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

Grazia (UK) - - Contents - WORDS HAN­NAH FLINT

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.’


Far right: Jen­nifer and Dar­ren in a rare snap to­gether. Be­low: Dar­ren with his ex, Rachel Weisz

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