Director Greta Gerwig's "Little Women" may be the eighth film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's coming-of-age-period drama, but it's the first that feels fitting to our time. Her take remains loyal to the stories of our four favorite March sisters—each determined to live lives of their own—while speaking directly to a new generation and giving weight to the female perspective.

WGBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen's interview with cast members Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, and Laura Dern will premiere on Open Studio With Jared Bowen this Friday, December 20 at 8:30pm on WGBH 2. Before that, he sat down with director Greta Gerwig, and actor Timothée Chalamet, to talk about some of the timeless themes of the film. Excerpts from their conversation are below.

On finding herself in the story of Jo

Greta Gerwig: My favorite kind of actor is one who's not only emotionally available but intellectually curious. And he (directed to Chalamet) was asking me, "What is this book?" And I said (to Chalamet), "I might never make a more personal movie than this."

A girl trying to sell a story and figuring out how much she needs to compromise to sell it? I mean, boy do I know that! That's my life!

On how the Louisa May Alcott novel was beyond our time.

Greta Gerwig: To give the same weight to the stories of women and girls, as we do to the stories of boys and men, is still something we're figuring out. I think she (Louisa May Alcott) saw the future.

And I think she saw beyond even where we are, and she imagined something that was not only feminism but egalitarianism in the true sense where everyone's honored and no one's left out and there isn't a hierarchy. And we're getting there!

On how the character Laurie was not a man of his day either.

Timothée Chalamet: I don't think it's an absence of the characteristics of the day, but more what he's not doing. The tropes and stereotypes about gender or this place in life are not there. Whether because he's young, or doesn't have a lot of social contact, or because he's lucky enough to meet these beautiful (on the inside) women at a young age.

One how the physicality of the film came from a thoughtful script

Greta Gerwig: I didn't want to feel like the lines were embroidered on pillows (even though they are.) I wanted the language to come out of their mouths like they just thought of it, like a heart on your sleeve feeling. And so the way the language was structured in the script lent itself to a speed.

Also, if you've ever spent time with a bunch of sisters or friends who are girls - it's loud. It's so loud. And it was capturing all of that, which honestly wasn't that hard, because...

Timothée Chalamet: ...Everybody's energy was...

Greta Gerwig: ...everyone's energy was over the top, and it was amazing.

On the magic of filming at Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House.

Greta Gerwig: This place is magical. The writers that have been here, the history of this place- the fact that the Revolutionary War started on the North Bridge just five minutes from here.

The sense of the country as being something that's an act of imagination, and that you create it again new and better with every generation, is something that I think is important to reconnect to.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity by Stacy Buchanan.