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Jennifer Lawrence: Anxiety on set; Auditioning alone in NY; Diversity in Hollywood


I had a landlord that would always bang on my door with a screwdriver, and try to undo my locks and be like, “Why are you not in school?” And I’d call the police. What do they want? In her latest film about a disturbed housewife she puts in arguably the most intense, alarming performance of her career. So, just what is it that drives her? We sat down together in New York to find out. Jennifer Lawrence, it’s lovely to meet you. Hi, nice to meet you. Thanks so much for doing this. Um so, it’s a traumatising movie. No question. Yeah. Do you remember the first time you saw the full, completed film? I do, it was a few months ago. How was that? I went into a deprivation tank, right after. Really? Yeah! That was rough. The first time you see a movie you’re just kind of looking for everything you’re looking for flaws, you’re looking for your performance you’re looking for double chins. You know, you’re just kind of surprised at how compelling it is. Which sounds rude, but I just meant I liked it because of its metaphors and then watching it I was like, it’s a good movie! It’s good isn’t it? Yeah. And then the second time I saw it with an audience in Venice, and I just was like – This is too much. This is too far. We’ve – this is a huge mistake. We can’t release this movie! People are gonna have pitchforks. And then 30 minutes later I was like, ah. Once the images kind of die down a little bit you’re just left with this visceral feeling. Oh, you do want them. It’s a love letter slash howling at the moon slash scream of rage you know, for the environment, for earth, the beginning of people and human kind, and the beginning of religion. All of these interesting ideas. But you know, I had a group of friends that had seen the movie in Venice. One of them was crying about the environment and was just like, “I just can’t believe we -” You know, ’cause it’s one of the things that it makes you feel what if we treated the earth like a breathing, living organism? And then you know my Italian friend was like “You would have to be a potato not to feel something.” In fairness, I saw it a week ago in Australia before I flew out and I’m still processing it. Yeah. It’s a lot ot process. My family’s seeing it tomorrow. That will be fun. Yeah! I’m going to sit right in between my brothers. I’m wondering, how long did it take you to get out of that headspace after you finished filming. Um, there was one scene that was pretty tough to shake I got anxiety before it and after it. Is it true that you had, this might have been a joke that you said in an interview, so correct me if I’m wrong on this. Did you have a Kardashian tent that you could step out – I really actually did. I’m trying to find pictures of it right now because at this point, I feel we need proof. Right? Oh yeah, yeah. But no, that is true. – I went to my happy place.
– Is that common thing? No, I’ve never done it before but I’ve never gone this dark in a scene, and I started kind of I started getting anxiety before I did it because I’ve never gone that, done something that dark before and I just wanted to make sure that my – Uh, that I could come out of it and be okay. And also, there were so many extras on set that I didn’t if I was going to have some sort of weird meltdown I didn’t want it to be in front of a bunch of strangers. I wanted to just kind of have a tent that was like, away. So my first, my only idea was just kind of like a tent and then it kind of kept escalating. And then suddenly became a Kardashian tent! And it became a Kardashian tent. Actually I did want to ask you about this city, right. So, New York has such an important role in your career. You were found, talent spotted, at the age of 14 and you lived here, I think when you were 16, 17 years old? Uh, 14. You lived here when you were 14? I did, yeah. What was your apartment like? Oh! Rat-infested. Really? Yeah. There was no kitchen, it was a closet. Uh, with a hotplate and one of those little mini fridges. One of the walls was made out of cardboard I mean the wall in the apartment to separate the bedroom to the futon. Very classy. Yes, very classy. I had a landlord that would always bang on my door with screwdrivers, and try to undo my locks and be like “Why are you not in school?” And I’d call the police. Yeah, and I still – once you live with rats you still, I mean I’m like in my great apartment now that definitely doesn’t have rats and I hear anything I’m like “It’s a rat!” I mean once you live with rats, you can never Were