A little while ago when Lawrence and I talk about Do not seek it strikes me deeply. I mention the fact that his name appears first in the opening credits, hanging on the screen half a second before being joined by that of Leonardo DiCaprio. She gets a smirk on her face, before saying, “I was number one on the call sheet, so….” It’s a satisfying laugh. Then my own lees of social conditioning, that nauseating impulse as a woman tiptoeing around issues of influence, prompts me to ask, “Are you okay with that?” “
“With being number one on the call sheet?” Yes. And i thought [the credits] should reflect this. Leo was very kind about it. I think we had something called Laverne & Shirley, which is this billing that they invented where it’s equal billing. But I guess maybe somewhere on the line I kicked deeper into the rock, like, “What if it doesn’t equal?” “”
There is something inspiring about a professional woman who owns her worth. She cites the example of Scarlett Johansson going after Disney for money from Black Widow. “I thought it was extremely brave,” she says. “If two parties understand how a movie is going to come out, and then it turns out that one party doesn’t agree, that’s unfair. It also crowns! She was in labor.
Polsky tells me that Lawrence’s self-deprecation and humor are “her friend’s saving grace and superpower.” In a social context, so as not to feed the “She’s just an ordinary girl” trope, her self-mockery instantly puts others at ease. In a professional context, this leads to an underestimation of his aptitude. Male executives don’t expect an actress and a walking GIF to be able to probe every point of the case on the table until they’re sweaty. The bitch is clever.
It wasn’t until our first interview that I learned that Lawrence was paid $ 25 million for the film, compared to $ 30 million for DiCaprio. In other words, she was making 83 cents on the dollar. These numbers surprisingly match data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which showed that the annual earnings of women working full-time in 2020 were 82.3% of that of men. This gap is tragically bigger for women of color in Hollywood and beyond.
When I speak to Lawrence next, I point out the bitter irony of her doing less than the man below her on the call sheet. “Yes, I saw that too,” she said, choosing her words carefully. “Look, Leo is making more box office than I am. I’m extremely lucky and happy with my deal. But in other situations, what I’ve seen — and I’m sure other women in the market place. work has seen it too — it’s extremely uncomfortable to inquire about equal pay. And if you question something that seems unequal, you’re told it’s not a disparity. between genders, but they can’t tell you what it is exactly.
Some things that have been the joy of Lawrence lately: fall in New York. The city is opening up again. “Being able to take Ubers back without feeling like you’re going to infect your family and die.” The pumpkin bread she made yesterday and took out of the oven in time to keep the center sticky. Sports and farm animal videos on TikTok. (A few days after our interview, she will text me a video of a golden retriever puppy frolicking with her friend the horse, writing: “I mean …”) Jennifer Coolidge’s performance in White lotus: “Talk about someone who knew about this fucking mission.” Bravo’s real housewives. Of a Potomac star, she asks: “What do you think of Candiace’s husband as manager?” Ugh, that’s not a healthy dynamic. The door behind her vibrates, making her laugh. “What if Cooke just walked in here like, ‘I want to be your manager!”
Lawrence could write a thesis on the haunting toxicity of Salt Lake City housewife Jen Shah. “She has the most serious case of personality disorder that I have ever seen in my life,” she says. “You know those people who never take any responsibility – where you almost feel jealous?” Total absence of responsibility, absence of shame. I’m almost like, how dare you I stay in bed, worrying about accidentally hurting someone’s feelings, worrying about everything. That’s probably why it burns my cookie so much.
Lawrence had been so worried before this interview. She felt uncomfortable not wanting to talk more about her baby. And her husband. And the sweet future they hope to build together in private. “I had this whole fantasy of doing the whole interview unofficially.” At the start of our conversation, I told her that she looked like she had a gun to her head. “Oh, my God, I’m so sorry,” she said. “It’s not your fault.”
There is a scene in Do not seek where DiCaprio’s panicked scientist begs a casual reporter to take seriously the need for real engagement with each other. “We don’t always have to be smart, charming or nice! ” he says. “Sometimes we need to be able to say things to each other and have an honest conversation.”
So here’s what I say to Lawrence: she’s entitled to her limits. May they serve her and her family well. By leaving her baby out of our conversation, she has already started mothering her child.