Jennifer Lawrence Shares Why She Thought Having a Family Was the “Scariest Thing”

Jennifer Lawrence recalled her previous attitude to starting a family in an interview with Viola Davis for Variety.

By Daisy Maldonado Dec 07, 2022 8:53 PMTags
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Jennifer Lawrence is looking back on her past feelings about motherhood.

The Hunger Games star reflected on having fears about becoming a mom while pregnant with her son Cy, whom she welcomed with husband Cooke Maroney earlier this year. 

"I made [Causeway] right before I got married," Jennifer, who wed the gallerist in 2019, told Viola Davis during a conversation for Variety's Actors on Actors series. "And then we had the pandemic. Two years later, I'm pregnant, we go back, and we make the rest of it."

She added, "It was the scariest thing in the entire world to think about making a family. What if I fuck up? What if I can't do it? And I was so scared that I would fuck it up."

Jennifer, 32, explained that it was "so interesting" that Causeway, the movie she was making at the time, featured parallels to her personal life.

"Every day of being a mom, I feel awful. I feel guilty," she admitted. "I'm playing with him and I'm like, ‘Is this what he wants to be doing? Should we be outside? We're outside. What if he's cold? What if he's going to get sick? Should we be inside? Is this enough? Is this developing your brain enough?'"

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Viola, 57, quickly chimed with her own set of fears she's faced since becoming a mom, sharing a story in particular that resonated with their conversation. 

"Jennifer, I locked my kid in the car, and it was sweltering hot outside," she told the Silver Linings Playbook star. "I had 50 million things on my plate. My daughter was in the back. She's happy, and I'm just so stressed out going to Target. I love Target. I walk out of the car, shut the door, and realize I don't have my keys."

Recalling throwing herself "on the concrete," Viola, who shares daughter Genesis, 12, with Julius Tennon, continued, "I screamed. You would think I was in a Greek tragedy. ‘My baby! Jesus!' And then I saw these two men. I grabbed their necks and said, ‘My baby is in the car! My baby!'"

"And then what do I have in my hand? My phone," the How to Get Away With Murder star noted. "So the two men whose necks I've grabbed, they said, ‘Ma'am, you just have to call 911.' And I said, ‘Oh, OK.' So I called 911, and I proceeded to scream at the operator. Every expletive you can imagine came out of my mouth. They took her out of the car."

Viola added, "And the reason why I'm telling you this story is it literally was seconds."

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Apple

Jennifer also recalled having had a similar incident with Cy.

"I drove around with mine, didn't realize he wasn't buckled into the car seat," she said. "He was just teetering around, just flying. OK, great! Good to know that we all almost killed our kids."