Darren Aronofsky claims he wasn’t ‘pushing’ Jennifer Lawrence when she hurt herself

'Mother!' Premiere - Arrivals

Jennifer Lawrence has a terrible habit of working with abusive douchebags. That’s not “on” her exactly – a douchebag is gonna douche, regardless of who he’s working with. But Jennifer does seem to form close professional and/or personal relationships with those d-bags, and it had me wondering last year if she just lacks the understanding of just how badly she’s being treated, or just how deep the douchebaggery runs. I just feel like her douche-radar is off. The reason I started to put it together was because of the way J-Law talked about her then-boyfriend Darren Aronofsky, who directed her in ‘mother!’, which came on the heels of several years’ worth of collaborations with abusive monster David O. Russell. This is how Jennifer described working on ‘mother!’ to the September 2017 issue of Vogue:

“I hate talking about acting because it’s so hard to talk about it without sounding like a douche,” Lawrence says in her ever-Lawrence way. But she says there were moments in Mother! that were unlike anything she’d experienced as a performer. “I had to go to a darker place than I’ve ever been in my life. . . . I didn’t know if I’d be able to come out OK.”

One moment during filming got so intense, Lawrence says, that she hyperventilated and dislocated a rib. “I ended up getting on oxygen,” she says. “I have oxygen tubes in my nostrils, and Darren’s like, ‘It was out of focus; we’ve got to do it again.’ And I was just like, ‘Go f–k yourself.’ ”

Wanting to protect Lawrence’s well-being amid that darkness, some of the Mother! crew assembled a “Kardashian tent” for the actress off set—a refuge where she could get away from the work and decompress with her chatty friends from reality TV. “It was a tent that had pictures of the Kardashians and Keeping Up with the Kardashians playing on a loop—and gumballs,” Lawrence says. “My happy place.” (“I wasn’t involved in that,” says Aronofsky. “I was like, ‘What are you talking about, ‘the Kardashians?’ ”)

[From Vogue]

It’s totally possible that Jennifer was exaggerating for effect, because she does love to tell some stories. But at the root of it, it does feel like there was a callous disregard for her by Aronofsky, right? Well, Aronofsky is still talking about it. He did a podcast and he was asked about Jennifer’s injuries (both physical and psychological):

Darren Aronofsky has denied ‘pushing’ Jennifer Lawrence to the point of physical injury in the film Mother!, instead blaming her for ‘losing control and hurting herself’. The 49-year-old director – who famously started dating his 27-year-old muse after filming – gave his first interview directly addressing claims she tore her diaphragm because she was ‘hyperventilating’ too much during horror scenes. Taking aim at the actress, Aronofsky said he preferred not to work with method actors, after witnessing her become so ’emotionally overwhelmed’.

‘I wasn’t pushing Jennifer on that day,’ he clarified to The Economist Radio on the Economist Asks show: ‘I was pulling her back, [encouraging her] to remember that we were just making a movie…’ He continued: ‘I don’t work well with method actors, I work best with actors who basically when you say cut it’s over and the emotion is gone and when I say action they’re able to go deep into it. But part of acting is finding emotions and finding places to go that are extreme because that’s the stories we tell.’

He went on to say: ‘I’ve never had that situation where an actor was so emotionally…um… overwhelmed by the material that they lost control and hurt themselves.’

[From The Daily Mail]

Okay, so the argument is that Darren Aronofsky wasn’t pushing Jennifer and she just hyperventilated all on her own and injured herself because she was so Method and that’s why he hates Method actors. Fair enough – as I said before, it’s totally possible that Jennifer was exaggerating the story. But isn’t this also the abuser’s narrative too? “You did that to yourself, it’s your fault you got hurt, etc.” Isn’t it possible that Aronofsky falls into that Abusive Auteur Pattern?

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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54 Responses to “Darren Aronofsky claims he wasn’t ‘pushing’ Jennifer Lawrence when she hurt herself”

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  1. C-No says:

    “I wasn’t pushing Jennifer ON THAT DAY.” What about all the other days, Darren?

    • Miss M says:

      I was going to copy and paste the exact same thing. An injury can happen after a series of things that you keep pushing your body not necessarily in one day…

    • snappyfish says:

      Interesting that this had to be clarified. Shady AF maybe?

