Jennifer Lawrence says she was reticent to embrace her sexuality on-screen for years after her nude photos were among the hundreds of private celebrity images hacked and released to the public back in 2014.
“That’s what’s so scary about electronic [things],” Lawrence told Winfrey. “I have such fear with my phone and my computer and electronics. It’s taking somebody’s intellectual property but also my body. It was violating on a sexual level.”
Lawrence also revealed how choosing to star in upcoming thriller Red Sparrow marked a personal triumph for her over the trauma of the hack.
“Red Sparrow was sexual, and I haven’t done anything sexy or sexual,” Lawrence said of portraying a former ballerina who, after a career-ending injury, is trained to use her body and mind as weapons.
Continued the actress, “I’ve been afraid of that since 2014, when I got my pictures hacked. I just thought, ‘I’ll never do that again. I’ll never share that part of myself ever since it got shared against my will.’ And then when I said yes to Red Sparrow, I felt I was taking something back.”
Lawrence has spoken about the release before, telling THR just last month, “it was so unbelievably violating.” She admitted, “I think that I’m still actually processing it.”
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Winfrey’s interview with the actress also covered her awards recognition — one Oscar win and four total nominations before age 27.
“You’re immediately hit with fear,” Lawrence shared. “Or at least I was. I had been climbing and working and fighting, and I remember last year just getting hit with fear. All of a sudden it was, ‘They’re going to get sick of me.’ ”
Being highly decorated came with “insecurity,” she contended. “I’ve been probably more insecure after last year, and I don’t know if that’s just a feeling of: I’ve got more to lose, I have more people to disappoint. I don’t know how to explain it.”
Lawrence also challenged the notion that her life is “[different]” because of her celebrity, asserting, “It’s actually pretty normal.”
“I have always been a homebody. My social life has always been very boring: I sit around outside my house with my friends and drink wine, and that hasn’t really changed,” said the star. “I don’t really like to go out. I have friends who come and visit me when I’m on sets.”
One of those friends? Now Winfrey, who wrote that the pair first met as recently as October, when they hung out at her estate and drank rosé. Now, Winfrey said, they text back and forth.
Said Winfrey, “What resonates with me is that, when you are talking to her, what you’re seeing is the real thing. You’re not seeing any pretense. She’s asking all the right questions: ‘How can I be used? How can I use this moment for something bigger than myself?’ “