Jennifer Lawrence has been outspoken about her body image since her hugely successful performance as Katniss Everdeen on The Hunger Games. But in a new conversation with Viola Davis, the “Causeway” actor shared that she was asked to lose weight for the lead role.
“Those books were big, and I knew the audience was kids. The biggest conversation I remember was, ‘How much weight are you going to lose?'” the Oscar winner told Davis in an interview published on Wednesday for Variety. Part of the “Actor to Actor” series.
For Lawrence, “The Hunger Games” was an important moment to break down barriers and bring strong women to the screen. She told Davis that before the hit YA action series based on the Suzanne Collins book series, “no one put women in lead roles in action movies because it didn’t work.”
Lawrence says she has a “tremendous responsibility” on her shoulders when she’s with Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the starving dystopian Donor State. She added that she wanted fans to empathize with Katniss, not feel alienated, “because they don’t have a certain weight.”
“I also can’t let the thought seep into my brain,” she added.
Before the first “Hunger Games” movie premiered in 2012, critics accused Lawrence of being “baby fat” and “womanly” and deemed her unsuitable for the leading role. A year later, she fought back against the haters, calling “The Hunger Games” an opportunity to promote a healthy body image.
“It’s best to look strong and healthy,” she told the BBC in 2013.
Speaking with the “Queen” star, Lawrence said her experience playing Mystique in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was not inspiring.
“It’s hard not to think about the movie like, ‘Oh, well, it’s just one of those things,'” she said. “Especially when you’re painted blue and you have scales on your face. If you start thinking, ‘I look ridiculous, I think it’s ridiculous. “Nowhere to go.”
Despite her success on The Hunger Games, Lawrence said being in the spotlight eventually led to a hiatus from her acting.
“I can feel my craft is suffering. And I don’t know how to fix it. I fumble around trying to fix it by saying yes to this movie, then trying to counteract it with that one,” Joy said the actor. “It wasn’t until someone spoke to me that I realized what I was going to do wasn’t a movie.”
She also spoke with Davis about motherhood, beauty and why she’s not the biggest fan of the media tour. “I was always concerned about my intelligence because I didn’t finish school,” Lawrence said.
“You’re very articulate,” Davis replied.