  2. Seth says:

    Darren comes off in this as an abuser. He has a history of it on his other sets. I’m glad Jennifer got away from him before he ruined her more.

    • holly hobby says:

      He has smug written all over that mug of his. He sounds like a horrible person. Glad she got away from him. Same with Rachel Weisz as well. I can’t imagine she stuck around him that long.

      • Seth says:

        Someone needs to warn the 25 year old photographer he’s trying to bang in Germany. She looks like a smart, intelligent woman, I hope she has some good friends to tell her to rethink her decision to be with this asshole.

  3. Darla says:

    I never had the impression that Jlaw is method. I’ve read the opposite in fact. That she is a goofball and will be laughing and joking, and then when the camera goes on, boom, she’s on. Then she’s off.

    That’s the opposite of method.

    • Jussie says:

      She’s not a DDL type method actor who basically lives as the character and can’t do it any other way. She has employed method acting in a few roles though. She’s tried different things for different roles.

    • Nicole says:

      By Jens own admission she is not method at all. If you go back to stories from several sets she sometimes walks in without knowing what scene she’s doing. She is just able to turn it on. That’s not method

      • Darla says:

        So Jlaw did not say that she went full method for this role? Is this person taking me for a ride?

      • Jussie says:

        Being able to turn it on and turn it off doesn’t mean you can’t ever try another way. JLaw has described using method acting for various scenes in Winters Bone, the Hunger Games films and Red Sparrow. It’s not the only way she acts, but it is something she uses when she approaches certain extremely emotional scenes. Mother is pretty much entirely extremely emotional scenes, so it makes sense she’d use it more in that role.

        Method acting is just a way of doing a scene. Stories of actors like DDL and Christian Bale have distorted it’s meaning and made people think it’s basically a lifestyle, but all it is is using your own experiences to inform how you play a scene. It usually involves getting more emotional/worked up in the preparation for the scene and in the moment, and it can be harder to turn that on and off, but remaining in character when not filming is not actually essential. It’s just a choice certain actors make.

      • Nicole says:

        I don’t remember her saying she did. But I’ve largely been of the jen train for a few years. I have more knowledge of her work from Passengers and up.
        This other person could be right about people thinking it’s a lifestyle. I’m just saying most of her interviews she describes the opposite of method except for a few moments. And they are right I remember one scene from Mockingjay and one from WB.
        But from his track record he probably knows people remember Emma Watson and Mila Kunis giving interviews after the fact about how he pushed them to unsafe conditions so…

  4. Jussie says:

    I mean, that’s what she kept saying too. That she went full method for this role, went too far with it, and worked herself into a real state. Nothing she said even slightly suggested Aronofsky suggested that or pushed her to get worked up like that. He’s actually talked about his dislike of method acting before. He loathes the drama of it.

    The worst you can say is that he shouldn’t have asked her to do the scene again right then, but she told him to f$&@ off and did it on her own time, so she obviously didn’t feel she had to do anything just because he asked.

    If this was a story Jared Leto or Christian Bale or DDL or Joaquin Phoenix had told absolutely no one would have brought the director into it. When Leo DiCaprio was going on and on about all the stupid and painful crap he put himself through for The Revenant, no one was concern trolling or suggesting Innaritu made Leo do anything, even though unlike Aronofsky Innaritu loves that kind of thing.

    • Seth says:

      The only thing worse than an Aronofsky stan is a Swifty, so congrats?

    • Jayna says:

      @Jussie, spot on. People need to stop making Jennifer some victim with no agency in her decisions. She’s a grown woman.

    • Sara says:

      Stanley, how can you defend this creep?

    • wowza says:

      @jussie – really great point!

    • otaku fairy says:

      I partially agree with you- especially that last paragraph- but this still says something about Darren Aronofsky. He didn’t cause her to get hurt, but he didn’t show concern when it happened- his focus was on getting a good shot. That’s not normal. If the genders were reversed and this was for a music video instead of a movie, I’d see it the same way. Imagine if a powerful woman in the music industry was dating her back-up dancer or model/actor for her music video, he got badly hurt, and she responded the same way Darren Aronofsky did. Even if they weren’t dating, I’d see that as crappy on her part, but the fact that they were in a relationship makes it seem even more cold. Could you imagine the backlash if someone like Beyoncé, Madonna, Ariana, Mariah, or J.Lo pulled something like that?
      Between this and the experiences of others who have worked with him, he comes across as a jerk, a control-freak, and someone you don’t want to work with.

