In a candid profile at The Guardian, Xan Brooks says director Darren Aronofsky’s new film pushes Jennifer Lawrence to the brink, and asks “if the bizarre psychological horror is a warped self-portrait.” [Spoiler: It’s not.]
Darren Aronofsky’s new film is an explosion, an assault, a haunted-house horror that whips up conflicting emotions… Jennifer Lawrence plays an unnamed heroine whose domestic idyll is overrun by an endless procession of malignant houseguests. They are disturbing her in the bathroom; they are making out in her bed. “I’m confused,” she confides, just as the nightmare begins. And by God, she is not the only one.
“Yeah, well, that’s the journey,” shrugs Aronofsky… “I think it’s OK to be confused. The movie has a dream-logic and that dream-logic makes sense. But if you try to unscrew it, it kind of falls apart. So it’s a psychological freak-out. You shouldn’t over-explain it.”
Any parallels to be drawn between the monstrous poet and his muse in the film and the relationship between Aronofsky and Lawrence on- and off-screem?
“Oh no,” says Aronofsky… “No, no, not at all. Javier knows me. He knows I’m not a monster. Because a film director is a very different kind of artist. I only have to be a monster on set – for two or three months every few years… And if anything, my empathy here is more with the mother. I’m probably more Jen’s character than I am Javier’s.” ”
How about Aronofsky’s rumored rep for “breaking actors down”?
“It’s not about breaking them down. They break themselves down. They’re game.” He gulps some water and thinks it over. “Actors,” he says. “Sometimes they forget, but I think the original reason they started acting was to be able to cry in front of class. Sometimes they forget that, when they become big action movie stars, because that’s more about modelling than acting. But they love it, really. So I’m always looking for actors who want to roll up their sleeves and let loose and just cry. Javier’s not afraid of crying; he’ll do anything. Jennifer, completely the same. She’s still very young; not jaded in the least. And, yeah, she was scared on this movie, because she knew she was going to have to go for some big emotions.”
Read more at The Guardian.