Jennifer Lawrence’s outspoken comments often draw chuckles or compliments, as she’s known for speaking candidly.
(Case in point: A few months ago, J-Law said she earned $5 million less than Leonardo DiCaprio “because of my vagina.”)
But a recent statement that Lawrence made isn’t attracting cheers and applause. On the contrary, it’s attracting jeers and groans.
In a recent conversation, Lawrence engaged in with Viola Davis facilitated by Variety, the Hunger Games and X-Men actress appeared to assert she was the first-ever female lead in an action movie.
“I remember when I was doing Hunger Games, nobody had ever put a woman in the lead of an action movie because it wouldn’t work,” Lawrence said. “We were told girls and boys can both identify with a male lead, but boys cannot identify with a female lead. And it just makes me so happy every single time I see a movie come out that just blows through every one of those beliefs, and proves that it is just a lie to keep certain people out of the movies. To keep certain people in the same positions that they’ve always been in.”
Did J-Law Flat-Out Lie — or Just Make a Gaffe?
In making the above remarks, Lawrence was referring in part to The Woman King, the historical action epic that starred Davis and became a surprise box-office hit over the summer. As for Hunger Games, the first installment of the mega-successful trilogy hit theaters in 2011.
It’s hard to believe 32-year-old Lawrence was unaware of action movies like 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which starred Angelina Jolie. Or 2004’s Catwoman, which starred Halle Berry.
There are dozens if not hundreds more examples to cite. And even if many of them came out before Lawrence was born, one assumes she knows her Hollywood history pretty well, given her high status in the industry.
Take, for example, the handful of blaxploitation movies that came out in the 1970s and starred Pam Grier. While considered niche movies upon their release, 1973’s Coffy, 1974’s Foxy Brown, and 1975’s Sheba, Baby are now revered for breaking barriers.
In fact, Quentin Tarantino — who arguably knows the history of film better than anyone — referred to Grier in a 1995 interview as cinema’s first female action star.
Tarantino is probably also guffawing at Lawrence’s statement, as he unforgettably put Uma Thurman as the starring lead of Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003) and Volume 2 (2004). Each of those movies made more than $150 million at the box office — and revived Thurman’s career to boot.
Also, let’s not forget about Sigourney Weaver. While often pigeonholed as sci-fi movies, 1979’s Alien — and even more so its 1986 sequel, Aliens — packed in tons of action.
The Fallout From Jennifer Lawrence’s Comments
Lawrence doesn’t appear to have commented on her statement, but she isn’t very active on social media these days.
And she doesn’t need to be. Lawrence nabbed the crown as the highest-paid actress in the world in 2015 and 2016. She’s currently worth $160 million, Parade reported last month.
Given the loose nature of the conversation that Lawrence had with Davis, she might chalk up her remarks to a slip of the tongue. But don’t expect her to get any leeway with social media.
Perhaps it’s for the best that J-Law doesn’t overly engage with platforms like Twitter and Instagram.