Jennifer Lawrence recalls being “mistreated” as a young actress

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Carly-Ann Clements
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Jennifer Lawrence

During an interview with CNN, Jennifer Lawrence spoke about being treated “in a way that I think now we would call abusive.”

Jennifer Lawrence has added her story and voice to the #MeToo movement following an interview with CNN.

While talking to Christiane Amanpour, Lawrence admitted to being treated “in a way that I think now we would call abusive.” The Academy Award-winner noted “I was certainly mistreated,” before recounting an experience she had with a female producer while shooting a film.

“The producers tried to illustrate to me that I was overweight, but I wasn’t, and a part of that was doing a line-up with women who were much, much thinner than I was… We were essentially naked. And I was told to use the photo as motivation for my diet.”

Though it’s not the first time she’s spoken of this particular incident, it is an important reminder of the treatment women get in the film industry.

Lawrence went on to say: “I had to deal with being young and having executives or higher ups putting their hands on my legs and not feeling like I could ‘please don’t do that’.”

Despite going through “mentally brutal” experiences and suffering sexual harassment, Lawrence doesn’t feel comfortable putting herself in the same category as those who have spoken out about Harvey Weinstein.

“When I hear about the harrowing stories of the victims of Harvey Weinstein, I don’t feel right putting myself in that exact category,” she said.

Jennifer Lawrence at the 2018 Golden Globe awards

The interview was part of a promotional segment for Red Sparrow – a film Lawrence described as “the perfect movie that we need right now,” in regards to the #MeToo movement.

Lawrence went on to highlight that her experience filming Red Sparrow exemplifies “difference between consent and not consent”.

In 2014, the Hunger Games actress had her personal nude photos leaked online – an act she described as a “sex crime”. In Red Sparrow, Lawrence appears naked in a scene – a scene that very much resembles the scenario she described in the interview – but where her hacking was invasive, this was “empowering”. 

“I had the choice: I’m an adult, I made a decision and I knew what I was doing,” she said.

womens march 2018

Jennifer Lawrence with Cameron Diaz and Adele at the 2018 women’s march

Lawrence added: “I had… a lot of insecurities when it came to sexuality and nudity and my body… When I read the [Red Sparrow] script I loved it so much and I thought, if I don’t do it… it’s almost like all of these insecurities and fears win.”

When she signed up for the film, she said that she and director Francis Lawrence (no relation) sat down to create “the safest environments possible”.

A sentiment that needs to spread and grow in the film industry, and hopefully, we’re on our way there.

Images: Rex Features