you, I read you were competing with the rats for food at some point. I started sharing eventually food with the rats because there’s only so much food I could like really afford. Like I would live on a loaf of bread and then once it would have a hole in it, and little holes out of the bread I’d be like, gross! And I’d throw the whole thing away. And then after a while of spending money on groceries I was like, I gotta… the slices got smaller and smaller. And then finally I’d start cutting away from the little hole and just eat the whole piece of bread. It got really sad. Is that the point at which mum and dad are like “Yeah, no she’s serious about this.” When my parents came and saw the apartment that was exactly what changed my dad’s mind. There was like no hot water. My dad was like, she really wants to do this. And the Oscar goes to Jennifer Lawrence. You obviously don’t audition that much these days given the level that you’re at. No. How are you at auditions? Are you good at them? I was awful at auditions. Really? I think it’s unfair to like, throw four pieces of paper at somebody and be like, act monkey! Really? Like yeah! I remember when I had done like, two movies but I was still very much auditioning, you know it was just like like Burning Plain was the only movie people maybe had seen. My agent would say that they would call back and be like “We were very disappointed after seeing Burning Plain and her audition.” And it’s like, really? You put me in a room with a weird camera and it looks different than me doing a movie and being on set I dunno, I’m not very good at that. Obviously, up until this moment you have been best known for the Hunger Games. And I read that it took you a couple of days to decide to do that film. Why did you take a couple of days to think about that, that role? It was life changing, it’s really rare that you are faced with one decision that will change your entire life. And you knew that, at that moment? I knew that, yeah Twilight had already happened and so we kind of already saw like, the cost of fame. You know, you never want your family to have to get dragged in to anything, because they didn’t sign up for it, you know? When things happen to me, I’m like, okay. So, I just thought it deserved some thinking instead of just being excited, and being like, yes! I wanted to think about my future. In the course of making and promoting those movies I read that there was one particular girl that you met a burns survivor. Why did she mean a lot to you? I just, that was like the first time I realised that I could affect people in a positive way you know doing this. I was so kind of like in my own head about how my life was gonna change a year from now when movies came out and you know, what it was going to be like I was so kind of self-involved that it wasn’t until I met that girl that I was like “Oh my god, I can positively affect somebody’s life.” You know, if they like the movies and they like my- It just made me feel like there could be a bigger point to all that, which was inspiring to me. You were very outspoken about the pay gap in Hollywood between men and women. If you could change anything about the movie business what would you change? I mean, I would change, I would try to create more diversity for everyone, not just women. I think that there used to be this myth that studio heads would always tell people when they were making movies you know, audiences, boy and girl audiences can relate to a boy, or to a man but only girls can relate to a girl. And that’s just not true and I think the Hunger Games proved that wrong. I think even Twilight proved that wrong. The two top grossing films in the past year were Wonder Woman, and Beauty and the Beast. Do you think there is a responsibility that comes with fame to kind of use that spotlight to make changes in the world? Is there a responsibility that everybody who reaches a certain level should kind of take advantage of? I certainly did, but that’s also because I came up through the Hunger Games you know, where I knew there were teenagers and young girls watching me, so I felt that responsibility. I can also see somebody’s point of view of just being like I just wanna act, I just want to do this, I just want to sing. And also it’s hard to be opinionated because you know my job depends on everybody buying tickets not just people who agree with me buying tickets. And I know that, but I still can’t not say anything when I feel like something’s unfair. Jennifer Lawrence, thank you so much for your time. Thank you. Really appreciate your time. Thanks, it was a really nice interview, thank you.

