Jennifer Lawrence Talks About the R-Rated Comedy “No Hard Feelings,” Which Was Made with The Oscar Winner in Mind!
Jennifer Lawrence has wanted to make a big comedy for years. She has always been funny and energetic when she has been on TV. And while she has brought humor and physical comedy to many of her parts for David O. Russell and others, she hasn’t gotten the big, broad “Dumb and Dumber” or “Anchorman” experience, to name some of her favorites (or at least the ones she remembers).
This changes on Friday when “No Hard Feelings,” a classic, raunchy R-rated comedy that was made for the Oscar winner, comes out.
“I have always wanted to do a comedy. “I’ve read a lot of them,” Lawrence told The Associated Press during an interview about the highly anticipated summer movie season. “I didn’t read anything that was funny enough.”
The song “No Hard Feelings” was based on a real Craigslist ad by parents looking for a woman to “date” their shy son the summer before he went to college. There are different opinions about how real the “real ad” was, but the idea of the woman who might answer an ad like that was funny enough to get the attention of several directors and the writer-director Gene Stupnitsky.
Stupnitsky, who worked on “The Office” and was nominated for an Emmy and also directed and co-wrote the 2019 hit “Good Boys,” knew exactly who to talk to. He told Lawrence about the idea one night at dinner with friends after he thought they had all had about “eight or nine martinis.”
They met more than ten years ago through a common friend at Medieval Times, of all places. Lawrence, he remembered, was wearing a full wizard outfit. And they soon became real friends. He even introduced Lawrence’s wife to her husband.
Lawrence said, “I owed him one.” “That’s why I made this film.”
Stupnitsky, who was sitting next to Lawrence, added, “There’s probably some truth to that.”
With Lawrence connected as a star and producer, the movie became a hot commodity, and streaming services and studios competed for the rights to make it. In the end, they went with Sony and a standard theatrical release.
“I wrote this movie for her because I knew she was funny and I wanted everyone else to know it. I mean, people know she’s funny, but they wanted her to be in a comedy. I thought, “Yep, I know how to do this.” I know how to write in her voice,” Stupnitsky said. “I remember telling her, ‘I really want you to feel like you’re sitting in a theater with hundreds of people laughing.'” She has done a lot of things in film, but she hasn’t done this one.”
In “No Hard Feelings,” Lawrence’s character Maddie is having a rough time with money. As an Uber driver without a car, she’s in a tough situation. So when she finds an ad offering a Buick Regal as payment, she takes the bait. In a clip that Sony showed theater owners at the CinemaCon gathering last week, Maddie meets 19-year-old Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman) for the first time wearing a tight, hot pink mini dress and high heels and acting very flirty and available.
“She is dressed like what she thinks a 19-year-old’s sex dream would be. And she is wrong,” Stupnitsky said. “He’s like the one kid she can’t charm.”
The situation gets worse as she tries to give him a ride home. He thinks he’s being kidnapped, and as anyone who has seen the red-band video knows, it ends with her getting pepper sprayed. But the movie has a sweet center, too.
“He wants a connection, which is what she needs as well but doesn’t know it yet,” Stupnitsky said. “She wants to get the car so she can get on with her life. But he’s making her take things slow and get to know him and be close to him in a friendly way.
Lawrence said that the experience was a blast, which was helped by the fact that she got along with her younger co-star.
“We just laughed all day,” she said. “Sometimes, when I went to bed after work, I would just kind of laugh before going to sleep, just thinking about the day. I was also sad about making it because I thought, “God, I’m just not going to have one of these again. This is so unique.'”
As a producer on the film, Lawrence has already seen it with an audience and heard that big, shared laughter that Stupnitsky promised.
“I went to a test screening, and I sat in the back,” she said. “It was pretty strange.”
She knows that every movie is a chance, but she’s pretty sure about “No Hard Feelings.”
“You really just never know. You might think viewers want this, but they don’t. “I’ve had my share of experiences with that,” she said. “It’s a mix of instinct and looking at the knowledge you have. I was sure that what we had was the funniest movie anyone had ever seen, and I knew that Gene was the one who could do it.”
It’s also Lawrence’s first big movie to come out in theaters in a few years, since “Dark Phoenix” in 2019. “Don’t Look Up” on Netflix and “Causeway” on Apple, which she also created, are two of her most recent movies.
“I think people are really going to remember why they love her,” Stupnitsky said.
Lawrence laughed and said, “I look better when I’m 12 feet tall.”