If you think Jennifer Lawrence’s post-Oscars career has been bad, you’re in good company. Jennifer Lawrence herself is open about her disdain for some of the middling entries on her resumé, bemoaning the whirlpool of celebrity that overshadowed the craft of acting. But the string of subpar flicks isn’t her responsibility alone, she says; her representatives were actively keeping her out of the indie film game.
According to a recent New York Times profile, Lawrence’s reps warned her “that her audience wouldn’t understand” films that were “smaller” (like her current movie, Causeway). Further, “I found out that a lot of filmmakers that I really loved and admired had scripts that weren’t even reaching me,” she said.
“Everything was like a rebound effect. I was reacting, rather than just acting,” she says of her career decisions after The Hunger Games series ended, admitting, “I had let myself be hijacked.” But no longer: following the filming of franchise flop X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Lawrence left her agency, CAA, and took control of her own destiny.
This is evident with Causeway, touted as her first return to indies since Winter’s Bone and the first film she’s produced at her new production company, Excellent Cadaver. It’s also evident in the projects she’s decided to drop, like Adam McKay’s Elizabeth Holmes biopic. (“I was like, ‘Yeah, we don’t need to redo that.’ She did it,” Lawrence says of Amanda Seyfried’s Emmy-winning portrayal.) And it’s evident in the projects she’s choosing going forward, like the Lynn Ramsey-directed, Martin Scorsese-produced Die, My Love.
“I always wanted to work with Lynne Ramsay,” Lawrence says (per a follow-up from writer Kyle Buchanan on Twitter). “I feel like I’m in my fangirl phase, and that’s why I’m so grateful for the franchises and all that hard stuff I don’t have to do anymore. The endurance of not having any sort of control over your schedule. Not having a personal life.”
Whereas previously Lawrence felt “cut off from my creativity, my imagination” in her work, downsizing her team and reconnecting to the real world has, in her opinion, improved her skills. She reflects, “I don’t know how I can act when I feel cut off from normal human interaction.” Prepare yourselves for a new era of J-Law.
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