Jennifer Lawrence

Source: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Jennifer Lawrence

US star Jennifer Lawrence expressed her love of franchise movies as “art” in a talk at BFI London Film Festival (LFF) today, while teasing a new project with UK director Lynne Ramsay.

“I never thought I would be offered a superhero movie; I thought that was a huge opportunity,” said Lawrence in the LFF Screen Talk, which looked back over her career to date.

“I loved superhero movies and loved the X-Men movies. Franchise is art, and they’re so fun; I could never do one now because I’m too old and brittle.”

Lawrence played superhero Raven Darkholme/Mystique in four X-Men films from 2011’s X-Men: First Class to 2019’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix; and also played the lead role of Katniss Everdeen in four Hunger Games titles from 2012 to 2015.

The actress felt audience obsession with big-budget franchise films over the last couple of decades is “totally understandable”.

“I love them too,” she said. “This generation understandably likes a world to escape to, and I can relate to that.”

Lawrence is attending LFF for the international premiere this evening of Lila Neugebauer’s Causeway, which Lawrence stars in and produced through her US firm Excellent Cadaver.

It is the company’s first feature to make it to screen. It was produced with A24, which is distributing alongside Apple TV+, which will launch the film on its platform worldwide on November 4.

Upcoming Excellent Cadaver projects include Gene Stupnitsky’s comedy No Hard Feelings, which Lawrence will also star in and Sony will release next summer. The company has given Lawrence greater creative freedom in her choices, which allowing for interesting collaborations, she said.

“It felt serendipitous to have the first film in my production company be an independent film [Causeway],” said Lawrence. “The best part about producing is I can just span out – I’m developing something with Lynne Ramsay, I’m obsessed with Lynne Ramsay.”

“It feels personal”

The combination of her franchise roles, and winning the best actress Oscar in 2013 for David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook when aged just 22, pushed Lawrence to new heights of fame, which affected her career path.

“I lost a sense of control, between Hunger Games coming out and winning the Oscar,” she said. “I felt like every decision was a big group decision. I think of those following years as a loss of control, and then a reaction to try and get that back.”

That dynamic even played into naming her company – ‘excellent cadaver’ is a Sicilian mafia term for the assassination of a celebrity or prominent official. “It just made sense,” laughed Lawrence. “There was a part of me that wanted to execute that.”

“I finally got the voice in my head back,” she said of her recent producing work, “and it feels personal to me for the first time in a long time.”

She is on the lookout for future projects, with interest in the book she is currently reading – Wideacre, a 1987 historical novel that is the debut of Philippa Gregory, who would go on to write The Other Boleyn Girl.

“I don’t know what [format] that would be,” said Lawrence, “But – ever forward!”