Read The Letter ‘Lady Bird’ Director Greta Gerwig Wrote Justin Timberlake Asking To Use ‘Cry Me A River’

Director Greta Gerwig was on Late Night with Seth Meyers last night to promote her new immediately beloved coming-of-age film Lady Bird. In the film, which takes place over the course of a teen girl’s senior year of high school in 2002 and 2003, Gerwig included several songs evocative of the time. To get the rights to those songs, she wrote heartfelt letters to the artists, including Justin Timberlake for the use of his 2002 hit “Cry Me a River.” She read these letters to Meyers while cringing at herself.

“‘Dear Mr. Timberlake, I mean, what can I say? You’re Justin Timberlake,” she read aloud. “‘You were the soundtrack to my adolescence. Your rise corresponded exactly with my very awkward puberty.’ And then it just gets worse.”

Gerwig also wrote Dave Matthews and Alanis Morissette to use their songs “Crash Into Me” and “Hand in My Pocket,” telling Matthews his “was and is the most romantic song ever” (she underlined that portion) and including for Morissette a link to a video of star Saoirse Ronan singing a parody cover of “Ironic” called “Moronic” in the Michelle Pfeiffer-Paul Rudd film I Could Never Be Your Woman, as well as mentioning that the singer was the reason she saw the Kevin Smith film Dogma.

Lady Bird is in theaters now.