100 Comments

  1. bluraysnob Author

    This was probably the most greatest interview I've seen of Jennifer you could tell she totally was comfortable and respected the interviewer

    Reply
  2. Black Orfice Author

    Wow for a second there I actually forgot she got famous because of hunger games until it was mentioned. Damn she really made it, it's not because of people bandwagoning from hunger games.

    Reply
  3. hichkas021 Author

    xD I was about to comment on how great this interview and the interviewer were and its funny since ALL the comments mention that…just goes to show what a little professionalism and research can do! Loved it! Great vibe and great, unique questions!

    Reply
  4. Jane Furlan Author

    Once you live with rats I imagine shell never forget where she came from and always stay real and i think she noes shes very blessed.

    Reply
  5. Joe Sycamore Author

    The greatest female actor of all time. Oh and she's funny, intelligent and beautiful as well. Some might find it maddening, I find it adorable. It's nice to see so many positive comments on here for a change

    Reply
  6. Someone Somewhere Author

    Ugh I dunno. She has said some shitty things I can’t deny that but she also seems very witty and strong and I can’t dislike her completely.

    Reply
  7. Girls can scooter Too! Author

    The one thing that I don't like about jennifer lawence is when she puts herself down. Like she sometimes says "I feel like everyone hates me" I just wish I could tell her that she has one of the biggest fan base I mean EVERYONE LOVES HER including me. I do like it when she talks about her anxiety, stress or what has been going on in her life cause her fans do care and when she talks about anxiety I think she shows that even celebs or people we look up to also have stress and fear. I love that about her!! I just wish that she knew how much people do love her and how many people love her. She is just so lovable!! Jennifer if you are reading this (which I know ur not) you are truely talented, gorgeous, hilarious, and loved. Love ya Jen

    Reply
  8. Niklas Forssen Author

    totally agree with everyone.. really good interview.. jennifer is a wonderful person so sincere and an interviewer like this can bring it out beautifully 🙂 no bullshit.. real questions real talk 🙂

    Reply
  9. Rovakkuma Author

    About the "mother" movie…i don't know about you guys, but for me it was really hard to watch it. Just this whole vibe and mood, it lefts a weird feeling on your soul after watching it…

    Reply
  10. nikor lopez Author

    This was a great interview, Jennifer was very calm and focus different from most of the interviews I’ve seen before. I loved that it showed how thoughtful and intelligent she is!!

    Reply
  11. Autumn Munden Author

    That is awesome. "I can't not say anything when I think something is unfair" that's exactly how I feel we should all step into our purposes, wanting to inspire change, and take care of people and make a difference with the talents we've been given.

    Reply
  12. YESHUA IS THE ONLY WAY Author

    Very relaxing atmosphere and interview! Good job 🙂
    I find this one to be one of the few that actually ask her thoughtful and interesting questions. Jennifer seems like her old self here (meaning we get to see her at her authentic self) instead of the cartoon or caricature we tend to see in other shows. I often feel like she forces herself to be funny in her other onterviews (Ellen, Colbert, etc) but here I saw her as how she used to be. In this interview you see her true authentic personality shine. She is naturally funny and intelligent. You have a gift 🙂

    Reply
  13. Perry Robles Author

    Ask her about EQUALITY…

    Ask her if she thinks women are BETTER than men.

    Ask her how close she is to…

    What;s the actress’ name who played Princess Leia?

    Ask her about that acresses’ rousing Cavanaugh speech in which she is heard screaming, “Yeah! Natalie!”

    Oh, W8…

    Don’t ask her…

    You can watch it and hear it on your YouTube…

    Your pal, Princess Leia has a boy/son. What will she do? Humiliate the male out of him? Manipulate him into thinking all women are nice. And men aren’t?

    Will you do that too?

    Yes, I suspect all of you will.

    Why even have sons?

    Reply
  14. Lilly Stryker Author

    Honestly, I disagreed with how the symbolism was fed to the audience in ‘Mother!’. I know it was supposed to make you feel some type of way, but the way it was marketed was wrong. I was not prepared for how violated it made me feel. I love horror movies, even realistic ones and thrillers based on true stories. I’m a special effects makeup artist that specializes in horror, but the broken baby neck scene literally made me sick. Not in a ‘I’m gonna throw up’ or ‘I’m going to have nightmares’ type of way, but it triggered me and I’m not even a mother. Once I saw how it was meant to be an analogy, I felt a little better (emphasis on little) but I still sort of felt betrayed by Jennifer Lawrence and the people who made the movie and presented it like a thriller/horror. It was neither. It was meant to trigger people and that’s what it did to me, but with no warning and being someone with OCD, I didn’t cope with the imagery looping in my thoughts very well. If this was created as a metaphorical think-piece about the relationships between humans, earth and faith then it should have been marketed as a drama/philosophical film and the trailers should have reflected that. They can try and say they wanted to make it for awareness, but we all know the reason they made it so disturbing on an instinctive level and marketed it as if it were main stream was for shock value. Let’s face it, they still made a ton of money on this movie and it wasn’t because they were earth-conscious. It’s because they wanted the recognition for being atypical and artistic but in the end it’s still a Hollywood movie.

