10 Surprising Facts About Lady Bird

Merie Wallace, A24
Merie Wallace, A24

Audiences and critics alike have gone wild for Lady Bird, writer-director Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age tale about a teenager (Saoirse Ronan) chafing against the restrictions of school, family, and life in Sacramento, “the mid-west of California.” Here are 10 hella tight facts about the film, which is nominated for five Oscars.

1. GRETA GERWIG WORE A PROM DRESS ON-SET.

A still from 'Lady Bird' (2017)
Merie Wallace, A24

Greta Gerwig got into the high school spirit of things by wearing a prom dress to shoot Lady Bird’s prom scenes. Gerwig described the pink prom dress Lady Bird wears as “a little tip of the hat for Pretty in Pink.”

2. THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE SCRIPT WAS A MONSTER.

Gerwig began writing Lady Bird in December 2013, eventually landing on a first draft that was a whopping 350 pages long. (If filmed at that length, it would have been more than five hours long.)

3. ITS STAR IS GAGA OVER BRIDESMAIDS.

Lady Bird star Saoirse Ronan is a well-documented superfan of Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids. We’re talking “Bridesmaids-themed birthday party” territory.

4. GERWIG BARED HER SOUL TO JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, ALANIS MORISSETTE, AND DAVE MATTHEWS.

Saoirse Ronan and Greta Gerwig on the set of 'Lady Bird' (2017)
Merie Wallace, A24

In order to secure the rights to early ’00 staples “Cry Me a River,” “Hand in My Pocket,” and “Crash Into Me,” Gerwig wrote personal letters to Justin Timberlake (“You were the soundtrack to my adolescence. Your rise corresponded exactly with my very awkward puberty”), Alanis Morissette (“I saw the film DOGMA because I read that you played God, which seemed totally fitting to me”), and Dave Matthews (“The song ‘Crash Into Me’ was and is the most romantic song ever”).

5. LUCAS HEDGES KEPT HIS CHARACTER’S PUKA SHELL NECKLACE.

Lucas Hedges, who plays Lady Bird’s theater kid paramour Danny, was outfitted in baggy khakis and a puka shell necklace typical of Lady Bird’s 2002 setting. After Hedges was done filming, he kept the necklace.

6. JOHN HUGHES, STEPHEN SONDHEIM, AND HOWARD ZINN WERE AMONG THE REQUIRED HOMEWORK.

Ronan, Hedges and Timothée Chalamet (who plays bad boy Kyle) got research packets of movies, books, and songs from Gerwig to help them relate to their characters. In Hedges's: “Seasons of Love” from Rent, Aimee Mann’s “Save Me” from Magnolia, and Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along and Sunday in the Park with George. For Chalamet: Howard Zinn's A People’s History of the United States, The Internet Does Not Exist (per Gerwig, “an essay collection that warns of the dangers of a networked world”), and Eric Rohmer’s My Night at Maud’s. Ronan got Joan Didion books, Paper Moon, and John Hughes’s Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles.

7. SAOIRSE RONAN’S ACNE PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE.

Saoirse Ronan stars in 'Lady Bird' (2017)
Merie Wallace, A24

Jacqueline Knowlton, the head of Lady Bird’s makeup department, suggested that Ronan’s acne not be covered up. “I thought it was a really good opportunity to let a teenager’s face in a movie actually look like a teenager’s face in real life,” Ronan said.

8. GERWIG IS ONE OF ONLY FIVE WOMEN IN HISTORY TO RECEIVE AN OSCAR NOMINATION FOR BEST DIRECTOR.

Greta Gerwig is only the fifth woman in the Oscars’ 90-year history to be nominated for Best Director. The only other female directors to receive the nod are: Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties in 1977, Jane Campion for The Piano in 1994, Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2004, and Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010. So far, Bigelow is the only woman to walk home with the golden statuette.

