Jennifer Lawerence wants to conquer now also as a producer with ‘Causeway’ on Apple TV

Saluting with the right elbow, to hide the hand, Jennifer Lawrence He arrives at our special meeting demonstrating that we are still living in a pandemic “No hugs, I just got out of COVID” rushing the clarification “don’t worry, I already tested negative”. It’s been a while since she premiered the film as producer and star Causeway on Apple TV, but with the expectation of being able to be nominated for an Oscar Award as Best actress, A new opportunity to interview her opens up, very difficult to refuse.

The last time we met, last year, you were pregnant, very pregnant. And today… Does the mother’s job keep you much busier than acting?

Very true, but they also let me rest a bit, because I only came to Los Angeles for two days, for the weekend. My baby stayed with my husband (Cooke Maroney), in New York. But I’m about to go back… I miss him terribly.


Does motherhood generate a certain change, being also the producer of a story as human as ‘Causeway’, much more similar to your principles of the first Oscar nomination of ‘Winter’s Bone’ than the blockbusters of ‘Hunger Games’?

It’s a way of going back to my independent film roots… But the idea to produce it was born right away when I read the script, because it had been a long time since I’d read something that seemed so familiar to me. It’s hard to explain the confidence that was also generated by knowing that I had found something special. And that trust grew with the five-hour dinner I later had with director Lila Neugebauer, even though I had never seen her work before.

With so many comparisons between this performance and your first Oscar nomination with ‘Winter’s Bone’, does going back to your roots make you want to shoot a lot more independent movies like you did at the beginning of your career?

Yes and no. Yes, because when I read the script I felt that I couldn’t miss it. But after 20 hours of filming, in so much heat, sharing a tent with another person and the same little fan, there came a point where I also doubted if it was all worth it (laughs). But yes, nothing fulfills more than making a style of cinema that makes so much sense as an actress, to share the same passion with a small group of people, sweating blood and tears for cinema. There is no one on the team who has not given everything, in every corner. It’s something I never thought I could do in my life. And yes, I would love to have many more experiences like this, although they don’t usually fall out of the sky that often.


Is it so difficult to find good stories to film a good independent style cinema, with lower costs than action blockbusters?

Independent cinema is worked with love, although one always remembers the work part (Laughter).

At the time of seeing ‘Causeway’, the invitation had curiously come from another famous friend of Jennifer Lawrence. Benicio del Toro himself introduced the film to us as “a story that begins without hope and ends with the best hopes.” And without wanting to tell that ending, for those who haven’t seen it yet, at least we can anticipate that it’s about a survivor of the Afghan war who wants to recover to return to the war, as the best way to escape from the dramatic life of a absent mother and a prisoner brother. And while she makes a living cleaning pools, she strikes up the only friendship that can change his mind.

How is the fictional Jennifer Lawrence character from ‘Causeway’ similar to the real Jennifer Lawrence?

I identified a lot with that sense of trying to find a home, trying to find a place and the purposes of your life, because I left home when I was 14 years old. And my relationship with home was always very complicated. That is the topic that moved me so much on a personal level.

I imagine that in your house you will have a pool?


And do you clean it just like in the movies, alone?

No (laughing), but I know how to do it. I learned very well.

How difficult is it to clean a pool?

It is very easy: with a brush all the walls are cleaned, to remove everything that remains stuck. After you’re done with the walls, they vacuum and clean up the floating dirt, they put in two chlorine tablets and that’s it. Well, you also have to clean the filter, but it’s all that simple.

In winter too? It does not matter?

Ah, I don’t know that, because we filmed during the summer (Laughs).

How many times did you have to jump into cold water for the same scene?

The water wasn’t cold, it was hot, so I had no problem acting fast, getting in, getting out, and coming home to shoot again the next day.

The level of acting is highlighted by interpreting the dramatic side of a brain trauma and how difficult it is to return to normality for many war veterans. How was the preparation, to get a performance in true Oscar style?

It was very important to me to represent our war heroes well, as truthfully as possible. I met many fans who suffered the same as my character and I learned that no one reacts the same, it depends on each person. And after listening to many stories, looking for some signs that could serve me in acting, I ended up with a completely different idea about traumas and invisible wounds that are not seen in a person, where the cure has no script and the physical parts need relearn it all over again. I was also lucky to have people who taught me and showed me what it looked like in reality, each of the scenes that I had to represent in the recovery part of my character, after having lived through a bombing in Afghanistan.

The surprise performance in a way is the part where you had to act speaking to signs when you found out that your character’s brother is deaf and mute and is in jail?

Yeah, it’s a very powerful scene, especially the scene where my character’s brother says, “I don’t trust what I’m going to do if I go out. I feel safer inside, in jail.” It’s the same way my character feels about Afghanistan. It is the place where she feels safe, with a role that makes sense. And it’s what helps her realize that at least she’s free, she’s not locked up. She can choose. And just the fact of having filmed such a powerful scene, speaking with signs, adds much more power to the film, because the silence of the deaf adds even more drama. It’s the strongest scene we filmed, but in complete silence. The idea was brilliant.

$!Jennifer Lawerence wants to conquer now also as a producer with 'Causeway' on Apple TV

‘Causeway’ is also the directorial debut of Lila Neugebauer who has much more experience in theater. Did you notice the difference?

The difference that I notice is the help that the theater brings, when studying each word that is said, where they repeat the same thing, every night, but it always feels different. That meticulous way of repeating the same dialogue implies being meticulous with the study of the characters, going even deeper with the acting.

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To what extent did the pandemic influence the filming of ‘Causeway’?

I don’t know if many people know this but when we started we had filmed parts in Afghanistan, to show the memories of my character, showing my life a bit more, but the director wanted to show only the after effects of a war, in the present, without the past. And we had just started filming in 2019, with all the COVID disasters that took us longer and longer. But with each stop we knew we had to come back to complete the production. Every time we went back to filming, we had to stop again because of COVID. But I also think that we turned a lot of the disadvantages into real gifts. I don’t think the movie would have been what it was if it weren’t for everything we went through during the two years it took us to shoot it.

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