Greta Celeste Gerwig is an American actress and filmmaker. She was born in Sacramento, California, to Christine Gerwig (nee Sauer), a nurse, and Gordon Gerwig, a financial consultant and computer programmer. She has German, Irish, and English ancestry. Gerwig was raised as a Unitarian Universalist, but also attended an all-girls Catholic school. She has described herself as an intense child. With an early interest in dance, she intended to get a degree in musical theatre in New York. She graduated from Barnard College, where she studied English and philosophy, instead. Originally intending to become a playwright, Gerwig was cast in a minor role in Joe Swanbergs LOL (2006) in 2006, while still studying at Barnard. Mainstream success remained elusive. Yet in 2011, Gerwig received an award for Acting from the Athena Film Festival for her artistry as one of Hollywoods definitive screen actresses of her generation.