Arrogant, Deluded And Ignorant Is No Way To Go Through Life, Jennifer Lawrence…

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.

20 thoughts on “Arrogant, Deluded And Ignorant Is No Way To Go Through Life, Jennifer Lawrence…

  1. I am confident I operate safely in the safe zone when stating that Lawrence makes considerably more sense when reading from a script than when speaking extemporaneously.
    She has recently made other gaffes when venturing off script while on the public record.

    High School wasn’t important to her so why should (recent) film history be any different? Her particular job does not require a fine education and she can return to school any time she wants.
    Plus, I hear there Libraries too.

  2. “Jennifer Lawrence is a charismatic, versatile, talented movie star”

    Does anyone actually believe this, or is this the kind of polite thing people are supposed to say before going on to point out how insufferably stupid the person they’re talking about is?

    “Charismatic”? Has anyone seen “Don’t Look Up”?

    “Versatile”? I’ve never seen a person more typecast since Rowan Atkinson.

    Lawrence entered the mainstream in The Hunger Games, where she played anthropomorphized resting bitch face that cried every now and again, between those movies, she played Mystique in the rebooted X-Men franchise, her character, again, was anthropomorphized resting bitch face that cried every now and again. Then she had a career that can basically be summed up by “this actress plays anthropomorphized resting bitch face that cries every now and again”.

    It’s not her fault… Hollywood was absolutely looking for one trick ponies with a side of resting bitch face around the time she broke out… It’s also how we got Kristen Stewart. And it’s carried on – Brie Larson, Amber Heard, Daisy Ridley. It’s like Hollywood has forgotten how to make actually strong female characters, opting instead for this very brittle outwardly numb person that gets angry every now and again. That doesn’t make for robust characters.

    • Lawrence rang all of my “Movie Star!” detectors first time I saw her in “Hunger Games.” She clearly has the “It” factor, whatever “It” is—a mystery of the ages—and that elevates her over Stewart, Larson, Heard, and Ridley. Take away the X-Men films and the rest of the “Hunger Games” movies, none of which I chose to see, and she hasn’t done all that much. I base “versatile” on just four movies, really: “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Mother!, “American Hustle,” and that first “Hunger Games” movie. “Don’t Look Up” was crap thanks to the writer and director: I found everyone in it unwatchable. I won’t hold that against her.

      • … She clearly has the “It” factor, whatever “It” is—a mystery of the ages …

        Here’s another Dorothy Parkerism: on hearing an Algonquin companion remark of a passing young lady, “She’s got ‘It'”, Dorothy Parker replied, ‘It’, hell, she’s got ‘Those'”.

        … Don’t make assertions when you haven’t checked the facts.

        Would it be unkind to remind you of occasions when you yourself have done just that, or would it be a valuable lesson? (I am not claiming complete absence of fault on my part; it is not a necessary precondition.)

          • You once asserted that a deceased actor, a Norfolk boy, was a cockney without checking it. You went full “It isn’t what it is” when I drew your attention to his actual origins and to the generally accepted definition of a cockney (someone born in the East End of London, which is looser than the original criterion of being born within the sound of Bow Bells). You then resorted to argument by repeated assertion that he was still a cockney even after being told that definition and being told that he had been born in Norfolk.

  3. While I believe Jack and the responses adequately addressed vacuous mindset of Lawrence, I’m compelled to add a couple of female action leads omitted. First, there was Pam Grier and all those exploitation and T & A movies she did. Grier was required to be both athletic and durable during filming while looking good.
    Second, and probably the best from the 60’s was Honor Blackman, a real female action star that actually had to restrain herself for fear of injuring her fellow actors. You see, Ms. Blackman was a 3rd Dan (black Belt) in traditional Jiu jitsu.
    She was Diana Riggs predecessor on the TV show The Avengers and they actually had to hold her back during the fight scenes, Where Diana Rigg was faking it during the fight scenes, Honor Blackman was not.

    • I did not know that about Blackman; I have failed in my efforts to see any episodes of her work on “The Avangers” (and I hated Diana Rigg’s successor’s character). My only experience with Honor was in “Goldfinger” and as part of a murderous British acting couple in an episode of “Columbo.”

      • Linda Thorson had almost no previous acting experience, and it showed. She was selected as Riggs successor simply because she was nice to look at.

        BTW, Diana Rigg also had no fighting experience which was apparent in her first few episodes. However, during the show they had a trainer to coach her to at least look like she knew what she was doing, and she got better at it.

          • I think it’s fair to say she learned to act. She made a successful career that lasted long after the youthful bloom had faded. I was a much better actor at 25 than I was at 21, and I see it in student actors all the time.
            But really… how is it fair to a 21 year old kid with little experience or training to expect her to take over from Diana Rigg, who could have made a living as an actor if she looked like the north end of a southbound duck? One of the stupidest casting decisions of all time.

