Jennifer Lawrence has been vocal about the recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations that have hit Hollywood — and she’s now revealing how she felt after the first report came out about film producer and longtime collaborator Harvey Weinstein.
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Wednesday, December 6, the Oscar winner said that people urged her to speak out right away against the mogul but she needed time to process the news.
“There was this moment when all of this broke out and everybody was silent, and then all of a sudden, every actress’ Twitter was blowing up with, ‘You need to come forward and you need to say something and you need to condemn!’” the actress, 27, said. “Which is true: We do have a responsibility to say something; we’ve all worked with him, but everybody needed a moment.”
Lawrence said that while Weinstein was known be tough, he had been like a father to her. “Just speaking for myself, I had known him since I was 20, and he had only ever been nice to me — except for the moments that he wasn’t, and then I called him an asshole, and we moved on,” she said. “He was paternal to me. So I needed a moment to process everything because I thought I knew this guy, and then he’s being accused of rape. We all knew he was a dog, we knew that he was a tough guy, a brute, a tough guy to negotiate with.”
She added: “I didn’t know that he was a rapist. And it’s so widespread, the abuse, from so many different people — it’s directors, it’s producers — that I think everybody needed to [process it]. Everybody needs to deal with this in their own way; everybody needs to heal.”
As previously reported, Weinstein came under fire in October when nearly 30 years of sexual assault and abuse allegations were detailed by The New York Times, and since then, more allegations against him have surfaced. Lawrence said she “felt sick” when The New Yorker published an audio tape of an exchange between model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez and the film producer, in which he tried to lure her into watching him shower.
“They are all horrible, and not one is more horrifying than the next. But being able to hear when the woman wore the microphone and Harvey was telling her to watch him shower — I felt sick in my bones for an entire day. I was just sick. I was just like, ‘I can’t,’ after hearing that,” the mother! actress said. “And that’s why it’s so important to talk about abuse, all of the different forms of abuse, because he didn’t lay a finger on her, and I felt chilled to my bones. Imagine having a man who is that powerful telling you to do something [and] you’re saying no. [He’s] threatening you, saying, ‘Don’t embarrass me. We’re at this hotel.’”
Despite it being a difficult time, Lawrence remains hopeful that this will inspire change in the industry. “I don’t know a woman who hasn’t been touched by some sort of abuse. I’m sad by the women’s stories, but I’m excited by the change that’s going to come from it. The rule book is being rewritten right now,” she said. “People are terrified. I mean, specifically, men using their power to abuse women.”
The Hunger Games star hopes to bring about change to protect up and coming actors going forward. “I’ve talked to women. We’ve talked about forming a commission. It’s just so sad because every actor, when you’re starting out, there’s really not a lot of options,” she said. “We have to all put our heads together and figure out how to not let this moment go, not just be like, ‘Oh, well, that was crazy.’ Something has to really get done.”
Lawrence won her first Oscar for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, which was produced by Weinstein.
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