“I’d like to see you do a comedy,” the actress told the director during a press conference for mother! at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday.
“Knock, knock,” Aronofsky quickly told an eye-rolling Lawrence, before suggesting his latest work is a deadpan comedy. “There’s a lot of laughs in the movie. … The Brits were like, ‘It’s a comedy,'” the helmer said, recalling festival screenings in Venice and Deauville.
Aronofsky’s latest pic stars Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a married couple whose lives start unraveling when an unexpected couple comes into their lives. Mother! is having its North American bow in Toronto after a world premiere in Venice.
Aronofsky, without giving away spoilers, called the movie a “roller-coaster” ride that, like his earlier films, takes audiences to the limit. How far is he willing to push moviegoers with the intense ending for his psychological thriller?
“That line is always a tricky line,” he admitted. The filmmaker recalled debating a Fox Searchlight exec over a scene in Black Swan where the leg of Natalie Portman’s character snaps back.
“When I saw it [the film] with an audience in Toronto, I remember the gasps from the crowd, and the screams and the cries and all the weird reactions — for me that was a great reward,” Aronofsky recalled.
Mother! sees Lawrence play an angelic housewife keen to renovate a home for her husband, played by Bardem, who is also a poet with writer’s block. Both play host to mysterious strangers (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer), a visit that ends with the entire world for Lawrence’s character falling out from under her. Despite that intensity and horror, the actress said she “had a blast” making mother!, especially with Pfeiffer, her on-screen nemesis.
“I love Michelle. It took me two days to get over her beauty, and to go up to her and say hi. She’s very normal. She’s a mother. She’s a very smart woman,” Lawrence recalled. And despite appearing forever spooked and terrified in mother!, Lawrence said she had no problem unwinding at the end of each shooting day.
“I don’t really carry a lot around. Between ‘action’ and ‘cut,’ I like to shake it off and not dwell in a horrible place,” she said.
Paramount will release mother! this Friday.