Lawrence also got some Twitter backlash for saying before “Hunger Games” “nobody had ever put a woman in the lead of an action movie”
Jennifer Lawrence and Viola Davis are opening up about the ups and downs of motherhood.
In a 45-minute conversation for Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series, “The Causeway” star and “The Woman King” actress bonded over their experiences as mothers, including the times in which they nearly accidentally “killed” their kids.
Lawrence, 32, and her husband Cooke Maroney welcomed a child together in February 2022, after tying the knot back in 2019, with the actress later revealing the couple had a baby boy, whom they named Cy. Davis, 49, and her husband Julius Tennon share 12-year-old daughter Genesis.
YouTube / Variety
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At one point during the conversation between the Oscar winners, Davis brought up being a mom while noting how “everybody is perpetrating a fraud.”
“Listen, everything that we do as actors helps people feel less alone,” she told Lawrence. “We’re living in a world now where we’re so disconnected from ourselves that we can’t connect with other people. And that’s because everybody is perpetrating a fraud. I mean, everybody!”
“I became a mom. Every mom I’ve run into, all of their kids are gifted. None of their kids have any issues. All of their kids come home with straight A’s. And I’m like, ‘Well, hell — really?'” Davis said, adding that “nobody is coming to the table with their truth” and “nobody wants to reveal their s—.”
In response, Lawrence referenced how her personal life influenced her performance in her latest film “Causeway.”
“I made the movie right before I got married. And then we had the pandemic,” she recalled. “Two years later, I’m pregnant, we go back, and we make the rest of it. … It was the scariest thing in the entire world to think about making a family. What if I f— up? What if I can’t do it? And I was so scared that I would f— it up. And it was so interesting to make a movie where I’m feeling so scared and feeling this … mirrored in [her character] Lynsey.”
After discussing her marriage to her “wonderful” husband, “The Hunger Games” star went on to open up about her anxieties as a mother. “Every day of being a mom, I feel awful. I feel guilty. I’m playing with him and I’m like, ‘Is this what he wants to be doing? Should we be outside? We’re outside. What if he’s cold? What if he’s going to get sick? Should we be inside? Is this enough? Is this developing your brain enough?'”
Davis then shared a story of a time when she felt scared as a mother.
“I locked my kid in the car, and it was sweltering hot outside. I was overwhelmed,” she recalled. “I had 50 million things on my plate. My daughter was in the back. She’s happy, all that. I’m just so stressed out going to Target. I love Target. … I walk out of the car, shut the door, and realize I don’t have my keys.”
“I threw myself on the concrete, Jennifer,” she continued. “I screamed. You would think I was in a Greek tragedy. ‘My baby! Jesus!’ And then I saw these two men. I grabbed their necks and said, ‘My baby is in the car! My baby!’ And then what do I have in my hand? My phone. So the two men whose necks I have in my hand, they said, ‘Ma’am, you just have to call 911.’ And I said, ‘Oh, OK.’ So I called 911, and I proceeded to scream at the operator. Every expletive you can imagine came out of my mouth.
“They took her out of the car. And the reason why I’m telling you this story is it literally was seconds,” Davis adding, noting that although it was only “seconds” she was “traumatized.”
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The “Widows” star said she went on to do her shopping at Target, but was still shaken up from the incident. Davis then called her friend and fellow mom. “I said, ‘Michelle, is this what being a mom is?’ She said, ‘Viola, I’m sorry, but yeah. It is.'”
The actress noted with a laugh that she’s “run into so many women who [have locked] their kids in the car.”
And Lawrence admitted that she, too, had a similar experience with her son.
“I drove around with mine, didn’t realize [he] wasn’t buckled into the car seat. He was just teetering around, just flying,” she recalled with a laugh. “OK, great! Good to know that we all almost kill our kids.”
“I love my daughter more than anything,” Davis added in reply. “She’s my life. So there you go.”
Meanwhile, also during the conversation, the two stars discussed being female action heroes.
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After praising Davis’ role in “The Woman King,” Lawrence said, “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 — [because] we were told girls and boys can both identify with a male lead, but boys cannot identify with a female lead.”
“And it just makes me so happy every single time I see a movie come out that just blows through every one of those beliefs, and proves that it is just a lie to keep certain people out of the movies. To keep certain people in the same positions that they’ve always been in.
However, Lawrence received some backlash on Twitter over the particular comment in which she said that before she starred in “The Hunger Games” “nobody had ever put a woman in the lead of an action movie because it wouldn’t work.”
Her comment became a trending topic as many pointed out how actresses such as Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton were the lead stars in the action franchises “Alien” and “Terminator,” respectively.
Watch the full video — above — to see more from Lawrence and Davis’ conversation.