Jennifer Lawrence needed a moment to process the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal, because she thought she knew the movie mogul.
The actress first met Harvey when she was 20 and admits that although he could be tough, she never thought he was a predator.
In a new interview with Oprah Winfrey for The Hollywood Reporter, The Hunger Games star says, “We’ve all worked with him, but everybody needed a moment…
“He had only ever been nice to me, except for the moments that he wasn’t, and then I called him an a**hole, and we moved on. He was paternal to me. So I needed a moment to process everything, because I thought I knew this guy, and then he’s being accused of rape.”
“We all knew he was a dog,” she adds. “We knew that he was a… tough guy, a brute, a tough guy to negotiate with. I didn’t know that he was a rapist.”
“Being able to hear when the woman wore the microphone and Harvey was telling her to watch him shower, I felt sick in my bones for an entire day,” she adds. “I was just sick… He didn’t lay a finger on her, and I felt chilled to my bones. Imagine having a man who is that powerful telling you to do something (and) you’re saying no. (He’s) threatening you, saying, ‘Don’t embarrass me…'”
Jennifer insists the whole movie industry has been hit hard by Hollywood’s sexual harassment and assault scandal, which reared up after a New York Times expose on Weinstein’s bad behavior was published in early October (17).
Brett Ratner, director James Toback, and actors Kevin Spacey, Jeffrey Tambor, Robert Knepper, and Jeremy Piven have also been hit with misconduct allegations.
“It’s so widespread, the abuse, from so many different people,” Jennifer continues. “It’s directors, it’s producers… I think everybody needed to (process it). Everybody needs to deal with this in their own way; everybody needs to heal.”
The Weinstein story and the allegations that followed brought back bad memories for Lawrence, who felt humiliated during the audition process of one unnamed movie, when the female producer asked her to strip for a nude line-up “with about five women who were much, much thinner than me”.
“I was abused by a woman on a movie,” she tells Oprah. “There was a general consensus on (that) movie that I was fat, and so it wasn’t just the woman. Everybody agreed that I was fat. And she had to be the mouthpiece…
“On that movie, I called my agent, and I called everybody. It’s like, there’s not really anything anybody can do because the behavior is so normalized. And then you become more powerful, and people start f**king with you less. People at the beginning of their careers don’t want to rock the boat because if you rock the boat, you’ll be called difficult.”
Like many leading ladies in Hollywood, Jennifer is hoping the sexual misconduct allegations, sparked by the Weinstein drama, will change the movie industry for the better.
“I don’t know a woman who hasn’t been touched by some sort of abuse,” she explains. “I’m sad by the women’s stories, but I’m excited by the change that’s going to come from it. The rule book is being rewritten right now. People are terrified…
“I’ve talked to women. We’ve talked about forming a commission… If every A-list actor decides to join this commission, we know everybody in the industry. I know every studio head in town. If I’m on this commission, and (if) I get an email about somebody being treated badly on a set, I can send an email. We have to all put our heads together and figure out how to not let this moment go.”