Jennifer Lawrence Opens Up About Audiences Getting “Sick Of Me”
Jennifer Lawrence was once Hollywood's biggest actress, but a downturn in her projects' quality and pressure from viewers led her to take a step back.
Jennifer Lawrence reflects on what it felt like to have audiences become “sick” of her, which led to her two-year acting break. For much of the 2010s, Lawrence stood as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. After breaking out in the 2010 movie Winter’s Bone, which nabbed her the first Oscar nomination of her career, she became a global star when she was cast as Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games franchise. From 2011 to 2019, Lawrence appeared in 19 movies, including several within the X-Men franchise (as blue-skinned shapeshifter Mystique). She also won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Silver Linings Playbook.
Lawrence had the distinction of being one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood for many years, and at her peak, she managed to straddle the line between blockbusters and awards fare. However, her output began to dwindle in the final years of the 2010s; her last film was 2019’s Dark Phoenix, her final appearance as Mystique. Now she’s set to return to movies with Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up, which arrives in theaters and on Netflix next month. Don’t Look Up is already courting awards buzz thanks to its starry cast and impressive behind the scenes talent.
Whether or not Lawrence will score any nominations for Don’t Look Up remains to be seen, but her presence in it is notable enough considering the break she took. The actress recently looked back on her fame in a cover story with Vanity Fair. Specifically, Lawrence pinpointed the moment when she felt audiences “were not pleased just by my existence.” It came after four movies of hers struggled to make an impact both with critics and the box office (Passengers, mother!, Red Sparrow, and Dark Phoenix), leading her to reflect on her career. Lawrence said:
“I was not pumping out the quality that I should have. I just think everybody had gotten sick of me. I’d gotten sick of me. It had just gotten to a point where I couldn’t do anything right. If I walked a red carpet, it was, ‘Why didn’t she run?’… I think that I was people-pleasing for the majority of my life. Working made me feel like nobody could be mad at me: ‘Okay, I said yes, we’re doing it. Nobody’s mad.’ And then I felt like I reached a point where people were not pleased just by my existence. So that kind of shook me out of thinking that work or your career can bring any kind of peace to your soul.”
It is a sadly all-too-common occurrence: When an actor or actress becomes so visible it feels like they’re everywhere, audiences are quick to turn on them. A recent example is, arguably, James Corden. In some instances, there could be greater factors at play when it comes to a souring of opinion, but it must sting all the same. Lawrence had a booming career, particularly from 2012 to 2015. It was jarring for some to see her take a step back, but hearing it from her perspective, it’s understandable why she felt a break was better.
Beyond Don’t Look Up, Lawrence has a few projects in the works for the coming years, with the next currently slated to be the movie Red, White and Water. Fans of hers will be thrilled to see her back on the big screen, and casual audiences might be too. There’s no question that Lawrence is a talented actress, and it’ll be interesting to see what projects she takes on now that she’s getting back in the game. She might not end up as busy as she was years ago, but that’s okay. It’s better that she do what she feels is best for her career and herself.