Jennifer Lawrence is a charismatic, versatile, talented movie star, but someone misled her into believing that everything that pops into her head is worth saying, and it isn’t. In this case, it wasn’t just banal or gratuitous progressive blather points, but a wildly false and disrespectful over-praising of her own significance at the expense of actresses that she ought to be honoring rather than insulting.
In a recent interview with Variety magazine, the star of the “Hunger Games” movies (beginning in 2012), “Silver Lining Playbook” and other films said,
“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. We were told … girls and boys can both identify with a male lead, but boys cannot identify with a female lead.”
If you don’t know your film history, don’t make statements about film history. It makes one look like a conceited fool, as the social media mob rushed to inform Lawrence.
Sigourney Weaver in 1979’s “Alien,” then even moreso in its kinetic sequel “Aliens” and its two sequels, was an action movie star by any definition. Then there was Milla Jovovich as the biologocally re-engineered, zombie-killing heroine in the “Resident Evil” franchise; Linda Hamilton in “Terminator 2,” Uma Thurmond as an tough assassin in the two “Kill Bill” movies, Angelina Jolie as a female Indiana Jones rip-off in two “Lara Croft” films, the “Charlie’s Angels” films, “Point of No Return” starring Bridget Fonda as yet another assassin, and others, all pre-dating “Hunger Games.” TV had already conditioned boys to appreciate female action stars, not to identify with them, perhaps, but to lust after them, before those films, notably through the cat-suited, karate-kicking Diana Rigg in “The Avengers” and Lynda Carter as “Wonder Woman.”
Lawrence followed a trail already blazed by those actresses, and her obligation was to either show some respect, or to shut up and act. Now she owes a lot of her predecessors apologies, and had better learn, fact, a lesson that most of us learn earlier in life: Don’t make assertions when you haven’t checked the facts.