Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence claimed during a panel discussion that male directors often threw “the biggest hissy fits” on set, pushing back against the idea that women were more likely to let their emotions distract them from the job at hand.
Lawrence joined a Hollywood Reporter roundtable discussion that also included Danielle Deadwyler, Michelle Yeoh, Michelle Williams, Emma Corrin, and Claire Foy — and the group addressed a number of topics from how sexual abuse and trauma are portrayed in film to how far they would go to convince a director they wanted a specific part.
“When ‘Winter’s Bone’ turned me down, they were doing L.A. casting that I went to, and they were like, ‘No, thank you,’” Lawrence recalled. “And then, they opened up casting in New York, and I flew to New York and just reentered like a stranger.”
Lawrence’s gamble payed off, and she eventually got the role — which she and the others agreed may have been in part because the directors were convinced she’d work harder because she’d shown that she really wanted it. “Maybe they were just scared at that point, and they were like, ‘OK.’”
But then the conversation turned to what it was like working with women at the helm of film projects — and Lawrence, who both produced and acted in “Causeway,” weighed in on that as well.
“It was just so interesting to be on a female-led movie. My producing partner and I were the lead producers. We had a female director [Lila Neugebauer],” she said. “The schedule made sense. There were no huge fights. If an actor had a personal thing and wanted to leave early, instead of going, ‘Oh! Well, we’d all love to leave early!’ we’d put our heads together and go, ‘OK. How can we figure this out?’”
Lawrence went on to say that she didn’t mean to suggest that everyone agreed on every little thing — only that she believed disagreements were addressed in a more productive fashion when women were leading the discussion.
“We disagreed, and we listened to each other. Sometimes I was wrong and would learn that I was wrong, and sometimes I was right. It was incredible to not be around toxic masculinity. To get a little break from it,” she said. “And it did always just make us laugh about how we ended up with, ‘Women shouldn’t be in roles like this because we’re so emotional.’ I mean, I’ve worked with Bryan Singer. I’ve seen emotional men. I’ve seen the biggest hissy fits thrown on set. [Neugebauer’s] my third female director, and they are the calmest, best decision-makers I’ve ever worked with. I absolutely love working with female directors.”