Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” is just over one month away from opening in theaters, and finally some of its secrets are starting to be revealed. The official trailer debuted this week, confirming the director has combined the likes of “Black Swan” and “Rosemary’s Baby” to create something horrifying, and now both Aronofsky and Jennifer Lawrence have broken their silence on the movie in a new Vogue cover story.
“I think [the film] works as a truthful, realistic relationship movie…but [it] also works on an allegorical plane, too,” Aronofsky said. “Different people will see it different ways, and I’m always inspired by films you remember and are still talking about a few days later.”
“The themes are just huge,” Lawrence added. “I can’t use the word I want to use, but the movie is unique.”
“mother!” tells the story of a couple, played by Lawrence and Javier Bardem, whose lives are upended by the arrival of unexpected guests at their home. Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer are the first intruders to show up, but the trailer confirmed there is a lot more people set to arrive and cause chaos for Lawrence’s character. Domhnall Gleeson and Kristen Wiig co-star.
Signing on to play the lead in an Aronofsky movie was always going to be a challenge for Lawrence. His protagonists are defined by their obsessions and psychological unravellings, and his roles have forced everyone from Natalie Portman to Jared Leto and Mickey Rourke to tap into such raw emotions that all of his stars often emerge with career-best work. Lawrence was no exception on the set of “mother!”
“I had to go to a darker place than I’ve ever been in my life,” the actress told Vogue. “I didn’t know if I’d be able to come out ok.”
During one scene, Lawrence came out with a dislocated rib after she was hyperventilating too intensely, which more or less sounds like standard procedure on an Aronofsky movie. Production had to stop for a short while so the actress could be put on oxygen.
“I have oxygen tubes in my nostrils, and Darren’s like, ‘It was out of focus; we’ve got to do it again,'” Lawrence said. “And I was just like, ‘Go fuck yourself.'”
In order to help Lawrence cope with the incredibly tense material, the crew set up a “happy place” so that she could escape the set when needed and distance herself from the ordeals of her character. Lawrence’s “happy place” consisted of gumballs and a television playing clips on loop of the Kardashians. It may sound ridiculous, but it was needed to make sure Lawrence was always focused for the next take.
“It’s such a raw, natural talent she has,” Aronofsky said about his leading lady (who also just happens to be his girlfriend of over a year now). “I always kind of compare her to Michael Jordan.”
“She’s a very brave actress with no boundaries and doesn’t need to be hurt in order to create pain,” added Bardem about his co-star. “She’s truly committed to go as far as needed.”
Apparently Lawrence was afraid to go as far as dislocating her rib for the role. The last time a female lead in an Aronofsky movie lost her mind, it was Natalie Portman in “Black Swan.” Could “mother!” bring Lawrence back to the Dolby Theater next year? We’ll know more when “mother!” opens September 15.