“Barbie” Co-Writer Noah Baumbach Admits He Thought Movie 'Was a Terrible Idea' Before Greta Gerwig 'Signed Me Up'

“I know enough always just to follow what Greta says," Baumbach said of his longtime partner at a special 'Barbie' screening

<p>Dave Benett/Getty</p> Noah Baumbach says he thought

Dave Benett/Getty

Noah Baumbach says he thought 'Barbie' was a "terrible idea" before co-writer and real-life partner Greta Gerwig signed them up for the project.

Noah Baumbach was not head over heels for Barbie — at first.

In fact, the screenwriter, 54, who co-wrote the movie with his creative collaborator and real-life partner Greta Gerwig, said he thought the project was initially a bad idea.

“I thought it was a terrible idea and Greta signed me up for it,” he admitted during a Q&A with Gerwig, 40, and Judd Apatow at a special, sold-out screening of the blockbuster film on Friday, Variety reported.

Related: All About Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach's 2 Sons

In the conversation — Baumbach’s first time discussing the movie since he forwent Barbie’s press tour in accordance with the WGA strike — he remembered thinking, “I don’t see how this is going to be good at all.”

“I kind of blocked it for a while and every time [Greta would] bring it up, I’d be like, ‘You’ve gotta get us out of this.’ And then the pandemic happened,” he continued.

Gerwig subsequently recalled all of the reasons her partner initially objected: “There’s no character and there’s no story, so why do you want to do this? There’s no entry point," she said, per Variety.

According to the Barbie director, Baumbach even made “side calls” to try and get the screenwriting duo “out of it.”

Related: Greta Gerwig Reveals She 'Stood in the Back' of Barbie Screenings to See Audience's Reaction

His attitude toward the Margot Robbie-led film finally changed after he read a couple of Barbie pages Gerwig wrote to get her general concept for the movie across, per Variety.

“It was Barbie waking up in her Dreamhouse and coming out to her backyard and meeting somebody who was sick and dying,” he recalled. “I read these pages and I thought, ‘I understand now what this is.’”

“The movie is about embracing your mortality and about the mess of it all, so it was exciting,” he added.

<p> Dia Dipasupil/WireImage</p> 'Barbie' co-writers Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig.

Dia Dipasupil/WireImage

'Barbie' co-writers Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig.

Thankfully, Gerwig’s hunch about Barbie was correct, and it ended up being “the most fun” the couple had ever had, Baumbach said.

Related: When Will 'Barbie' Be Available to Stream on Max? Here's How to Watch at Home

During the writing process, the duo would try to “amuse each other and one up each other,” writing away from each other and then exchanging their work, per Baumbach. “Then we listen to hear if the other person’s laughing,” Gerwig added.

After rinsing and repeating that process, “at a certain point,” Baumbach said he thought to himself, “I think this is the best thing we’ve ever written.”

“I know enough always just to follow what Greta says, so even in my bellyaching and revolting, I kind of knew, ‘Well if she really believes it, then there’s something there,'" he added.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

On her own initial thoughts about the gig — and why she said “yes” — Gerwig said, “It wasn’t that I had a take of an idea. It just seemed strange enough.”

“Everybody knows what Barbie is,” she continued. “It’s been around since 1959. Everybody has an opinion about it … ‘I hate her. I love her. She’s an inspiration. She’s terrible.’ I felt like there was enough there. In a way, it was like saying, ‘If you leave us alone, we’ll figure it out.’”

Related: Greta Gerwig Had 'Big Meeting' to Defend Keeping Ryan Gosling's 'I'm Just Ken' Dance Scene in Barbie

As for Baumbach? The film — which became Warner Bros.' highest-earning theatrical release of all time in August — was not such a “terrible idea” after all.

“The reason you make anything is because you’re saying to this imaginary audience, ‘Maybe you feel this way too?’” the screenwriter said. “So, when the whole world seems to feel that way, then that’s very gratifying and very moving. Because sometimes people are like, ‘No we don’t recognize that feeling.’”

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.