Greta Gerwig was shocked at the response to her directorial debut 'Lady Bird' and was emotional when people connected to the film.

The 31-year-old actress-turned-director helmed the new coming-of-age movie starring Saoirse Ronan and the film has been receiving constant praise from critics and fans alike.

But Gerwig - who is the only female director to be nominated for Best Director at this year's Academy Awards - never expected the film to be as big as it has become.

Speaking to Stylist Magazine, Gerwig said: ''I certainly wrote it wanting people to identify with it or be able to see themselves in it somehow, but I never expected it to be on the level that it has been.

''Doing the London Film Festival was the first time I had this sense that it was connecting. People were saying, 'I've never heard of Sacramento, but I'm telling you, that's my story', and that was very emotional for me.

''What I've always loved about movies is that they are something that allows people to understand commonalities between a human experience, even though it might be a highly specific story that doesn't seem like it would be universal, but somehow it is.''

The film marks Gerwig's directorial debut and admitted because of the success of 'Lady Bird' it will help her make more movies in the future.

She said: ''When I was going into this, my concern was that I wanted it to reach as many people as it could, but I was mainly thinking about trying to make it easy to make it easy to make the next one because I want to make a lot of movies.

''So much of filmmaking is meeting people who will take a chance on you, and it's easier to take a chance on you, and it's easier to take a chance if it worked out the first time.

''What's beyond lovely about this moment is that it makes it easier for me to make films now because it went well.''