  4. I thought you might pick up on this story, Jack. Just a couple of unconnected comments…

    I confess I’ve seen only a couple of Jennifer Lawrence’s movies, so I don’t know if she is a capable actor playing plot functionary characters or if she really has no range. From what I’ve seen, she’s no better or worse than a dozen other actresses would have been–she got this role, they got that one.

    Lawrence apologists are claiming she should be forgiven because she’s just parroting studio talking points. Naturally, I don’t think that gets her off the hook.

    One of my most enduring memories of undergrad days was watching some action film at the local movie theater–I’ve long since forgotten the title, the cast, or virtually everything else. What I remember was that our hero was foiled in his attempt to bed the beautiful (of course) spy; she tells him she’s a virgin. Ten minutes later, the ship they were on is attacked by the bad guys.

    She fends off the attack almost single-handedly, sending several of the attackers to their demise. This was a late-night weekend showing to an overwhelmingly post-adolescent crowd. As such, audience comments were
    (or at least could be) very much part of the show. So as the last of the bad guys is send hurtling overboard to his probable death, a voice from the back of the theater chimes in: “No wonder she’s a virgin.” Just another female action star doing her work over a decade before Jennifer Lawrence was born.

    I do disagree with HT’s characterization of Rowan Atkinson. Blackadder is almost entirely verbal and all about comic delivery and timing; Mr. Bean is almost entirely physical. All the two roles have in common is that they’re comic. And I really enjoyed his brief stint as Maigret: he’s no Michael Gambon, but who is?

    Finally, any boy of my generation who did not lust after Diana Rigg in The Avengers would have set off gay-dar sirens for a 20-mile radius. She also happened to be a brilliant actress and a very intelligent woman, in addition to her physical charms. I don’t think anyone will ever suggest that trifecta about Ms. Lawrence.

    • “I do disagree with HT’s characterization of Rowan Atkinson. Blackadder is almost entirely verbal and all about comic delivery and timing; Mr. Bean is almost entirely physical. All the two roles have in common is that they’re comic.”

      That’s fair, and Johnny English kind of bridged the gap between physical and verbal comedy. But Atkinson’s roles are all relatively similar in that he plays a kind of clueless, bumblingly endearing fellow, whether he talks of not. Regardless, who would your example of a cripplingly typecast person be?

      • The Rock? Steve Buscemi? Liam Neeson (now)? Morgan Freeman? Bruce Willis? Harrison Ford? Leslie Nielson, in his comic phase?

        I actually agree that Atkinson is hopelessly typecast, essentially because of his looks more than his skill set. Like so many comedians (though not all)— Buster Keaton, Jackie Gleeson, Jerry Lewis, Louie CK, Danny Kaye, Eddie Izzard, Dan Ackroyd, Billy Crystal, Eddie Murray–it’s a long list—Atkinson could probably amaze in a serious role, if he was ever given a chance.

        • Typecasting is generally more dependent on looks than on talent. There are so many actors who never got a chance to show what they can do until that one moment when everything changed: Fred MacMurray’s best known roles were in The Caine Mutiny and Double Indemnity before becoming the lovable father in My Three Sons. Ernest Borgnine got a series of tough guy roles before landing McHale’s Navy.

          One of the best examples has to be Raquel Welch. Let’s face it, she didn’t get those roles in Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years BC because of her acting ability. But who could have made those roles into anything other than eye candy? And by the time of The Three Musketeers, she began to be taken seriously. The capper had to be when, in her 40s, she took over the lead in Broadway’s Woman of the year, replacing Lauren Bacall. She played a couple hundred performances.

          So, two things: actors often get better over time, and we can’t criticize an actor for taking a role that will pay the bills. If they want you to do what you’ve always done, and they’ll pay you handsomely to do it, you’re going to be tempted. We like seeing Pierce Brosnan as a suave hero, or Meg Ryan as the girl next door, or John Thaw as a curmudgeon with a heart of gold. Taking roles against type is scary for everyone, especially for the money people.

          Jennifer Lawrence is young, fit, and attractive. Rowan Atkinson is kinda funny-looking. But your last point, Jack, that Atkinson could do well in a serious role if given a chance… that’s why I mentioned his appearance in the remake of the Maigret series. (There are two two-episode storylines; they’re on Britbox if you’re interested… or even if you’re not).

    • If you want to see what Diana Rigg looks looks like in leather and a spiked collar, check out the Avengers episode “A Touch of Brimstone”. Then you’ll see why this episode was banned from American television for decades.

  5. I’d just like to add one of my favorites: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and really, anything with Michelle Yeow. Probably not “hollywood” but still, I’m happy to add to the list.

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