Mother! Aronofsky and Jennifer Lawrence on the Controversial Horror Thriller

After directing mother! as an intense horror thriller, which got boos at the Venice Film Fest press screenings, the film’s star Jennifer Lawrence wants to see her director (and romantic companion) Darren Aronofsky change it up and do a comedy.

Paramount will release the deeply upsetting mother! this Friday.

“I’d like to see you do a comedy,” the actress told the director during a press conference for mother! at the Toronto Film Fest on Sunday.

“Knock, knock,” Aronofsky quickly told Lawrence, suggesting that his latest work is a deadpan comedy. “There’s a lot of laughs in the movie.  The Brits were like, ‘It’s a comedy,'” the helmer said, recalling festival screenings in Venice and Deauville.

Aronofsky’s latest picture stars Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a married couple, whose lives start unraveling when an unexpected couple comes into their lives.

Mother! is having its North American bow in Toronto after a world premiere in Venice.

How Far Can a Director Go?

Aronofsky called the movie a “roller-coaster” ride that, like his earlier films, takes audiences to the limit. How far is he willing to push moviegoers with the intense ending for his psychological thriller?

“That line is always tricky,” he admitted. The filmmaker recalled debating a Fox Searchlight exec over a scene in Black Swan where the leg of Natalie Portman’s character snaps back.

“When I saw it the film with an audience in Toronto, I remember the gasps from the crowd, and the screams and the cries and all the weird reactions–for me that was great reward,” Aronofsky recalled.

Lawrence plays in Mother! a dutiful housewife keen to renovate a home for her husband, played by Bardem, who is also a poet with writer’s block. Both play host to mysterious strangers (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer), a visit that ends with the entire world for Lawrence’s character falling out from under her. Despite that intensity and horror, the actress said she “had a blast” making mother!, especially with Pfeiffer, her on-screen nemesis.

Michelle Pfeiffer

“I love Michelle. It took me two days to get over her beauty, and to go up to her and say hi. She’s very normal. She’s a mother. She’s a very smart woman,” Lawrence recalled.

Shaking Off

Despite appearing spooked and terrified in mother!, Lawrence said she could unwind at the end of each shooting day:  “I don’t really carry a lot around. Between ‘action’ and ‘cut,’ I like to shake it off and not dwell in a horrible place.”