J-law romance rocked by ‘abuse’ claims on set
She once described Darren Aronofsky as a ‘visionary’ and went on to date him. But in an extraordinary social media post, an extra from the set of Jennifer Lawrence’s new film – directed by Aronofsky – has painted a very different picture. Grazia exclusive
AS JENNIFER LAWRENCE gears up for the release of Mother next month – the film she worked on with her boyfriend Darren Aronofsky – we can expect a series of gushing tributes to the director, who she has previously hailed as a ‘visionary’.
But others aren’t so complimentary. In a Facebook post written during filming, and seen by Grazia last week, one extra wrote, ‘All I can say is that I’m mind blown by … [Jennifer’s] undying patience and devotion in what she does. I would have personally walked out that door ASAP.
‘Swallowing the amount of crap and yelling [Jennifer] has to take in and redoing a perfect performance over and over a hundred times for a fussy boss. Abuse is abuse, no matter what job you do or how much you’re paid. She remained solemn even after doing the same scene for 12 hours straight.’
Another source involved in production revealed, ‘Nobody could believe how harshly Darren was treating her during filming. When the scene finally wrapped
she was a complete emotional mess. At the time, nobody on set knew that they were secretly dating and we wouldn’t have believed it if we’d been told. It was genuinely shocking and, by the last week of filming, we were all aghast.’
The post, since deleted, follows numerous reports of concern at Jennifer’s relationship with the director, which began last August. Darren, 48, who has been nicknamed ‘Hollywood’s Mr Nasty’ due to his reputation as one of film’s most difficult characters, did not respond to a request for comment from Grazia.
The director has previously spoken of the importance of separating himself from his female leads, saying, ‘You need to be objective, especially when you’re going to extreme places. You can’t afford to feel bad for the actor. You have to keep reminding yourself that the actors are enjoying it, because it’s their job! It’s what they’ve been waiting their whole life to do – to cry and scream on film.’
Rachel Weisz, who has a son with Darren and dated him for nine years, said of them working together on The Fountain, ‘We had a very good understanding. For Darren, this film was an immense undertaking, he was really focused, and for him he really didn’t have any time to listen to what I had to say about anything.’
Jennifer is equally undeterred. ‘She is completely besotted with Darren,’ said an associate of the actor. ‘She has enormous respect for him as a director. She thinks he’s a genius and she’s told friends that he’s taught her an unbelievable amount about movie making.
‘But some of them are concerned that he has become a domineering figure in her life. When it comes to decisions – both professional and personal – she often defers to him, which is unlike the strong-willed person she used to be.’
The relationship is said to have progressed quickly, with sources previously revealing, ‘Although she was initially reluctant to date Darren, he won her over and she’s really starting to think he could be the man she’s been waiting for. It’s turning into something quite serious.’
The couple were last pictured together in June, when they went for dinner at Nobu in Malibu – a year after they are said to have got together on the set of Mother, which also stars Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer. It tells the story of a couple whose relationship is tested when guests turn up uninvited at their home.
It’s not the first time there have been allegations of Darren’s difficult behaviour on set. In 2014, Emma Watson claimed she had become ‘exhausted and delirious’ while she worked on his film Noah after Darren banned bottled water on set for environmental reasons.
‘I was so tired one morning I picked up a mug from my trailer and drank some stagnant water that had been there for three months. I was so ill.
‘I came in the next day and was like, “Darren, I don’t think I can do this, I’m really sick.” He was like, “Use it for the scene.” I turned round… and was like, “Is he joking? He’s joking, right?” and there was deadly silence.’
Then, last year, Natalie Portman revealed Darren had attempted to play her and Mila Kunis off against each other when they starred in his Oscar-winning film Black Swan. ‘He’d say, “Oh, Mila is doing really well on her stuff. She’s so much better than you.” Darren would tell us things about each other to try and make us jealous. I think he was trying to create a rivalry in real life between us.’
‘On set he’s an extremely tough taskmaster, and away from work he can be equally uncompromising, which has earned him a toxic reputation in Hollywood,’ added Grazia’s source. ‘The big fear is that Jennifer is changing herself to please him. These days, she’s a lot less light-hearted than she used to be.
‘She puts it down to growing up, but her friends just hope she’s not bitten off more than she can chew with Darren. Everyone just wants to see her happy.’
NOBODY COULD BELIEVE HOW HARSHLY DARREN WAS TREATING HER… SHE WAS AN EMOTIONAL MESS
Far right: Jennifer and Darren in a rare snap together. Below: Darren with his ex, Rachel Weisz