In 1925 Thalberg gave Garbo — then 20 and unable to speak much English — a screen test. He was “electrified” and promptly arranged to have her teeth straightened and hired a tutor. Then he set to work on defining her roles.
“Miss Garbo at first didn’t like playing the exotic, the sophisticated, the woman of the world. She used to complain: “Mr. Thalberg, I am just a young gur-rl!” Irving tossed it off with a laugh. With those elegant pictures he was creating the Garbo image.” Norma Shearer