke with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to remedy the situation, joking that executives will stop hiring women to direct movies in general.
“I’ve had a word with the Hollywood Foreign Press, and they’ve guaranteed that will never happen again,” he joked. “Working with all the major studios, they’ve agreed to go back the way things were a few years ago when they didn’t even hire women directors, and that will solve the problem.”
He quipped, “You’re welcome.”
Sam Mendes ended up taking home the top honor for directing 1917, beating out Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood) and Todd Phillips (Joker).
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“I think we were all just a bit totally shocked, really,” Pugh, 24, said.
“She has made one of the best movies of the year,” Ronan, 25, added. “And I think Laura [Dern] made a really good point yesterday in that, in a way, it’s sort of vital for something like this to happen because it reminds us of how far, obviously, we still need to go.”
She continued, “She’s a really, really brilliant filmmaker and we wouldn’t be here without her. We’ve talked about how we’re sort of inextricably linked, our performances rely so much on one another, but Greta is the one who brought us together and she’s the mastermind behind the whole thing.”
Gerwig also missed out on a Globes nomination in 2018 for Lady Bird, which earned her a Best Director nod at the Oscars just a few weeks later.
Little Women is playing in theaters now.