    Like…. I’m sorry, but if you’re going to literally show an audience of movie-goers a rabid crowd of cocktail party guests destroying a 1 day old newborn and a mother desperately, helplessly watching in horror at least have the decency to say “hey, it’s abstract, it’s metaphorical, it asks difficult questions, it’ll break your heart”. Don’t put glossy, star-studded trailers in the middle of my YouTube and Facebook videos. Don’t put it in theaters at all! What were they thinking with that move? Whether you like the movie or not we can all agree the trailers shouldn’t have been slapped on every media stream and it shouldn’t have been released in theaters.

    I freakin thought it was a movie about a woman who finds out she’s a robot or a doll based on the movie poster and description!

    Reply
  15. Karen Lm Author

    Yes, so agree with comments. Great interview, great interviewer, and thoughtful questions. I don't know if many really connect the dots, but depending on the interviewer and their questions truly impacts what viewers think and feel about the subject. The interviewer shapes public perception.

    Reply
  16. Wayne Davis Author

    Finally a really good in interview with good questions for her. Sometimes she is asked stupid questions that have obvious answers. Wish I could interview her one day, lol like thats gonna happen.

    Reply
  17. Crazy German Bar Tender Author

    Jennifer Lawrence has impacted my life very positively. She has made me want to become an actress and she’s so beautiful, funny, smart and a fabulous actress.

    Reply
  18. madison harressey Author

    I really want to act. I want to start acting in Hollywood and stuff but I’m so damn scared! I’m so shy but this seems like a lifestyle for me. I’m scared I won’t make it in the show business. I’m gonna have to get over my shyness and anxiety if I ever want a shot at it.

    Reply
  19. Pawel Roman Author

    I don't know how I stumbled upon this interview only now. This is such a good one and not just because Jennifer Lawrence is fascinating, but also because there are long parts where I can simply hear her actually speak and when the music chimes on it doesn't distract from what they are saying. In so many other videos and interviews the music is just too loud.

    Reply
  20. Ema Oulhissane Author

    We criticize celebrities for being shallow and extravagant but it's time to look at the media too. How they portray them and how they interview them. This was really insightful and just nice

    Reply
  21. MyessYallyah Americus Author

    i hate watching youtube. i would rather be able to go back to work. but i will kill myself if my country insist on robbing me, because its not a world worth living in if they plan in paying me with stupid videos that i hate and don't want to watch . if that's the best they can do then death is a better alternative. i hate youtube

    Reply
  22. 0scJohnson0 Author

    False that Mother is about the environment. The main character in the movie that Lawrence is married to is supposed to symbolize the Christian god, subversively. (Subversive because the creator of this film has an ax to grind with Christianity and specifically God) Pfeifer plays the fallen Eve, her husband is the fallen Adam, hence their missing son. Etc. etc etc. Seriously, if you think this film is about the environment then: a) you’re taking Lawrence’s word for it b) you haven’t watched it or c) you didn’t understand the allegory

    Reply
  23. MYESSYALLYAH Cbssjr Author

    Ill never let you all get away with what you did to me without any reason or purpose or justification at all. My life is completely ruined forever and a total waste of such a talented man like me. Ill never recover. They can never pay me as much as they stole from me. There's not enough of anything to make up for my loss of everything I ever cared about and I hate everyone and everything now. I never hated anyone so much ever as much as I hate you all. I wish I had never been born. The line was crossed in may 2016 and everything since then has been overkill torture that's left me permanently disabled and hopeless and begging everyday for this nightmare to stop never was an act. You all belong in prison for life

    Reply

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