It was the best thing ever, and yet totally terrifying. “My heart stretched to a capacity that I never knew existed. I’m including my husband in that. And then they’re both just, like, the low– walk, cross the streets. he goes conduct one day. He is going to be a stupid teenager and driving a car. And I’ll just be like, Good night! You know? Like who sleeping?”
At the end of June, I drove to Lawrence’s house in Beverly Hills. She greeted me at the door in a gray knee-length dress and fluffy white slippers. She had just finished a fitting for this photo shoot, and given the dress code when we first met, didn’t see the need for more clothes. “I was like, She seen me naked before, so who cares.”
Lawrence led me through a sunken den to a large outdoor dining area that was screened in Southern style. Uncorking a bottle of white wine, she let me know she was in the mood. Not in a bad mood, exactly. But a constant emotion, provoked by the decision of the Supreme Court annulling Roe vs. Wade Few days ago.
Much of her disappointment was directed at some relatives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she grew up, including her father. The 2016 elections had torn a rift in his family. Fixing it was an ongoing process. Especially since she had a baby, she was trying to heal. She even discussed with her therapist the recurring nightmares she has about Tucker Carlson. “I’ve worked so hard for the past five years to forgive my father and my family and try to understand: It’s different. The information they get is different. Their life is different.” Lawrence had a haunted look in his eyes. She would occasionally stop to apologize or make a self-deprecating joke, then again was visibly overwhelmed with emotion. I felt like I was watching a real version of everything that happens when she acts. “I tried to get over it and I really can’t. I can’t. I’m sorry to lash out, but I can’t fuck with people who aren’t political anymore. You live in the United States of America. You have be political. It’s too serious. Politics kills people.
The reversal of deer turned it all on. She hadn’t been entirely in Hillary Clinton’s corner, but still found it incredibly upsetting that the country elected Donald Trump. “It breaks my heart because America had a choice between a woman and a dangerous, dangerous jar of mayonnaise. And they were like, Well, we can’t have a wife. Let’s go with the jar of mayonnaise.And now, thanks to the Supreme Court justices appointed by that dangerous jar of mayonnaise, the unthinkable had happened. “I don’t want to denigrate my family, but I know a lot of people are in a similar situation with their families. How could you raise a girl from birth and believe she doesn’t deserve equality? How?”
Growing up in a conservative household, Lawrence considered herself a Republican. But it was almost a cultural thing, like sports or something. She had the idea that there were two teams and the Republicans were her team. Then one evening, when she was 16, she watched 30 Rock and Liz Lemon said something along the lines of, I am not a crazy liberal. I just think people should drive hybrid cars. It made sense. It seemed rational. Later, when she made films in other countries, she saw how the money still tended to focus at the top, not just in the United States, how it rarely trickled down to workers. The more money she earned, the more she took a step back. For her, “Republican” has always meant: Why should my taxes pay for your haughty lifestyle? Now she saw holes in that logic. “Nobody likes to see half their salary disappear, but it made sense to me. Yeah, for the greater good, I guess that makes sense.”