“I’m so nervous … I haven’t spoken to the world in forever.”
Jennifer Lawrence is tip-toeing back into the spotlight, but she’s still not totally comfortable talking about some of the new additions to her life — namely, her husband and the baby the two have on the way.
The 31-year-old actress took a self-imposed break from acting — and, in turn, doing press — since wrapping “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” reshoots in 2018. In the three years since then, she’s only done a pair of public appearances for Christian Dior shows at Paris Fashion Week in 2019 and 2021, but has remained pretty busy in her personal life. In 2019, she married Cooke Maroney — and, this September, the two confirmed they’re expecting their first child together.
“I’m so nervous. I haven’t spoken to the world in forever,” Lawrence told Vanity Fair in a new cover story, her first big foray back into the spotlight. “And to come back now, when I have all of these new accessories added to my life that I obviously want to protect … I’m nervous for you. I’m nervous for me. I’m nervous for the readers!”
Reflecting on her life before going off the grid a bit, Lawrence said that the attention on her “was so high and extreme” that being on set was her “great escape.” She explained that, while working, “everybody treats you normally,” but it also leads to burnout. “Eventually I had to ask myself, ‘Am I saying yes because I want to go to work the next day? Or am I doing this because I want to make this movie?’” she added.
Lachlan Bailey/Vanity Fair
She acknowledges that some of the films she was working on before her break — which included the poorly-received “Dark Phoenix,” “Passengers” and “Red Sparrow” — maybe weren’t the right projects in retrospect.
“I was not pumping out the quality that I should have,” she admitted, before adding, “I just think everybody had gotten sick of me. I’d gotten sick of me. It had just gotten to a point where I couldn’t do anything right. If I walked a red carpet, it was, ‘Why didn’t she run?’”
“I think that I was people-pleasing for the majority of my life. Working made me feel like nobody could be mad at me: ‘Okay, I said yes, we’re doing it. Nobody’s mad.’” she added of her decision-making process. “And then I felt like I reached a point where people were not pleased just by my existence. So that kind of shook me out of thinking that work or your career can bring any kind of peace to your soul.”
While she’s happy to be talking about her latest project — Adam McKay’s star-studded “Don’t Look Up,” which hits Netflix at the end of the year — Lawrence was definitely hesitant to open up about the more personal aspects of her life in the profile.
Of her marriage to Maroney, she said she really enjoys “going to the grocery store with him,” adding that it “fills me with a lot of joy” — before calling that statement a metaphor for their marriage. “Okay, we’ve got this list. These are the things we need. Let’s work together and get this done,’” she explained. “And I always get one of the cooking magazines, like 15 Minute Healthy Meals, and he always gives me a look like, ‘You’re not going to use that. When are you going to make that?’ And I say, ‘Yes, I am. Tuesday!’ And he’s always right, and I never do.”
And though she’s not hiding her pregnancy — that’s her showing off her bump at an event with her “Don’t Look Up” costars just last week above — she’s also not really comfortable talking about it either.
“If I was at a dinner party, and somebody was like, ‘Oh, my God, you’re expecting a baby,’ I wouldn’t be like, ‘God, I can’t talk about that. Get away from me, you psycho!’” she joked.
“But every instinct in my body wants to protect their privacy for the rest of their lives, as much as I can. I don’t want anyone to feel welcome into their existence,” she added. “And I feel like that just starts with not including them in this part of my work.”
“Don’t Look Up” hits Netflix on December 24th, 2021. Lawrence’s Vanity Fair hits newsstands November 30.