After her nude photos were leaked in a 2014 Apple iCloud hack, people figured the last thing Jennifer Lawrence would want to do was appear naked in a film. But the Hunger Games star surprised everyone by appearing in the sexy, spy thriller Red Sparrow. Lawrence opened up about her experience on set and why this role was exactly what she needed after that public reveal of something so personal.
The 2014 iCloud hack caught a lot of celebrities in its snare, including Kirsten Dunst and Kate Upton, but it was especially rough on Lawrence. At the time, she called the hack an invasion comparable to a sex crime. The hacker, George Garofano, was sentenced to eight months in prison, but that doesn’t undo the damage of a breach of privacy on such a large and public scale. Before, Lawrence had purposefully chosen mature roles, like American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook, that were emotionally dense and totally avoided roles that depended on nudity or her sexuality. That is, until the director of the last three Hunger Games movies, Francis Lawrence, pitched her the idea for Red Sparrow, a film he planned on directing.
Lawrence was initially torn about the role. She knew that in order to do the film justice, she would need to fully commit to playing the Russian honey-pot agent, which meant intimate, unclothed scenes. “We both knew I was going to have to decide to do the scenes as they’re written or another actress should do the role,” Lawrence told USA Today. “And here I am. I’m still alive.”
She’s more than alive, Lawrence is a changed woman, thanks to this role. “The insecurity and fear of being judged for getting nude, what I went through, should that dictate decisions I make for the rest of my life? This movie changed that and I didn’t even realize how important changing that mentality was until it was done,” Lawrence told Variety.
It wasn’t just the role that helped Lawrence come to terms with filming intimate scenes. Red Sparrow director Francis Lawrence had a big part in making sure she was comfortable at every vulnerable moment. “We talked about it extensively, which was really important for showing up on the day and there being no surprises. I knew exactly what was going on and also there was one moment he came out to give me a note and just looked at me like I had clothes, and then I just felt like I had clothes on.” Lawrence was even shown the final cut of the film before anyone else, and she could pull any scenes she didn’t want from the movie, but she left it as it was.
Back when Lawrence was doing press tours to promote Red Sparrow with her costar Joel Edgerton, some tabloids chose to make up rumors about a supposed romance between the two. NW claimed that Lawrence and Edgerton were involved in a secret romance. Gossip Cop easily debunked this myth after speaking with Lawrence’s rep, who denied it completely.