9. THERE WERE ON-SET DANCE PARTIES.

The Lady Bird set had all the normal accouterments: craft services tables, trailers … and dance parties. “We would cry, we would laugh,” Ronan told W Magazine. “We'd have dance parties when we rehearsed. Lucas [Hedges] and I went over to [Gerwig’s] apartment one time and I can't even remember what we played, but we just danced for so long that we got really emotional. She'd play a lot of music on set. It was great. It's good having music around because it subconsciously makes people sort of move to the same beat.”

10. IT PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE LEGACY OF ELAINE STRITCH.

Ronan’s performance of “Everybody Says Don’t” in the scene where Lady Bird auditions for her school musical was inspired by late Broadway legend Elaine Stritch’s rendition of the song. While looking for inspiration for the performance, Ronan told Vulture that she came across “a still photograph of her leaning up against the piano and she’s like half-talking, half-singing the song. She sounded like a real dame, a real broad, and I thought, 'Okay, that’s what I’m gonna do.'"

10 Products for a Better Night's Sleep

Amazon/Comfort Spaces
Amazon/Comfort Spaces

Getting a full eight hours of sleep can be tough these days. If you’re having trouble catching enough Zzzs, consider giving these highly rated and recommended products a try.

1. Everlasting Comfort Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow; $25

Everlasting Comfort Knee Pillow
Everlasting Comfort/Amazon

For side sleepers, keeping the spine, hips, and legs aligned is key to a good night’s rest—and a pain-free morning after. Everlasting Comfort’s memory foam knee pillow is ergonomically designed to fit between the knees or thighs to ensure proper alignment. One simple but game-changing feature is the removable strap, which you can fasten around one leg; this keeps the pillow in place even as you roll at night, meaning you don’t have to wake up to adjust it (or pick it up from your floor). Reviewers call the pillow “life-changing” and “the best knee pillow I’ve found.” Plus, it comes with two pairs of ear plugs.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Letsfit White Noise Machine; $21

Letsfit White Noise Machine
Letsfit/Amazon

White noise machines: They’re not just for babies! This Letsfit model—which is rated 4.7 out of five with nearly 3500 reviews—has 14 potential sleep soundtracks, including three white noise tracks, to better block out everything from sirens to birds that chirp enthusiastically at dawn (although there’s also a birds track, if that’s your thing). It also has a timer function and a night light.

Buy it: Amazon

3. ECLIPSE Blackout Curtains; $16

Eclipse Black Out Curtains
Eclipse/Amazon

According to the National Sleep Foundation, too much light in a room when you’re trying to snooze is a recipe for sleep disaster. These understated polyester curtains from ECLIPSE block 99 percent of light and reduce noise—plus, they’ll help you save on energy costs. "Our neighbor leaves their backyard light on all night with what I can only guess is the same kind of bulb they use on a train headlight. It shines across their yard, through ours, straight at our bedroom window," one Amazon reviewer who purchased the curtains in black wrote. "These drapes block the light completely."

Buy it: Amazon

4. JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock; $38

JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
JALL/Amazon

Being jarred awake by a blaring alarm clock can set the wrong mood for the rest of your day. Wake up in a more pleasant way with this clock, which gradually lights up between 10 percent and 100 percent in the 30 minutes before your alarm. You can choose between seven different colors and several natural sounds as well as a regular alarm beep, but why would you ever use that? “Since getting this clock my sleep has been much better,” one reviewer reported. “I wake up not feeling tired but refreshed.”

Buy it: Amazon

5. Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light; $200

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light
Philips/Amazon

If you’re looking for an alarm clock with even more features, Philips’s SmartSleep Wake-Up Light is smartphone-enabled and equipped with an AmbiTrack sensor, which tracks things like bedroom temperature, humidity, and light levels, then gives recommendations for how you can get a better night’s rest.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Slumber Cloud Stratus Sheet Set; $159

Stratus sheets from Slumber Cloud.
Slumber Cloud

Being too hot or too cold can kill a good night’s sleep. The Good Housekeeping Institute rated these sheets—which are made with Outlast fibers engineered by NASA—as 2020’s best temperature-regulating sheets.

