It was important to push the envelope: Jennifer Lawrence

It was important to push the envelope: Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence describes her new psychological espionage drama, releasing this weekend in the UAE, as 'dark' and 'unique' despite criticism of it being exploitative due to certain intimate and violent scenes.



Jennifer Lawrence's latest, Red Sparrow, releasing in the UAE this weekend, is a spy thriller that has the Oscar-winning actress playing a ballerina, Dominika Egorova, who is recruited to 'Sparrow School,' a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations. The film has a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.8 on IMDb. Lawrence speaks about the film (which has attracted mixed reviews so far), her iconic co-stars and why she doesn't think scenes in the film are exploitative in this interview:
How was it working with the likes of Charlotte Rampling and Jeremy Irons?
Jeremy Irons and Charlotte Rampling are icons. It's really just a mind-blowing experience being on set with actors of that calibre. Charlotte Rampling showed up first day, nailed the accent, while I was just freaking out about mine! Doing scenes with Charlotte and Jeremy was an unforgettable experience.
There are a number of sexual or violent scenes in the movie. How did you ensure these scenes weren't exploitative?
Well, this movie is about exploitation, and international espionage. And so, it was really important to us to push the envelope, and there's going to be a lot of scenes in this movie that some people not be comfortable with. But it was important for us to really tell the story, and go all the way, and push it as far as we could to get to the real heart of the entire story.
Red Sparrow is not what we might expect from a normal spy movie. Would that be fair to say?
It's a psychological spy drama. It's exciting. It's dark. And unique. It was also written by somebody who worked extensively with the CIA, and specifically with Russian-US relations. So it's really pulling back the curtain on a lot of factors that go into espionage that I personally never knew about. That being said, it's still a fictional story, with fictional characters, but having the whole story written by, somebody who worked for the CIA offers a unique perspective.
Obviously Russia's in the news these days, particularly in the US. That makes the film seem quite prescient. Was that brought up in conversations when you were making this film?
Relations between Russia and the US have been the inspiration for story writers and filmmakers for decades. The intrigue and the glamour make it fascinating, which is why it has fuelled so many stories and films. The film is based on a book from a CIA agent which makes it even more exciting; his real life experiences give the story authenticity. I loved playing the role of Dominika; she is so complicated and ultimately empowers herself despite the manipulation on both sides.


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