Katniss Everdeen Inspired Jennifer Lawrence To Speak Out About The Wage Gap

11.04.15 3 years ago 10 Comments
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Lionsgate

You probably recall that, a few weeks ago, your best friend Jennifer Lawrence wrote a funny, insightful essay raging against the wage gap in Lena Dunham’s newsletter. “When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early,” wrote Lawrence. “But this is an element of my personality that I’ve been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way? Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn’t ‘offend’ or ‘scare’ men?”

Lawrence began her piece by admitting she’d been reluctant to speak out on the issue before because, as she put it, “When it comes to the subject of feminism, I’ve remained ever-so-slightly quiet. I don’t like joining conversations that feel like they’re ‘trending.’ ” So, what inspired Lawrence to finally add her massively influential voice to the feminist conversation? Turns out the impetus was none other than The Hunger Games‘ Katniss Everdeen herself.

At a news conference earlier this week, Reuters reports, Lawrence was asked whether playing Katniss in the franchise’s four films had affected her decision to take a calculated swipe at the patriarchy. “I don’t see how I couldn’t be inspired by this character,” Lawrence replied. “I mean, I was so inspired by her when I read the books. It’s the reason I wanted to play her. So, I think it would be impossible to go four years with this character and not be inspired by her.”

Lawrence made another apropos comment — perhaps unintentionally — when she was asked what had been the hardest part of playing Katniss. “I wanted her to be a warrior right away,” she said of Katniss’ initial reluctance to push back against the Capitol. “I wanted her to want to be a leader. I had to keep my own personal emotions about her situation out of my performance.”

It seems likely that acting out Katniss’ transition from quiet observer to outspoken leader encouraged similar growth for Lawrence herself. Both women took their time mustering up the will to fight injustice, then came out with fishtail braids swinging.

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