On Wednesday Vanity Fair revealed a first look at Greta Gerwig’s upcoming film adaptation of the literary classic Little Women (as if the Winona Ryder version wasn’t already perfect). The story featured an interview with Gerwig and star Saoirse Ronan, who plays tomboy heroine Jo March. The film also stars Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen as her sisters, Lauren Dern as Marmie, Meryl Streep as Aunt March, and Call Me By Your Name heartthrob Timothée Chalamet as Laurie. That cast… whew, gay rights.
But the actors aren’t the only reason queers are interested in Little Women. Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women, is thought to have possibly been queer herself — she never married, and her avatar Jo is a woman who decried femininity and preferred to wear men’s clothing. “We didn’t want to label [Alcott] as anything,” Ronan told Vanity Fair, before admitting that the director used details from Alcott’s letters and diaries to update the script — at one point, Jo makes a statement about “loving freely and deeply,” according to VF’s Sonia Saraya, which “suggests a yearning that the book Little Women doesn’t otherwise explore.”
And then, of course, there’s Jo’s friendship with Laurie. “Jo is a girl with a boy’s name, Laurie is a boy with a girl’s name,” Gerwig told Vanity Fair. “In some ways they are each other’s twins.” The article explains that in the film, costume designer Jacqueline Durran frequently dressed the characters in each other’s clothing. “They find each other before they’ve committed to a gender,” said Gerwig, adding that “it wouldn’t be wrong to call Saoirse handsome and Timothée beautiful. Both have a slightly androgynous quality that makes them perfect for these characters.” Calling Timothée beautiful… tea.
Little Women is in theaters December 25.