Writer-director Adam McKay and the cast of Don’t Look Up discussed working with Jennifer Lawrence while the actress spoke about McKay.
Of all the Netflix press conferences that I’ve had the pleasure to attend, the Don’t Look Up presser was the funniest and most nerve-wrecking of them all. When you’re in the same room as McKay, Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jonah Hill, there’s bound to be some nerves. I mean, you already have the Chicago improv connection with Adam McKay but there’s also the fact that Jennifer Lawrence and I are from the same hometown–our brothers graduated high school together. There’s the fear of the wrong words coming out of your mouth even though the question is fully formed in your head. Suffice it to say, I’d like to think I did a good job.
During the press conference, I asked a two-part question. One of them was for Jennifer Lawrence while the other part was for the Adam McKay and the rest of the cast.
My question for Adam and the cast: What was it like working with Jennifer? Jennifer, since I know you’re a huge Anchorman fan from growing up in Louisville, reading the paper and everything, what was it like to finally have the opportunity to work with Adam on a film that is completely not even on the same level as Anchorman, but still my number one film of the year?
Jennifer Lawrence: I hope you guys don’t answer her question. I’ve wanted to work with Adam McKay, since I can remember.
I’m a huge fan. I think he’s just the best filmmaker, and so brilliant. It’s obviously really hard to make comedy. That’s every 10 years a movie if Adam’s made it that you can laugh out loud. I think that the wildest part was l—I mean, showing up every day and belly laughing all day until you go home, and then laughing—laying in bed thinking about the things that were said that day is an amazing way to work. But the parts that really, I was like, “Oh, my G-d, w-like this isn’t happening,” or whatever, when there would be an improv thing, and I’m not Jonah. I’d be like, “Well, like what—like,
what?” It would come over the mic or Adam and I would be across from each other, and he would be spitting amazing possible improv lines at me, and I would just get distracted by watching this comedic writer master improv just the-all of the directions where his mind goes, um, really blew my mind.
(Netflix was all set to move onto the next question but Jonah Hill and Meryl Streep insisted on answering the other part of the question.)
Jonah Hill: Hold on, hold on…
Meryl Streep: We wanna talk about Jen.
Jonah Hill: …hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on.
Meryl Streep: We’re gonna talk about Jen.
Jonah Hill: Hold on, hold on, hold on.
Jennifer Lawrence: I’m gonna storm out.
Jonah Hill: No.
Adam McKay: I’ll just make it…
Jonah Hill: Yeah.
Leonardo DiCaprio: I’ve been wanting to work with Jennifer for a long time. There is that type of once in a generation type of talent that kind of defines their, I don’t know, defines their craft. And she-ever since I saw her in Winter’s Bone, her first film, I was like, “Oh, my G-d. I cannot wait to see her legacy, and what she creates.” And she’s-there’s nothing that she does on screen that isn’t truthful and amazing. And it was incredible. It was an incredible experience.
Meryl Streep: Yeah. I totally agree. I—that’s when I fell in love with her. And I thought, “She’s such a baby.” She’s still a baby. But she has such a body of work behind her that is varied, and wild, and funny, and true, and authentic every-every single time. And you’re the beating heart of this movie. And-yes, you are. And when you get together with Timothée Chalamet…
Meryl Streep:…I was so happy.
Meryl Streep: Even though it was the end of the world. So…Because that’s spirit. The two spirits of the movie coming together.
Leonardo DiCaprio: I actually remember us speaking early on, years ago, I said, “Remember, you’re the Meryl Streep of your generation.” Remember that?
Meryl Streep: Oh, wow.
Leonardo DiCaprio: I said that to you. Remember that?
Meryl Streep: So, you’re a little GOAT.
Jennifer Lawrence: I mean, I do, but I think I remember I was like, “Okay. [MAKES NOISE]” [LAUGH]
Jonah Hill: I have no qualifications beyond the two people that just said that about Jen. But I will say as a burgeoning filmmaker and actor, is there’s no one I’m more ambitious to work with than Jen as an actress, because she can do anything and you still love her. And that is so fucking hard to achieve. She can tell the truth, and then you—you cannot not want her to win in some way. And I just think it’s stunning.
Jennifer Lawrence: That was worth every penny I spent to get this.
Jennifer Lawrence: I mean, I had to mortgage my house, but it was worth it.
Adam McKay: It was worth it.
Jennifer Lawrence: It was.
Adam McKay: I remember her after the movie, it was starting to come together in the edit, and I was talking to you on the phone, Jen, and you were driving with your husband. And I said, “You have the most incredible, fiery, spitting, beautiful anger I have ever seen.”
Jennifer Lawrence: And my husband goes [MAKES NOISE].
Adam McKay: E-exactly.
Adam McKay: And her husband, Cooke, was like [MAKES NOISE].
Jennifer Lawrence: [LAUGH] He was like, “I know.” You said it was funny or something, and he was like, “No, it’s not.”
Don’t Look Up is now playing in theaters and will start streaming on December 24, 2021.
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