NEW YORK – Jennifer Lawrence leads the dark thriller “Red Sparrow,” based on the best seller about a ballerina who suffers a career-ending injury and is forced to change her line of work. She then goes to “Sparrow” school, where she trains to seduce targets as a Russian spy. When she is assigned to a CIA agent already working a case of his own, a dangerous guessing game of who can be trusted starts rolling.
Lawrence and her co-star in the movie Joel Edgerton spoke with Fox News about the film, spy skills, female empowerment, and why Lawrence thinks there is no better time for this movie than right now.
FOX NEWS: There’s a lot that was new for you in this film. Were you in a comfort zone walking into the nude and violent scenes with [“Hunger Games” director] Francis Lawrence? Would you say that is one of the reasons you were able to do those scenes?
LAWRENCE: There’s a lot. The dancing, to be honest, was actually the hardest part of the whole film. And I've never done a foreign accent before. There were a lot of daunting aspects to this movie. The nude scenes, I have to say, I wouldn't have been able to do it for my first time if it wasn't Francis [Lawrence], who is a dear friend. And everybody was so professional and so nice and the camera guys… most of the crew are from “Hunger Games,” so I've known them forever. The worst part was actually just the night before; I didn't sleep at all. Then actually doing it was kind of like, “Oh, that wasn't that scary.”
.... It was empowering for me, personally, I feel like I didn't even really realize ─ until I had finished that scene ─ how much just fear and insecurity and a complex of being judged had been following me for so many years. And when I finished it, I felt freed of all of those and I actually ended up thanking Francis [Lawrence], which might sound crazy. Also, we're talking about a world of deceit and corruption and abuse, and abuse to women through the lens of a woman who regains her freedom by using her intellect — that I find incredibly empowering and I don't think there is a better time for this movie than right now.
FOX NEWS: When you were filming it, was the conversation different than it is now, when we’re talking about female empowerment so much?
LAWRENCE: To be honest, no. These themes that are coming to light now have been around forever, that's why we're having a movement. The treatment toward women that has been normalized for so long is over, and we're not going to normalize it anymore. But these certainly aren't new themes: women being used, women being manipulated, women being abused, these aren't new themes at all.
FOX NEWS: I would just think you weren't talking about this [as much] when you were on set…
LAWRENCE: Definitely, the political and the sexual relevancy certainly landed in our lap because we started making this movie three years ago.
FOX NEWS: As it gets closer to the release date, are you thinking about that more too, the timeliness of it being a “Russian spy movie?"
EDGERTON: Yeah, it definitely feels like the film has somehow sort of grown into its own magnified relevance because of both of those things. Now, our story is totally not about meddling in elections and collusion and those things, but it plays into the hands of a growing curiosity about what's going on in Russia that has suddenly returned, and of course, like you were saying, it's grown into a climate where there's a full and frank and robust discussion going on about stuff that's been swept under the carpet with regards to men treating women in a particular way or abuse of power, sexual power.
FOX NEWS: Jennifer, do you have a good poker face in real life or do you wear your emotions on your sleeve?
LAWRENCE: I think I have a terrible poker face. I do that thing where if somebody thinks I’m lying then I feel like I’m lying and then it looks like I’m lying. I would be the worst spy in the entire world. Somebody would be like, “Do you work for the Americans?” And I'd be like, “No... yes...sorry…”
EDGERTON: Well, you could be America's worst spy, I'll be Australia's worst spy.
LAWRENCE: Great, there’s the sequel!