    • tealily says:

      Yeah, it’s fully possible that she was pushing herself hard on this one because she wanted to impress him. Not saying he’s not a douche, obvs (pretty sure he is), but this isn’t proof of it.

    • M says:

      Natalie Portman has said that Aronofsky tried to create an off-set rivalry between she and Mila Kunis on the set of Black Swan. He may say he dislikes method acting but I’m not sure his actions reflect that. I say this as a huge fan of his films (haven’t seen mother! but I’ve seen everything else).

      I just don’t buy his “we’re just making a movie” quote. He’s always seemed more like a “we are servants of Art!” type of director. A Kubrick style guy in a way.

  5. Abbess Tansy says:

    Maybe she exaggerated the story but his response seems a little blame the victim. He comes across like a real tool.

    • Jussie says:

      How is she a victim though? She decided to play an emotional scene a certain way, got too worked up, and hurt herself. No one did that to her, she did it to herself.

  6. Alissa says:

    I know this is off topic, and probably rude, but I just can’t believe she slept with that man for months.

    • mia girl says:

      Two weeks ago, I would have totally agreed with you.

      But last week when I was at SXSW in Austin, Aronofsky was having lunch a few tables away from me at restaurant and while I can’t speak to personality, I was honestly surprised how physically attractive he is in person. He is a good looking man.

    • mia girl says:

      Oops double post.

  7. Nicole says:

    This coming from a guy who denied people water on another set too. Pit Mila and Natalie against each other because “art”. Nah I don’t buy it sir but nice try

    • Jussie says:

      He didn’t deny anyone water! He banned bottled water from the set for environmental reasons.

      For some reason Emma Watson decided not to simply use a reusable water bottle like everyone else, and when she got thirsty she drank stagnant water that she’d left sitting in a glass in her trailer. How that feat of stupidity is Aronofsky’s problem is beyond me.

      • Beth says:

        Man you love blaming victims to defend ol’ dead teeth, don’t you, Stanley? She got so sick she couldn’t work, told him she couldn’t and he told her to “use it for the scene” instead of getting medical help. Lovely.

      • Nicole says:

        Idk maybe because she may have forgotten one that day? Did he provide water coolers or water bottles on set? I carry a reusable bottle but guess what sometimes I forget mine. At least I know I won’t be dehydrated when that happens because my job provides water and cups for that reason.
        And I see you didn’t try to twist Mila’s Comments so I’ll give you a chance to.
        Stans are so obvious when they try to pretzel their way into a believable defense.

      • Meggles says:

        I highly doubt this director has “stans.”

        I’ve been on a million movie sets. No way there was no water on hand. And she was in her trailer! Meaning she was at unit base, not location. There would have been a million runners et al about she could have asked to bring her water.

    • FishBeard says:

      Are you basing that off Emma Watson’s water bottle comments?

  8. SM says:

    It’s nit the only rumoir about him being abisive on set. And he says it like he wants no method acting and actors be willing to just get into it and then snap out of it on him command and then follows that with note about how theu still need to be qbe to di e into some very emotion stuff. Looks like to me, he is saying that only because the talk about him being abusive is so loud he wants to tone it down a bit again. And did anyone else roll their eyes at his “we are just making a movie”? Please, he is very well known for treating his art as some kind of a revalation into human nature or something. So yep, I just checked and he still is a douchbag in my book.

    • Ada says:

      Yeah agreed. And it seems like he wants the acting equivalent of a Cool Girl. Be wildly talented and perform to your utmost! But god forbid an emotional take affects you after I say cut! It’s only a movie jeez.

  9. Missy says:

    What a gaslighting a-hole.

  10. MerrymerrymonthofMay says:

    So, he wasn’t pushing her but he was PULLING her. Sounds like he’s not telling the whole truth. He still had his hands on her

    • Jussie says:

      Are you under the impression she got hurt because of something he did to her physically?

  11. FishBeard says:

    I thought he came off as okay? I don’t think what either of them described came off as abuse.

    I have no doubt that their relationship messed with Jennifer’s head a little afterwards, but I think that’s because she looks at him as a deity.

