We never thought the day would come when we feel really bad for Jennifer Lawrence, but here it is.
Sure, she’s still a gorgeous, successful, super talented actress who is pretty much universally loved. But now she’s also a pawn in a wretched game of studio warfare.
Here’s a recap, in case you missed it:
Hollywood runs off big contracts for actors, particularly when it comes to blockbuster films. Basically, in order to star in certain films, you must also agree to drop everything to star in sequels, do promotion, etc, etc. These contracts are first-come, first-serve. The actor is legally obligated to follow the contract they signed first. To break such a contract is career suicide– Studios deem it unprofessional and will refuse to ever work with the actor again.
In Jennifer’s case, she signed a contract with FOX committing to a sequel for X-Men: First Class long before The Hunger Games had begun casting. Since Lionsgate decided to film Catching Fire at the same time that FOX then decided to shoot the X-Men sequel, Jennifer is legally obligated to shoot X-Men in January. This leaves four months for Lionsgate to shoot Catching Fire after a very short pre-production period and, based on his statement, it was a big part of the reason why Gary Ross stepped down.
To reiterate: NONE of this is within Jennifer Lawrence’s control. The poor girl is smack in the middle of a studio kerfuffle, her schedule is being discussed as if it’s a massive problem all over the media, and she has absolutely no say in any of it. In fact, she’s off filming something completely unrelated.
She is, however, a piece in their games. Some media outlets are noting that Lionsgate refused to “make Jennifer available” for the X-Men: First Class premiere when she was about a month into filming The Hunger Games. According to them, FOX is getting their revenge by refusing to move their filming start date up further.
Imagine what it’s like it be Jennifer in this situation. You’re trying to focus on one project when you get devastating news about another. On top of that, everyone blames YOUR schedule for this. You know that, eventually, the media will catch up with you and ask you how you feel about Catching Fire‘s crunch time filming approach. You’ll have no choice but to be extremely diplomatic, no matter what you think of the situation you’re in. If there’s the slightest indicator that you’re unhappy with your contract issues, the media will be ALL OVER THAT.
Oh, and you get to film Catching Fire in probably 3/4 the time you need. No pressure.
We’ve been feeling really sorry for ourselves lately. We love Gary. We want to movies to be great. We worry that Catching Fire might be lackluster in the time frame we’ve got.
… But hey, at least we’re not in Jennifer’s shoes.
Much love for our Katniss!
The Girl With The Pearl