September 22, 2023


Oscar-winning actress and Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence has said she will not work on stage, blaming her voice and nerves.

“I truly think it would be terrible,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.

“I’m not in touch with my voice,” she said. “I’m scared, I have horrible stage fright. So I might not even be able to use my voice.”

Lawrence won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2013 for romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook.

She was also nominated as best actress for Winter’s Bone in 2011, American Hustle in 2014 and Joy in 2015.

Lawrence likened performing in the theatre, night after night, to “doing take 10,000” of a film.

“The more I rehearse something, the more I get upset. I would be like, ‘Oh let’s just try something new’,” she said.

Hollywood stars are not always guaranteed success on stage.

Oscar nominee Amy Adams made her West End debut earlier this year to mixed reviews, with one critic calling her performance “solid but unremarkable”.

But Lawrence’s Silver Linings Playbook co-star Bradley Cooper won rave reviews for his portrayal of Joseph Merrick in The Elephant Man on the London stage in 2015. The play had already won critical acclaim on Broadway in New York.

Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley were both praised for their starring roles in Cabaret last year, with several critics awarding the show five stars.

But Lindsay Lohan got mixed reviews for her stage debut in the West End for Speed-the-Plow in 2014 – she also forgot her lines once during the second act, and had to be helped by a prompt. Nicole Kidman was called “luminous” and “compelling” in her return to the London stage in the play Photograph 51, a year later.

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Lawrence’s latest film Causeway is directed by Lila Neugebauer. The theatre director told Front Row that Lawrence is “a woman of great clarity about her own desires, instincts and objectives so I’ve expressed my respect for her position, though I disagree”.

It is the first film made by Lawrence’s production company, which she says gave her the freedom to be “more personal” in her choice of work.

“In my 20s I was in a lot of franchises”, such as The Hunger Games, she said. “There was a lot of people in the room deciding what [her character] Katniss does next.

“I feel like becoming less of a commodity has actually given me a lot more freedom to make what I want to make, with the people I want to make it.

“Now I feel less confused and I feel a lot more in control.”

If Neugebauer directed a play, she said, “it would be the closest I’ve ever come to considering it”.

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