Darren Aronofsky has spoken out about his shocking new movie mother! (read our review here), and answered critics of the age gap between Jennifer Lawrence and her co-star Javier Bardem.
The movie has caused some controversy thanks to the large age-gap between its two leads, who play a married couple. But speaking to Digital Spy, Aronofsky said that was very much intentional.
"After I did cast Jennifer, I started to think about who could play against her, who could play such a commanding position against her, who could be this older male," he told us.
"I know there's a big critique about Hollywood casting old movie stars with these young ingenues, but this film's about that, as you know, so we address it face-on, it's not really taking advantage of that.
"Originally, Javier's character was called 'Her old man' – it was going to be a guy in a wheelchair, that's how old he was going to be. But that wasn't very sexy, so we had to figure out something else.
"And then the possibility of Javier playing this older father figure was really exciting. The cast started with Jennifer, but after the writing was done."
Aronosfky also told us that mother!, which feels tailor-made for Lawrence's talents, wasn't written for her.
"I actually was not thinking about Jennifer for it. I just never thought she'd be interested in doing something like this," he said.
"Also, I never thought I could get her, she's very busy and in high demand. When I wrote mother! I was trying to capture this spirit and this energy, and create this character that's connected to this home she lives in."
As for what it was like to work with the actress once she signed up for the part, it's safe to say Aronofsky's a fan.
"Jennifer's an autodidact, which means someone who completely teaches themselves. No-one ever taught her how to act," he said.
"Not only is she an incredible emotional actress, she's a technical actor as well – which is very important in filmmaking. You have to know where the lights are and land in the light, and in this film especially she's dancing with the camera the whole time."
"There's just an endless amount of energy and consideration in everything she does. This is a two-hour film, and sixty-six minutes of that is a close up of her face – yet it's not boring. The audience becomes Jen. And I needed someone who could capture the audience."
"There's no score in this movie, and the reason there's no score is Jennifer was giving us all the score we needed. I couldn't help her with music, and I've never had that – every actor can use a little push.
"Most of my movies, except The Wrestler, had wall-to-wall score, but this one we didn't need it – which was a strange situation, and that was because of Jen."
mother! opens on Friday, September 15 in the US and the UK.
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