Buy it: SlumberCloud

7. Comfort Space Coolmax Sheet Set; $29-$40

Comfort Spaces Coolmax Sheets
Comfort Spaces/Amazon

If $159 sheets are out of your price range, the GHI recommends these sheets from Comfort Spaces, which are made with moisture-wicking Coolmax microfiber. Depending on the size you need, they range in price from $29 to $40.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow; $80

Coop Eden Pillow
Coop Home Goods/Amazon

This pillow—which has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon—is filled with memory foam scraps and microfiber, and comes with an extra half-pound of fill so you can add, or subtract, the amount in the pillow for ultimate comfort. As a bonus, the pillows are hypoallergenic, mite-resistant, and washable.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Baloo Weighted Blanket; $149-$169

Baloo Weighted Blanket
Baloo/Amazon

Though the science is still out on weighted blankets, some people swear by them. Wirecutter named this Baloo blanket the best, not in small part because, unlike many weighted blankets, it’s machine-washable and -dryable. It’s currently available in 12-pound ($149) twin size and 20-pound ($169) queen size. It’s rated 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, with one reviewer reporting that “when it's spread out over you it just feels like a comfy, snuggly hug for your whole body … I've found it super relaxing for falling asleep the last few nights, and it looks nice on the end of the bed, too.” 

Buy it: Amazon 

10. Philips Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band; $200

Philips SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band
Philips/Amazon

Few things can disturb your slumber—and that of the ones you love—like loudly sawing logs. Philips’s Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band is designed for people who snore when they’re sleeping on their backs, and according to the company, 86 percent of people who used the band reported reduced snoring after a month. The device wraps around the torso and is equipped with a sensor that delivers vibrations if it detects you moving to sleep on your back; those vibrations stop when you roll onto your side. The next day, you can see how many hours you spent in bed, how many of those hours you spent on your back, and your response rate to the vibrations. The sensor has an algorithm that notes your response rate and tweaks the intensity of vibrations based on that. “This device works exactly as advertised,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “I’d say it’s perfect.”

Buy it: Amazon

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The Surprising Characters on Friends Who Were Originally the Show's Main Couple

Everyone was enthralled by Ross and Rachel's romantic drama—but how would you feel about Monica and Joey's?
Everyone was enthralled by Ross and Rachel's romantic drama—but how would you feel about Monica and Joey's?
Getty Images

When you think of Friends, your mind probably goes to all the hilarious one-liners, such as Joey's "How you doin'?", or all the romantic relationships in the show, most importantly Ross and Rachel's. We watched the pair's love story blossom since their first kiss back in season two, and the couple is widely regarded as one of the best in TV history.

Well, there was another couple planned that didn't make the cut. Just as Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc wanted their characters Phoebe and Joey to get together, showrunners planned for Monica and Joey to be an item. And they weren't just going to be a fling—the two were originally the Ross and Rachel of the show.

Vulture reports that Friends creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman initially had Monica and Joey coupling up, explaining:

"It would’ve unfolded like this: Joey, a 'perpetual horndog,' would’ve eventually been lured and 'tamed' by Monica as he continued to climb up in the world of acting. Crane, however, found himself 'bored' by this version of Joey; he retooled Joey to be a funnier and warmer character within the friend group, and dropped the romance with Monica altogether."

Would've been weird, right? According to Entertainment Weekly, it wasn't just Crane who didn't like the idea. LeBlanc himself, who played Joey, wasn't into his character trying to pursue Monica, not wanting to play someone who was perceived as creepy and hit on everyone.

It seems Joey went through some serious revisions before Friends became what it is today, and it's probably for the best. He doesn't end up married in the end, but at least Monica gets her happily ever after moment with Chandler.

[h/t Vulture]