Lawrence plays disturbed wife in psychological horror flick ‘Mother!’
VENICE, Italy — There were more boos than cheers for Jennifer Lawrence and Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” which had its world premiere Tuesday at the Venice Film Festival.
In this intense allegory set in an isolated house, Lawrence plays a meek wife, essentially a handmaid, to Javier Bardem’s frustrated poet. “Mother!” is seen entirely from the wife’s agitated perspective.
“Jennifer’s character never feels safe and is always trying to figure out what is happening to her,” writer-director Aronofsky said.
“This was all about bringing the audience into her point of view and her take on this invasion that is happening to her — because that’s the point of the movie.”
Aronofsky acknowledged sharply divided reactions. “There’s always a level of taste of how far you can go,” he said.
Scenes include flushing a heart down a toilet. “This is my howl to the full moon,” Aronofsky said. “It’s my strong cocktail. I’ve said it’s a roller-coaster ride and only come on it if you’re prepared for the loop-de-loop.”
Known for her strong female characters, particularly in the blockbuster “Hunger Games” franchise, Lawrence was asked about “playing second fiddle to a man and his needs.”
“It was a completely different character from anything I’ve ever done before — my character is so private and meek. But also a different side of myself that I wasn’t in touch with and didn’t know yet,” she said.
“Mother!” presents revolting, crackpot celebrity worshipers and obnoxious, murderously threatening fans. That is not Lawrence’s world.
“If it weren’t for fans, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love. I would be of no use to society if I couldn’t act. This is the only thing I know how to do and I love my job,” she said. “So there are no words for the amount of gratitude and gratefulness I have for our fans.
“I come to these events and I’m happy to sign as many autographs as I can, say hello to as many people as I can.
“But sometimes I’m just walking outside, going to the grocery store or getting out of my car and going to a restaurant. For me, I find the balance in myself. I say I’m not going to let anybody make me feel I can’t just get on an airplane and not take a picture because I don’t have makeup on and I don’t want to hear how fashion sites don’t care about my pajamas.
“Sometimes I say no. It’s important to have those boundaries.”
(“Mother!” opens Sept. 15 nationwide.)