When actor Jennifer Lawrence addressed the Hollywood gender pay gap issue this year, she soon became the poster girl for what has become a hot issue, a title she says she is honoured to have.”It’s an honour… it’s definitely a discussion that needs to be had. So if I’m 1% responsible for starting it or sparking it or doing anything helpful for the cause then it’s exciting,” Lawrence told Reuters.
The Oscar-winner wrote about her own experience with male-female pay discrimination in Hollywood in an open letter in actor Lena Dunham’s Lenny newsletter. Following last year’s Sony hack, the actor had discovered that she earned less than Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner, her male co-stars in American Hustle.
“I think it has been an issue that everybody kind of stays quiet about for whatever reason,” Lawrence said. “I don’t know if, it’s probably for the same reason we don’t ask for money, we want to seem like good sports and we don’t want to seem like whiners so I think that it’s good that we’re standing up and saying there’s a 21% pay gap between men and women.”
On the other hand, actor Chris Rock responded to her pay-gap comments by saying that The Hunger Games star has a lot less to complain about the issue than black women actors. Rock feels that Lawrence would have far greater problems in the industry “if she was black”, reported Variety. “Black women have the hardest gig in show business,” Rock told The New Yorker. “You hear Jennifer Lawrence complaining about getting paid less because she’s a woman — if she was black, she’d really have something to complain about,” he added.
Role in ‘Joy’
Jennifer Lawrence’s new movie Joy reunites the Oscar winner with director David O. Russell and actors Cooper and Robert De Niro. The plot is inspired by the true story of Joy Mangano who overcame an early divorce and life as a single mother to become a successful 1990s businesswoman after inventing the Miracle Mop. “I loved that he wanted to even tell this story,” Lawrence said of Russell.
Russell directed Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook, for which she won a best actor Oscar, and also in American Hustle. The 25-year old confirmed reports that she could be playing De Niro’s mother in Russell’s next project. “I think David (O. Russell) just leans into whenever anybody is like, ‘she’s too young for that role’, he’s like ‘Yeah? Watch this. Now she’s a mum of two. Now she’s Robert De Niro’s mum’,” Lawrence said.
“It’s something in David’s head that’s formulating now as we speak so knowing him he’s going to think on it for a while and then write it in five minutes, and then we’ll all get back to work.”
Joy is currently out in the US and will hit UK cinemas on January 1.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2016.