It's no secret that Mother! has become one of the year's most polarizing films. Darren Aronofsky's trippy psychological drama was rife with biblical references, warnings about climate change, and, yes, one particularly troubling scene involving a newborn baby. There have been countless think pieces on the movie, but one person who would prefer not to read them? Jennifer Lawrence, who, according to her new interview with Adam Sandler for Variety's "Actors on Actors," got her fill on all things Mother! by both starring in the movie and dating its creator.
In the film, Lawrence plays the titular Mother, whose drive at the beginning of the movie is to make sure that her husband, "Him" (Javier Bardem) starts writing his world-shifting poetry once again. That means talking endlessly about his work. That was something Lawrence was happy to do onscreen as her character, but less thrilled about in real life, in her just-ended romantic relationship with Aronofsky.
Speaking to Sandler during their Variety interview, the Silver Linings Playbook star revealed one of the hardest parts of Mother! was promoting it amongst its mixed reviews.
"Normally, I promote a movie, you put the work into promoting it, ask people to go see it, and then it’s just kind of out of your hands. I normally just kind of let it go. Dating the director was different, because we’d be on the tour together," Lawrence explained. "I'd come back to the hotel, and the last thing I want to talk about or think about is a movie. He comes back from the tour, and that’s all he wants to talk about. I get it; it’s his baby. He wrote it; he conceived it; he directed it. I was doing double duty trying to be supportive partner while also being like, 'Can I please, for the love of God, not think about Mother! for one second.'"
That's not the only way promoting Mother! mirrored Lawrence's character's experience within the movie. In the film, Mother spends her days meticulously renovating the house she and her husband share, only for it to be destroyed by fans. In a way, it's almost like the film itself was an accidental metaphor for its own backlash.
"You put your whole soul and body — you move to shoot a movie, you do all of this," Lawrence told Sandler during their interview. "You love it, obviously. You wouldn’t be there if you didn’t love it. And then people just destroy it. It sucks."
In a September interview with Variety, the Hunger Games star revealed just how far she went to craft her performance:
"I had trouble calming down and coming back after [Aronofsky] called cut," she told Variety. "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."
Clearly, Lawrence put a lot of herself into the film, so it's understandable for her to be disappointed in some strong negative reactions. However, as with every polarizing film, with every naysayer, there's someone singing Mother!'s praises. Hopefully, Lawrence was able to sneak a peek at one positive review.