OPRAH WINFREY I read this wonderful book by Elizabeth Strout [Anything Is Possible]. And in it, she was speaking about one of the characters who was so embittered and regretful, and the line she used was, “because her life did not turn out the way she had expected.” Is your life what you expected?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE When I started acting, I was totally satisfied when I was on a sitcom because I had a steady paycheck. And I was like, “Maybe I can just find a way to be on sitcoms forever.” I was totally satisfied and good. I never dreamed that I could have this kind of career.
When you dreamed the dream, what did the dream look like? I used to drive home from church with my father past rich white people’s houses — we’d be the last to leave our little church yard, and he’d be in this big, old, green Oldsmobile that I was embarrassed to be in — and I’d pick houses that I dreamed about living in, and that was a big dream for me: I’d have a house, I’d be able to pay my bills, I’d have two cars in the driveway.
I used to do that, too. I remember driving by big, beautiful houses, but I always dreamed of being there with my parents. I never imagined I’d be able to own something like that on my own. I thought for a while maybe I could be an interior designer — that was the only job I knew about because my mom was friends with an interior designer. I was mostly just focused on a family when I was little. I would have never thought I’d be so career-focused. It’s not something I knew about myself until I started becoming successful, and then I wanted to become more successful. I’d make a great movie, and then I’d want to make more great movies; I’d make money, I’d want to make more money. It was a mind-set I wasn’t ever aware I had until my early 20s.
And then, by the time you’re 27, you’ve got [an Oscar]. By the time you’ve gotten four [nominations], does it come with —
Fear. You’re immediately hit with fear. Or at least I was. I had been climbing and working and fighting, and I remember last year just getting hit with fear. All of a sudden it was, “They’re going to get sick of me.” That’s when all my insecurity came. I’ve been probably more insecure after last year, and I don’t know if that’s just a feeling of: I’ve got more to lose, I have more people to disappoint. I don’t know how to explain it.
I read Twitter, and I was looking for bad mother! things. It was horrible. It was really bad. I loved this so much, and it just broke my heart, especially for Darren [Aronofsky, the film’s writer-director and Lawrence’s ex] because he loved this person. And any time you’re in a relationship, their pain is your pain.
You’re trolling for bad news?!
I didn’t know that’s what I was doing. I don’t know how to look up these things. I started twittering “mother!” ’cause I didn’t know how else to get news, and that was really bad.