  12. Sara says:

    If you read the whole DM article, he goes on about how his first priority is actors safety. Ha!
    Emma Watson is on record saying he wouldn’t allow clean drinking water on the Noah set. She drank contaminated water, got very sick, told him she couldn’t work because she was too sick and he told her to “use it for the scene.”
    Russell Crowe is on record saying he got hypothermia on the set of Noah. Aronofsky is on record saying to a journalist “Poor guy. But i need to get this shot!”
    Mickey Rourke is on record saying he needed breaks between getting thrown around by professional wrestlers and Aronofsky wouldn’t allow it.
    He is on record saying he kept shooting when Jennifer dislocated her rib and couldn’t breathe saying he turned the camera around to her face and filmed her actual pain because he wanted “authenticity.”
    He is on record defending how he treats them saying “they love it!”
    He is a typical abuser. He lies about his behavior and then pins the blame on others.

    • Nicole says:

      Yep classic abuser masquerading his BS as art.

    • holly hobby says:

      Thank you for this! I still can’t believe this moron has financial backing for any movie (not to mention insurance companies willing to underwrite him).

    • minime says:

      you lost me at the “he wouldn’t allow clean drinking water”, that people really like to propagate here.
      He didn’t allow bottled water due to environmental reasons (isn’t that actually a nice thing??). It’s also pretty disappointing that Emma Watson can’t cope with an environmentally-conscious option.

      For all the rest that I didn’t read due to the stupidity of the “clean water” argument…you might as well be right and he’s just a horrible person.

      • Sara says:

        The point is she got too sick to work and he told her to “use it for the scene” instead of seeking medical help. So yes he is a horrible person. And as for stupidity, he didn’t allow plastic bottles of water. Plastic. Is. Recyclable.

    • lucy2 says:

      My guess is the truth is somewhere in the middle, but he definitely has a history of disregarding the well being of his cast and crew.

  13. Sam says:

    I listened to that Economist Radio interview and Aronofsky doesn’t actually say what DM claims he says. He said all the words yes, but they conveniently cut parts off and twisted it around to make it sound like he’s giving shade to JLaw. He didn’t call her method but was talking about method actors more broadly.

  14. Happy21 says:

    He seems like a complete asshole.
    However, I want to know how she could possibly have had sex with this man. He is so repulsive.

  15. Sarah B says:

    Dislocated ribs suuuuuuuuuuck. I had a few after a bought of bronchitis and tearing the ligaments that hold in the ribs (basically stretching the sockets where the ribs sit in). At first, I thought I was having a heart attack. Took months of chiropractic visits to finally have them set back in place in a somewhat permanent fashion. I hope that she’s recovered.

  16. Sam says:

    He looks like a budget Tom Hardy.

  17. Sam says:

    He looks like a budget Tom Hardy.

  18. TrixC says:

    I have no acting experience, but even if you’re not “method”, if you’re playing a highly emotional scene it’s going to be difficult just to switch it off immediately once you’re finished, no? I find it difficult to believe as a director trying to elicit a highly emotional performance he’d be standing there saying “remember it’s just a movie”.

  19. WendyNerd says:

    Funny, according to Bradley Cooper, who has worked with her on multiple films, she’s not method at all. Apparently between takes on THEIR movies she’s back to the fart jokes. So, yeah, I am not buying Aronofsky’s BS.

  20. misty says:

    Oh please, “she was so emotional that she hurt herself.” Men have been calling women hysterical since ancient Greece. If Jlaw were a man everyone would be commending her, like when they were all fawning over Leo in the revenant.

    And if anyone is an over the top method actor it’s people like Jared Leto, who harass their co-stars to “get into character.”

  21. SJhere says:

    I need to say that the comment “A douchebag is gonna douche” made me snort laugh.
    And, also I completely dislike this Dude just from these stories and comments about how he runs his sets.
    Safety in the workplace is an employees right. No film is worth people being injured.
    And, don’t flatter yourself, Buddy. Scorcese you ain’t.

  22. serena says:

    First of all, as a director, wheter she did it by herself, he’s responsible for her so in the end it’s still his fault. Also, way to go throwing her under the bus.
    I don’t like her but he’s just gross. Good thing she’s not with him anymore.