Darren Aronofsky’s new psychological thriller, mother!, has been getting a ton of buzz for its unconventional structure and emotional intensity. Fans of Aronofsky’s earlier work, especially 2010’s Black Swan, probably won’t be surprised that the renowned director was able to come up with something so twisted and unsettling.
But for lead actor Jennifer Lawrence, working on mother! was something completely different than what she was used to. “This movie kind of pulled me apart and put me back together,” the Hunger Games star admitted during the mother! press conference. “It was just a completely different character from anything I’ve ever done and anything that I felt like was inside me.”
Playing Grace, the lead of the film, couldn’t have been easy for even a seasoned professional like Lawrence. Aronosfky admitted that the 66 out of mother!’s 115 minutes consist of close-ups of Lawrence, which took some time for her to get used to. “I’ve never been in a movie where the camera’d be so close to my damn face,” she joked.
But fortunately, Lawrence and her on-screen partner (Pirates of the Caribbean’s Javier Bardem) had a ton of time to get to know one another and flesh out the relationship between their characters off-camera. Aronosfky explained that Lawrence and Bardem had three months to rehearse, giving them the chance to make their characters “come alive” before the cameras started rolling. Lawrence also worked closely with People Like Us’ Michelle Pfeiffer, who Lawrence called a “smart, great woman”—though it apparently took her “about two days to kind of get over her beauty.”
So with all that being said, will Lawrence and Aronosfky ever work on another project together? “She told me she would never work with me again,” Aronofsky deadpanned. “That was just when I was healing,” Lawrence clarified.
But all joking aside, another Lawrence-Aronofsky collaboration actually seems pretty likely (the two are actually a real-life item). Lawrence revealed that when Aronofsky pitched mother! to her, “it was an instant yes before I even read anything” and called his ideas “brilliant” and “challenging.” Of course when she did eventually read the script, she “threw it across the room” and accused Aronofsky of having “severe psychological problems.” “But it’s a masterpiece,” Lawrence eventually had to admit.
Check out mother! at TIFF on September 13 or catch it in theatres when it comes out on September 15.