Jennifer Lawrence responds to backlash after claiming she was the first female lead in an action film

Jennifer Lawrence has clarified comments she made claiming she was the first female to star in a female-led action film.

In an interview with Viola Davis for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, the Oscar-winning actress caused a stir online Wwhen she said that no one had ever put a woman in the lead of an action film until she played Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.

“I remember when I was doing Hunger Games, nobody had ever put a woman in the lead of an action movie because it wouldn’t work — because we were told girls and boys can both identify with a male lead, but boys cannot identify with a female lead,” she explained to Viola Davis in Variety’s Actors on Actors series, which debuted on Wednesday, December 7. “And it just makes me so happy every single time I see a movie come out that just blows through every one of those beliefs, and proves that it is just a lie to keep certain people out of the movies. To keep certain people in the same positions that they’ve always been in.”

Film enthusiasts, however, were not impressed by her assertions and noted that there had already been a lot of female action stars prior to her 2012 movie.

Many cited online Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley in the Alien franchise starting in 1979 as well as Angelina Jolie in the 2001 and 2003 Tomb Raider movies.

In light of the backlash, Lawrence spoke with The Hollywood Reporter to clarify her comments and explained that she “meant to emphasize how good it feels to blow past these old myths” regarding gender bias in Hollywood.

She said, “That’s certainly not what I meant to say at all. I know that I am not the only woman who has ever led an action film. What I meant to emphasize was how good it feels.

“And I meant that with Viola — to blow past these old myths that you hear about … about the chatter that you would hear around that kind of thing. But it was my blunder, and it came out wrong. I had nerves talking to a living legend.”

Noting how quotes can be misconstrued or taken out of context, Lawrence shared: “One time I was quoted saying that Donald Trump was responsible for hurricanes.

“I felt that one was ridiculous, that it was so stupid I didn’t need to comment. But this one, I was like, ‘I think I want to clarify.’”

Watch Viola and Jennifer’s full conversation here.

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