Joel Edgerton defends Jennifer Lawrence and controversial 'Red Sparrow' photocall (exclusive)

Hanna Flint
(R-L) Jeremy Irons, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Lawrence, Matthias Schoenaerts and director Francis Lawrence appear at a controversial Red Sparrow photo call (AP)

On Tuesday afternoon the cast of Red Sparrow got together for a photo shoot on the roof of a London hotel, and it sparked a gender equality debate on Twitter.

That’s because it was a very cold day and Jennifer Lawrence was wearing just a revealing black evening gown, while her male director and co-stars were all covered up in several layers of warm clothing.

Some people felt that these photos were a sign of the continuing gender inequality in Hollywood where women are held to a different aesthetic standard as men. Joel Edgerton, one of the men pictured with Jennifer in the Red Sparrow photocall in question, says it was a “lose-lose situation.”

“It was a really weird situation because if it was real life I would give you my jacket but right now I feel like I would just be upsetting some designer somewhere,” the actor told Yahoo Movies UK. “They gave her a dress to wear, a dress they wouldn’t want covered in a coat.

Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Lawrence attend a Red Sparrow photocall at the Corinthia Hotel, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images):

“I did see [the Twitter backlash], it was pretty funny but look, I don’t know if it’s double standards. It’s weird because on the one hand if you criticise her for looking that way than you are also criticising the whole volume of…the whole history of the way women are expected to look. It’s sort of a lose-lose situation.”

“Yesterday, on the balcony, seemed like a lose-lose situation because if Jennifer wore jeans and a coat I’m sure somebody else would have criticised her,” Joel continued. “At some point it seemed like the weather was blamed because it was the optics, plus the weather, plus the four of us in our outfits; the sum total of all of it was like a f**king international incident!

“It seems like everywhere Jennifer goes she’s part of some international incident.”

The actor then went on to discuss her appearance at the BAFTAs where she was criticised by some viewers for seemingly being “rude” to host Joanna Lumley. Many others did not agree or think the actress was at fault and the next day she even clarified that the whole thing was an ‘inside joke‘.

“I mean I heard about what happened at the BAFTAs, can’t they leave the girl alone?” Edgerton asked.

“Here’s the thing about Jennifer, one of the things about her that has put her where she is is that she has zero filter and in a great way, as an actor, having no filter gives the camera access to you in a way that reads you. She also happens to have no filter when it comes to talking to friends, talking to, I’m sure, her partners or journalists.”

The actor – who plays CIA agent Nate Nash opposite Lawrence’s Russian operative Dominika Egorova in the espionage thriller – also called out media outlets for stirring up controversy surrounding his co-star.

“I also understand the complete hypocrisy that anybody that wants to write these controversial stories about her is really trying to wave the flag and draw attention to their own magazine, their own blog, because controversy sells and that’s journalism now,” Joel said.

“So anything that Jen does that sort of rocks the boat or causes controversy is obviously candy to the idiots that run those websites. They should be thanking her for her saying whatever she wants. ”

Edgerton plays CIA agent Nate Nash opposite Lawrence’s Russian operative Dominika Egorova in espionage thriller (Fox)

The actor also criticised certain websites for writing unfavourable articles about celebrities’ fashion and style as well as the culture of body-shaming.

“Anyone who goes on [gossip websites] and criticises anything she does, I challenge them to go and look at the history of those websites and see just how pure they are in their treatment towards women” Edgerton said.

“The body-shaming and outfit-shaming that goes on in the perishable internet media is really disappointing.”

Red Sparrow is out in cinemas March 1

Jennifer Lawrence asked Joanna Lumley to ‘punch’ her after BAFTAs joke
Jennifer Lawrence responds to BAFTAs backlash
BAFTAs 2018: Biggest snubs and surprises