PAINT THE TOWN RED: Jennifer Lawrence
Text by Kee |
Tulle playsuit with mirror embroidery, antique silverfinished metal J’adior earrings with multicoloured crystals, and antique gold-finished metal rings (Christian Dior)
Crystal embroidered long dress, mirror calfskin leather heels, antique silver-finished metal earrings with multicoloured crystals (Christian Dior)
Tulle long dress, stretch viscose lingerie knit, antique goldfinished metal D-Murrine ring with multicoloured Murano glass pearls (Christian Dior)
Tulle playsuit with mirror embroidery, mirror calfskin leather boots, antique goldfinished metal with D-Murrine ring with multicoloured Murano glass pearls (Christian Dior)
Rhinestone embroidered dress, grosgrain ribbon J’adior choker with antique silver-finished metal charm, and antique gold-finished metal J’adior ring (Christian Dior)
Tulle embroidered top, stretch viscose knit bodysuit, and cotton veil cap (Christian Dior)

This 27-year-old Oscar winner is either your imaginary bestie or your free pass. We don’t blame you. Now, she’s taking on her most seductive role yet – that of a seductive secret agent in the spy thriller Red Sparrow.

MANIFESTO: What is Red Sparrow about?

JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Red Sparrow is about Dominika Egorova, a dancer in the Bolshoi Ballet who was drafted against her will to become a “sparrow,” a trained seductress in the Russian security service. Dominika learns to use her body as a weapon, but struggles to maintain her sense of self during the dehumanising training process. Finding her power in an unfair system, she emerges as one of the program’s strongest assets. Her first target is Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), a CIA officer who handles the agency’s most sensitive infiltration of Russian intelligence. The two young operatives fall into a spiral of attraction and deception, which threatens their careers, allegiances, and the security of both countries.

M: What drew you to this project?

JL: I first heard about Red Sparrow on the press tour of the last Hunger Games movie. It was a book that (director) Francis [Lawrence] had been reading, and he thought it would be an interesting movie. Then, when I finally had the opportunity to read the script, it was an easy yes. It’s a smart, sexy, and intense thriller about a secret programme that trains young agents in the psychological art of seduction.

M: How did you prepare to play this role? Was it physically demanding to train to play a ballerina who becomes a spy?

JL: There was a lot of physical preparation that went into this film for me. For the ballet scenes, I did a lot of training for three months every day, four hours, just really, really intense ballet training. It taught me posture and transformed my body. I also learnt a lot about the discipline of the art. And the level of discipline so many years of their lives it comes to play in everything that they do. The way they carry themselves, the way they handle themselves, and the way they work. So it was something that was constantly on my mind, even after we had wrapped all of the dancing sequences. I also worked closely with a dialect coach, with Tim Monich, who’s a genius and helped me craft the Russian accent.

M: In what ways can women relate to your character?

JL: I think that all women can relate to having – being treated differently than men our whole lives. We’ve always had to find different ways and angles of getting what we want and becoming successful professionally.

M: What was it like working with Francis Lawrence again after you guys made The Hunger Games movies together?

JL: I love working with Francis and think he is an incredibly giving and collaborative director. After working on three films previously, we have a short hand. I don’t know if I would have taken this film had he not been on board to direct it. He has amazing taste, and I know the pressure is off me personally when he’s directing the movie, because there is a trust and he’s truly a visionary.

M: What do you think audiences can expect from this film when they see it?

JL: I mean you can definitely expect to be taken on a dark adventure where you do not know what is about to happen next. There are so many twists and turns. It’s a really smart thriller, and exciting.

M: Tell us more about the recent shootings.

JL: It was amazing as always. I love working with different photographers and seeing their interpretation of the clothes. Working on location at Paramount is always fun because, weirdly, I have never shot a movie at a studio in Los Angeles but have done a couple photoshoots there, and it always feels like you’re creating something very cinematic. Norman [Jean Roy] is an amazing photographer and a lovely person. He shoots quickly and confidently, and I had fun creating scenarios with him for the story.

M: You’re also known, of course, for your association with Christian Dior. How does it feel to be the face of such a storied house?

JL: Being the face of Dior is a tremendous honour, and to be able to be a part of a house with a rich history is something I don’t take for granted.

M: Maria Grazia Chiuri (Christian Dior’s womenswear creative director) opened her last spring-summer ready-to-wear shows with a statement T-shirt. Her contribution to female empowerment in fashion and encouragement of women of future generations were highly acclaimed by press and women all over the world. What do you think about her vision?

JL: She’s an inspiration to us all. Beyond designing beautiful clothes by a woman for a woman, she is redefining glamour.

M: According to you, what does it mean to be a feminist today? Would you consider yourself as a feminist?

JL: Yes, being a feminist literally means equality of the sexes.

M: What’s your favourite piece of Dior that you own?

JL: I really love all the bags and shoes from the last collection. I think I might have every bag and pair of shoes that they made. I also really love a black leather jacket with the moon tarot sign on the back of it.

M: What’s your signature look: private life versus red carpet? Did your personal fashion style evolve since you started working with a fashion house?

JL: My personal life style is pretty casual, and my red carpet style has definitely evolved as I have gotten older, and inevitably that probably has to do with Dior and having the opportunity to be dressed in the best clothes.

M: At least one major movie once a year: between filming, touring, there is not a lot of free time left. How do you spend it?

JL: I have been on a real work break for a couple months now, and it has been nice. Obviously, I spent much of the fall promoting Mother!, and now we’re on to Red Sparrow, but I am taking my time to choose the next film I want to do. I’ve been reading a lot and meeting directors that I want to collaborate with. And I’ve been able to spend time with friends and just take it easy which, surprisingly, has been nice.


Photography: Norman Jean Roy
Styling: Jill Lincoln & Jordan Johnson
Hair: Jenny Cho
Make-up: Jilian Dempsey, using Dior Makeup


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