'When I was much younger and starting out, I was told by producers of a film to lose 15 pounds in two weeks'
From the Editors of People
Words by Aili Nahas and Alexia Fernandez
Jennifer Lawrence opened up about the ‘humiliating’ and ‘degrading’ experience she had in the early days of her career.
The 27-year-old spoke Monday night about her experience as a woman in the movie industry at Elle‘s Women in Hollywood event.
The mother! actress, who was one of eight honorees at the L.A. event, explained that she was asked by producers to slim down drastically for one of her first roles.
‘When I was much younger and starting out, I was told by producers of a film to lose 15 pounds in two weeks,’ she said, revealing another actress before her had already been fired for not losing the weight fast enough.
But it did not end there, she said.
‘During this time a female producer had me do a nude line-up with about five women who were much, much, thinner than me. We are stood side-by-side with only tape on covering our privates,’ she added.
‘After that degrading and humiliating line-up, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.’
Lawrence said she tried to stand up for herself and told another producer she thought the weight loss demands were not appropriate.
‘He said he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was ‘perfectly f***able.”‘
The actress said she felt ‘trapped’ by the experience. ‘I let myself be treated a certain way because I felt I had to for my career,’ she shared.
‘I’m still learning that I don’t have to smile when a man makes me uncomfortable,’ she added. ‘Every human being should have the power to be treated with respect because they’re human.’
The Oscar winner also said that despite the sadness that comes with sexual harassment or assault, she believes the experiences of all women have been ‘oddly unifying.’
Lawrence told PEOPLE in a statement that she was ‘deeply disturbed’ to hear of the sexual harassment and assault allegations made against Harvey Weinstein.
‘I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour,’ she said. ‘I worked with Harvey five years ago and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations. This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting.’
She continued: ‘My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward.’
Her comments come after dozens of women came forward in recent weeks to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct — including Cara Delevingne, Ashley Judd, and Angelina Jolie. Eight women spoke out against Weinstein in a bombshell New York Times report accusing the movie mogul of inappropriate behaviour. The paper also reported that Weinstein reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan.
Following the initial report, Weinstein said in a statement that he was working with therapists and planned to ‘deal with this issue head-on.’ He has since been fired from his powerhouse studio, The Weinstein Company, and his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, has announced she’s leaving him.
In addition, the The New Yorker revealed — among 13 different women’s accounts of alleged sexual harassment, assault or rape.
In response to the lengthy allegations made against Weinstein in the New Yorker piece, a spokesperson for Weinstein said, ‘Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.’