ComingSoon has a great interview with Jennifer Lawrence who, you might have heard, is starring in a movie called “The Hunger Games.” It’s based on a novel that has done rather well (kids, this is what is known as understatement).
Obviously I won’t be mean enough to just cut and paste their whole thing, but let me give you two quotes to get you started:
Q: You have had a chance to work with some strong female directors like Debra Granik and Jodie Foster and, of course, many male directors as well. How does Gary Ross stack up? What’s his style?
Lawrence: He doesn’t have one. He can communicate with every single actor. He can make anything work. I’m better with technical stuff. Just tell me what you don’t like and I’ll fix it. Don’t tell me about how I’m twenty — that doesn’t work for me. Just tell me what’s right and what’s wrong, and he was very technical with me. With others he might give more emotional guidance. He could do that. He can work with any actor. He can communicate with the lighting director. He had a very specific vision and he never once gave that up. Which is hard when you’re doing a film. But to his credit, the studio was amazing. He’s strong and he’s brilliant, but he listens to everybody. He’s artistically free.
(My follow up question would be to compare working with a director who wrote the script to a director who did not.)
Q: You’re working with veterans like Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland here. Is there anything you have to be cognizant of, or is there anything you learn from going toe to toe with them?
Lawrence: I always try to be a sponge and soak up as much as possible when I’m working with them.
Q: Can I ask what your sponge soaked up from Woody Harrelson?
Lawrence: (laughs) Woody is the nicest person in the entire world, and you know he’d be the exact same person no matter what his job was. He’s just that guy from Texas. He can strike up a conversation with anybody. It’s just odd to see him on a movie set. He’s just one of the most incredible actors in the world and he almost doesn’t fit onto a set. He’s just too relaxed. He’s got no airs about him. You see him hanging out, like someone brought their really nice cousin from Texas and then all of a sudden he does backwards acting. One time we were doing this scene where I stab a knife through his fingers and, to do that, you have to do everything backwards and they put it forwards in post. And so we would start and everything would go backwards and Woody said, “I’m even doing backwards acting ’cause when I’m here, I start to feel my desire for the jam.” (laughs) So he would go back and then he’d see the jam and want in. He’s full of gems like that.
Go here to read the rest of the interview, but note that there are some spoilers, so be careful if you haven’t read the book…