×

Jennifer Lawrence on Why ‘Mother!’ Is a Feminist Movie

Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” — about a woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who lives with her husband (Javier Bardem) on a deserted farmhouse — has generated more debate than any film to debut at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

The Paramount Pictures release, which opens on Friday, has been shrouded in mystery, and critics are still trying to piece together what it all means. “I wanted to make a film about Mother Nature,” Aronofsky told Variety. “So we’re working on an allegorical level, where it’s dealing with these big symbols.”

When asked if she thought the film was a feminist story, Lawrence answered in the affirmative. “To me, this is incredibly feminist in the way that these Victorian, patriarchal novels show these loving, amazing husbands that are very slowly and delicately taking away their wives’ dignity,” said Lawrence, who was reading “Jane Eyre” during the shoot. “To be a feminist movie, we don’t have to all be women and all be aggressive. Before we knew what feminism was, people were writing these novels that showed women’s strength being drained from them.”

Lawrence said that she hurt herself while making the film. “I had trouble calming down and coming back after he called cut,” she said. “I’ve always been fine snapping out of it, but I’ve never had to go this dark before. I kind of lost control of myself. I tore my diaphragm and popped my chest rib out.” She took a beat. “I don’t know if I’d ever work with Darren again.”

The star of “The Hunger Games” and “Silver Linings Playbook” said that she was rattled when she saw the film on second viewing. “It really shook me,” Lawrence said. “I pulled him in the bathroom” — she said of Aronofsky — “and was like, ‘What have we done?’”

Aronofsky liked that his film has been generating discussion. “I think what’s exciting about the movie is that it’s open for interpretation,” he said. “I wrote it in the eighth year of Obama. It’s coming out in the first year of Trump. My intention was very different from where we are now.”

Will the United States ever elect a female president? “I really hope so,” Lawrence said. “I mean, that was a hit,” she said about Trump’s surprise victory last November.

“There are a lot of amazing female politicians,” Aronofsky added. “I’ve heard some crazy number of women are starting campaigns now.”

Lawrence threw out a name. “Kamala Harris!”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Rounds

    Sarajevo Film Review: 'Rounds'

    Five features (plus a scattering of documentaries) into his career, leading Bulgarian writer-director Stephan Komandarev has resisted cultivating a clear thematic or stylistic throughline to his oeuvre. Yet his latest, the overnight police patchwork “Rounds,” feels surprisingly close to quintessential, pulling as it does plot points, structural models and tonal switches from his previous films [...]

  • Travis Scott Surprises Fans With Netflix

    Travis Scott Surprises Fans With Netflix Documentary Reveal, Pop-Up in Houston

    Travis Scott just revealed his new Netflix documentary in the most organic way possible: a social media post to his 18.5 million followers on Instagram. The photo consisted of him holding a series of VHS tapes, which turns out to be the trailer for his forthcoming documentary on Netflix titled “Look Mom I Can Fly.” [...]

  • Overcomer

    Film Review: 'Overcomer'

    No matter the setting or circumstances, the solution to every dilemma found in Christian Evangelical films is getting closer to God. That certainly holds true with regards to “Overcomer,” the latest bit of bigscreen proselytizing by writer-director-star Alex Kendrick (“War Room,” “Courageous”). The story of a high school basketball coach who’s forced to take over [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Inside the Spider-Man Split: Finger-Pointing and Executive Endgames

    Spider-Man’s neighborhood has been decidedly unfriendly this week. A private and contentious battle over the onscreen future of the beloved Marvel superhero has spilled out into the public square over the past few days. After making nice for two wildly successful films, Sony Pictures, which holds the licensing rights to the Marvel character, will go [...]

  • Variety Announces 10 Actors to Watch

    Variety Announces 10 Actors to Watch for 2019

    Variety has announced its 10 Actors to Watch for 2019, an honor the publication has bestowed since 1998. Past honorees include many future Oscar winners and nominees, such as Mahershala Ali, Timothée Chalamet, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Brie Larson, Lupita Nyong’o and Melissa Leo. This year’s honorees will be feted in the Oct. 27 issue of [...]

  • August Maturo

    Film News Roundup: August Maturo to Star in Horror Movie 'Slapface'

    In today’s film news roundup, August Maturo gets a starring role and “Death of Me” and “Fatale” find homes. CASTING “Girl Meets World” star August Maturo has been cast as the lead character in the upcoming indie horror feature, “Slapface.” Maturo will play a boy who deals with the loss of his mother by creating [...]

  • Taron Egerton, Lucy Boynton to Star

    Taron Egerton, Lucy Boynton to Star in Virtual Reality Project 'Glimpse'

    Taron Egerton and Lucy Boynton will star in “Glimpse,” a new virtual reality experience that will be unveiled at the Venice Film Festival. Written and directed by Benjamin Cleary and VR creator Michael O’Connor, “Glimpse” will be entered in the Venice Virtual Reality Interactive showcase. It’s set in the imaginative mind of a heartbroken panda, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content