Jennifer Lawrence Opens Up About Her Nude Photo Hack: "I Felt Like An Impostor"

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Back in 2014, a handful of celebrities had their nude photos on their iClouds hacked and mass distributed to the public. Jennifer Lawrence was one of them. In a recent segment of The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast, Jennifer Lawrence opens up about her nude photo hack and how it was a traumatic event she needed to take time to heal from (and she's still working on that healing). The photos that were leaked to the public were originally intended, according to a comment Lawrence made in the podcast, for her then boyfriend, actor Nicholas Hoult. (Lawrence and Hoult broke up for good in 2014 after dating on-and-off for a couple of years.) Lawrence said the nude photo leak felt like she was "gang-banged by the f*cking planet." She said,

When the hacking thing happened, it was so unbelievably violating that you can’t even put it into words. I think that I'm still actually processing it. When I first found out it was happening, my security reached out to me. It was happening minute-to-minute — it was almost like a ransom situation where they were releasing new ones every hour or so. And, I don't know, I feel like I got gang-banged by the f*cking planet — like, there's not one person in the world that is not capable of seeing these intimate photos of me. You can just be at a barbecue and somebody can just pull them up on their phone. That was a really impossible thing to process.

She revealed there were a lot of women also affected by the hack who contacted her asking if she was interested in pursuing legal action toward the alleged hackers, but Lawrence says she wasn't interested in that because she felt it was pointless. The photos were out, the damage was done, she just wanted to heal and move on. She said,

A lot of women were affected, and a lot of them reached out to me about suing Apple or suing [others] — and none of that was gonna really bring me peace, none of that was gonna bring my nude body back to me and Nick [Lawrence's former boyfriend Nicholas Hoult], the person that they were intended for. It wasn't gonna bring any of that back. So I wasn't interested in suing everybody; I was just interested in healing.

Naturally, the hack shook her confidence. She said that violation stuck with her for a while after it happened, and it made her feel like an "impostor" in the eyes of the young girls who looked up to her as a role model. She said,

I think, like, a year and a half ago, somebody said something to me about how I was 'a good role model for girls,' and I had to go into the bathroom and sob because I felt like an impostor — I felt like, 'I can’t believe somebody still feels that way after what happened.' It’s so many different things to process when you’ve been violated like that.
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Lawrence also talked about her upcoming spy thriller, Red Sparrow, and how its sexual nature helped her overcome the trauma of the nude hack. She said she usually rejected any roles that were too sexual in the past, but Red Sparrow (which reunited her with Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence) helped her reclaim her body and her sexual side on film in the aftermath of the hack. She said,

[Red Sparrow] was really sexual, which has always scared me. I've always been like, 'Absolutely no way' — especially after what happened [with the nude hack] — 'no way am I ever gonna do anything sexual.' So, for me, doing Red Sparrow — I felt like I was getting something back that had been taken from me.

In addition to opening up about the nude photo hack, Lawrence talked about her experience filming mother!, one of this year's most polarizing films created by Darren Aronofsky, Lawrence's boyfriend. She says there were plenty of people who reacted to her character in mother! negatively, as they were used to seeing her as the fierce and independent Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games franchise. She said, "I kind of made it and broke it. I think people saw me being soft-spoken and meek and they hated it. They were like, 'I like her better when she’s Katniss!'" There are plenty of franchise stars who wish they could get away from the characters they played in said franchises. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, for example, have been trying for years to distance themselves from the Twilight series (they've been kind of successful in this). Lawrence, while it doesn't seem like she'll sign on to anymore action franchises in the future other than X-Men, appreciates that The Hunger Games catapulted her into her fame. She said,

Even now, when I have days where I’m being followed and I don’t want to be followed, or I see a picture where everybody’s dissecting what I’m wearing and I’m like, ‘I was going to Whole Foods, I don’t want your opinion on what I’m wearing,’ I always ask myself, 'Do you regret [doing them]?' Never. I've never regretted doing Hunger Games once.

mother! is described as Lawrence to be a parable about "the abuse of mother nature," and she thinks Aronofsky is a genius for creating it and the film a "masterpiece," but it got an F rating on CinemaScore, which is rare. Still, it's getting award season buzz, since there are enough critics who think it's interesting. We'll have to wait and see what the future holds for Aronofsky's polarizing "masterpiece."