‘The Glorias’ Director Julie Taymor on Telling Gloria Steinem’s Story: ‘I Thought I Knew Her. I Didn’t’ (Video)

Sundance 2020: “When I read the book and learned about her early life, I thought, ‘Oh my God, people must see this,'” director says

“The Glorias” director Julie Taymor knew Gloria Steinem long before she ever read Steinem’s memoir “Life on the Road” or decided to adapt the feminist and icon’s life story into a film. Or, at least she thought she did.

“I’ve known her. I knew her before I read the book. I thought I knew her. I didn’t,” Taymor told TheWrap at the Sundance Film Festival. “When I read the book and learned about her early life, I thought, ‘Oh my God, people must see this.’ It’s entertaining. It actually explains how someone can become the activist and the inspiration that she is.”

“The Glorias” made its premiere at Sundance last month, and the film stars both Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander as two of four different women playing Steinem at various ages of her life. And Taymor brings them all together to talk and interact on what she calls a “Bus Out of Time,” a framing device that helps to stitch together the various moments and encounters of “Life on the Road” with an emotional connector.

“It was a device that ended up being very humanizing, because you get to see all facets of Gloria Steinem,” Taymor said. “When you have that music that keeps coming back over and over, it is the stitching between the events. You really do get all of her, her discomfort. You put on a tough face when you’re someone like Gloria and you get a lot of vitriol spewed at you and you’re getting competition and you’re getting naysayers. So what is behind the smile? What is behind that exterior?”

Taymor stressed that “The Glorias” is far from a traditional biopic, a movie that takes place at several different time periods but is made to tell the story of Steinem today and how she came to be a leading activist.

“I think at this time when we are lacking that and we really are always looking for leadership, she’s the leader who listens,” Taymor said. “She’s a leader because she pushes up other people. She helps them rise, and god knows we need that now.”

Check out TheWrap’s full interview with Taymor above.