Jennifer Lawrence Proudly Owns ‘Mother!’s Polarized Reception

“It’s certainly not a darling. It never crossed our mind that everyone was going to love it,” Jennifer Lawrence said at The Contenders today of mother!, Darren Aronofsky’s polarizing Paramount picture in which she stars opposite Javier Bardem. “It’s an assault, but I think it’s necessary. I’m proud of us, and I’m proud of Darren for writing and conceiving it.”

Lawrence stars in the film as a woman known only as “Mother,” who finds herself at the hands of a mysterious and increasingly disturbing home invasion. Lawrence knew, taking on the project, that it would be a challenge — but one that she was ready to confront. “It was something I’d never done before,” the Oscar winner said. “It’s what I wanted from working with Darren, to be challenged in different ways. Everything about him is unique, and all the movies he’s made are unique.”

Lawrence’s preparations for the project involved “a three-week rehearsal period in Brooklyn,” though the actress said she found her character just before beginning production. And while the experience of the film is a daunting one, Lawrence said she had to keep herself in a good mental place to consider the endeavor worth the effort. “I had to find a place of staying mentally healthy with this bizarre job in all sorts of ways, and if I had to be sad all day, or feel intense emotional pain all day, I wouldn’t do this,” she said. “I’ve never lost myself [in a character] before this movie. I couldn’t get my brain in order.”

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