Jennifer Lawrence clarifies controversial comment on women-led action movies

Actress Jennifer Lawrence on Thursday sought to clarify a controversial comment she made earlier this week regarding female-led action movies.

In a video interview published Wednesday in Variety, Lawrence told fellow actress Viola Davis that, "I remember when I was doing 'Hunger Games,' nobody had ever put a woman in the lead of an action movie, because it wouldn't work, we were told. Girls and boys can both identify with a male lead, but boys cannot identify with a female lead."

After the comment sparked online criticism, Lawrence on Thursday told The Hollywood Reporter that she did not mean to say she was the "only woman who has ever led an action film," but instead to "emphasize how good it feels."

Lawrence said she wanted to blow past "old myths" that have plagued the film and TV industry, specifically regarding gender bias in Hollywood.

"But it was my blunder and it came out wrong," Lawrence told THR. "I had nerves talking to a living legend."

Jennifer Lawrence at The 2022 Gotham Awards held at Cipriani Wall Street on Nov. 28, 2022, in New York City. / Credit: Nina Westervelt/Variety/Getty Images
Jennifer Lawrence at The 2022 Gotham Awards held at Cipriani Wall Street on Nov. 28, 2022, in New York City. / Credit: Nina Westervelt/Variety/Getty Images

Franklin Leonard, founder of The Black List, Hollywood's annual survey of the most popular screenplays, called Lawrence's comments "untrue," but also noted a "real bias against women driven action movies."

"It is untrue that no one had ever put a woman in an action movie before Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games," Leonard tweeted. "It is absolutely true that Hollywood had and has a real bias against women driven action movies because of this ridiculous belief about who identifies with whom."

The nearly 45-minute sit-down interview with Davis focused on motherhood, inequities within Hollywood, and their respective film projects. 

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