“Female empowerment is totally liberating!”

Jennifer Lawrence

Interview

  • INTERVIEW FRANK SIERING

Young, successful Jennifer Lawrence is the face of the new Hollywood. She talks about her fears, about life as a star, about fighting for fair wages and her admiration for Joni Mitchell.

Ms. Lawrence, You have been winning one award after the next. Are you just luckier than the average star?

No, what makes you say that? I work extremely hard and have to fight for every role. But you are right, when it comes to awards, I’ve had some good fortune.

Was winning an Oscar important to you?

I didn’t turn to acting so I could collect awards all the time. But I would be lying if I said that it didn’t elevate my mood a little bit. It’s like the icing on the cake.

The Hunger Games made you famous. Looking back at the four-part film series, what have you learned?

The importance of having a voice. And that war has consequences. Everyone is affected, it doesn’t matter which side you’re on. It’s easy to say they need to go to war at the beginning of the franchise. But at the end, when something horrible happens to the hero, we see that heroes are not spared the pain and consequences of war. That’s an important message.

What do you mean?

Well, we see war on television every day. We feel disconnected because it’s on TV. But you can fight for freedom, fight for a just government and think you are on the right side of a conflict, but you cannot escape the consequences of war. It’s a good lesson to take away – it was for me.

What has Hollywood taught you?

With every movie you learn something new, you become more comfortable in front of the camera and in your own skin.

Are you constantly beleaguered as a celebrity?

Every morning when I wake up, there are at least ten photographers in front of my house. Of course it’s not nice.

But you don’t complain …

No, because I know people would have a fit. These movie millionaires! Now they complain about the attention they’re getting! It’s a battle I can’t win.

Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in the movie Passengers

Staring into space: Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in the movie Passengers

© Sony Pictures

How do you deal with fame?

To be honest, I never really think about the fact that people might recognize me in the street. Even with colleagues, I sometimes feel insecure whether they know who I am. Maybe I am just a little too naive, or maybe I just don’t take myself too seriously.

Is it getting harder to lead a normal life?

I don’t really get to experience all that excitement about my person. I work so much that I am mostly on sets. And I love my job. I would be dumb if I complained. My job takes me around the world, it’s almost like an ongoing education – and it pays well, too.

Is it true that you only travel by private jet?

I am a frugal person, but I admit that today I enjoy being flown around in a private jet. I flew First Class for the first time when I was 21 years old, and I felt I didn’t belong there. I felt too young and too awkward.

I love my job. I would be dumb if I complained.

You are only 26 but you have already played in box-office hits like The Hunger Games, X-Men, American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook and most recently, Joy. Do you feel pressure to succeed?

I guess there are certain pressures, but I don’t really feel them. I live on my own island in L.A., and I’m mostly at my friends’ houses in Malibu. They all work in the same business.

Due to your popularity, you now have more influence, which you have used to demand fair pay for women in the entertainment industry.

Well, it’s pretty obvious to me. Same wages for the same kind of work, right? It’s about time Hollywood found its way into the 21st century.

How do you feel about being seen as a representative of a new generation of women in Hollywood?

I have no problem with that. Women not only have the same rights as men these days, they also don’t have to hide from challenges anymore that used to only affect men. Female empowerment in 2016 is totally liberating. I love it!

Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men First Class (2011)

Blue can be hot: Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men First Class (2011)

© Sunset Box/Allpix/laif

Who would you most like to portray in a biopic?

I love Joni Mitchell and I thought Blue was the most beautiful album in the world. Joni Mitchell is an interesting character, and I’m very fascinated by her.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

To be honest, I have no idea. I’d like to quit this vagabond life of traveling all over the globe and settle down some day. But I’m not sure this is going to happen in the next five years.

What’s your biggest dream?

Peace on earth, total emancipation, no more wars. Too idealistic? Maybe, but I’m young, and I’m allowed to be this idealistic.

Your red-carpet falls are legendary. Why do you keep tripping?

I am just really clumsy when it comes to public appearances! Sometimes it’s because of my high heels, and then, when I was going to accept my Oscar,it was that waxed floor that was just too slippery. I hope this gets better with the years.

In the new X-Men movie, your character, Mystique, is a mutant who can shift shapes. Would you like to be able to do that in real life?

I would love to have that ability! Just for purely egotistical reasons. If I could do that, my life would be close to perfect.