At only 27, Jennifer Lawrence has won four Golden Globes (Joy, American Hustle, Silver Lining Playbook, Winter’s Bone), one Oscar (Silver Lining Playbook) and attended many film festivals as she traveled the world also promoting her blockbuster trilogy The Hunger Games. But when she arrives at the Toronto Film Festival, she’s come with the experience of having her film mother! booed at the recent Venice Film Festival and remains unfazed.
“Darren’s films have been booed at festivals before because they are polarizing,” she says calmly of the filmmaker behind other provocative films including; Black Swan, The Fountain, and Requiem for a Dream. “We didn’t make this film to be a darling. It’s very loud, it’s aggressive and it’s an assault. What is most important to us is getting the message out. Darren had this story burning inside of him and just had to get it out.”
Aronofsky offers his own take, adding “mother! begins as a chamber story about a marriage. At the center is a woman who is asked to give and give until she can give nothing more. Eventually, the chamber story can’t contain the pressure boiling inside. It becomes something else.”
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Lawrence says at its heart, mother! is an environmental allegory. She plays Mother Earth to her husband, Him (Javier Bardem). The couple lives in idyllic surroundings in a remote country house until a couple of strangers, played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, show up unexpectedly.
The actress hopes that love it or hate it, the film will spark discussion and debate about big issues through a unique lens of story-telling. “What’s amazing about the movie is it can be interpreted many different ways, which is a good and bad thing. But it’s important to understand the allegory, that I represent Mother Earth and Javier Bardem represents a form of God, a creator, a writer, an artist and Michelle Pfeiffer would be an Eve to Ed Harris who is Adam and the office would be The Garden of Eden,” she adds. “Once you know that, you can watch giant, universal, biblical themes all condensed into one household. Some people figure it out on their own,” she adds with a laugh, “but I’m like, ‘how are they going to figure it out? I wouldn’t!’”