“If you have a voice, use it”: Jennifer Lawrence on fighting the gender pay gap

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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Jennifer Lawrence has long been one of the most outspoken actresses in Hollywood, with her willingness to dismiss unrealistic beauty ideals, vent her fury over privacy invasions or open up about coping with anxiety and self-doubt being one of the many attributes that have won her countless fans across the globe.

But most importantly, perhaps, is Lawrence’s insistence on being constantly outspoken about the need for us to dismantle the ridiculous gender pay gap.

And now the A-lister has opened up again on the issue in an interview for Vogue, slamming those who criticise her for speaking out against the pay gap and urging women everywhere to use their voice to fight for the equality they deserve.

“My opinion is: You can have millions of dollars and a dream career, but if you’re not willing to stand up for what you believe, or if you see wrongdoing and don’t talk about it, then you have nothing,” she said.

“It’s the opposite of ‘Shut up and act!’ If you have a voice, use it.”

The actress first became vocal about the pay gap back in 2014, when a vicious Sony email hack revealed she had been paid significantly less than her male co-stars for acting in hit film American Hustle.

Rather than stay silent over the issue, a furious Lawrence penned an open letter to the industry in Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s “Lenny Letter” email series, lamenting the fact that women often avoid asking for better salaries in case they are viewed as “difficult” or “spoiled”.

“I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable,” she wrote.

“F**k that. I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard.”

And speaking to Vogue, Lawrence addressed those who criticised her for speaking out on the issue when her situation – as one of the most highly paid actresses in the world – is not relatable to the majority of women.

“I don’t want to go into the grave just being like, ‘Well, I introduced the world to the Hunger Games movies and I bought a house on Coldwater! Goodnight!’” Lawrence said.

“For me, it’s worth the criticism. The more criticism I get, the more the conversation is happening.”

Lawrence also addressed her lack of privacy as a celebrity in the interview, admitting that she sometimes found it “terrifying”, particularly in reference to a phone hack in 2015 which saw private, intimate photos of the star leaked to the public.

“It’s scary when you feel the whole world judges you,” she said. “I think people saw [the hacking] for what it was, which was a sex crime, but that feeling, I haven’t been able to get rid of it.

Having your privacy violated constantly isn’t a problem if you’re perfect. But if you’re human, it’s terrifying. When my publicist calls me, I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, what is it?’ Even when it’s nothing. I’m always waiting to get blindsided again,” she admitted.

The 26-year-old actress also spoke about more frivolous topics in the interview, and made a – rather brilliant – revelation about how she kept herself sane while filming upcoming horror film, Mother.

Revealing that she was hyperventilating so hard during a particularly intense moment of filming that she dislocated a rib, Lawrence said the film crew assembled a refuge tent for her on set to help her escape from the “darkness” of the movie.

“It was a tent that had pictures of the Kardashians and Keeping Up with the Kardashians playing on a loop—and gumballs,” Lawrence said. “My happy place.”

Jennifer Lawrence: she’s just like us, guys.

You can read the full interview in Vogue here

Images: Rex Features