Jennifer Lawrence, known and beloved for sharing her unfiltered thoughts, didn’t hold back when asked about working with female filmmakers, including Causeway director Lila Neugebauer. In fact, she used the opportunity to call out negative experiences she’s had working with male directors. Namely, Bryan Singer.
During The Hollywood Reporter’s Actress Roundtable, Lawrence said, “it was just so interesting to be on a female-led movie. My producing partner and I were the lead producers. We had a female director. The schedule made sense. There were no huge fights. If an actor had a personal thing and wanted to leave early, instead of going, ‘Oh! Well, we’d all love to leave early!’ we’d put our heads together and go, ‘Okay. How can we figure this out?’ We disagreed, and we listened to each other. Sometimes I was wrong and would learn that I was wrong, and sometimes I was right.”
The Oscar winner then addressed the hypocrisy in labeling female directors as “so emotional” in the workplace. “It was incredible to not be around toxic masculinity,” Lawrence continued. “To get a little break from it. And it did always just make us laugh about how we ended up with, ‘Women shouldn’t be in roles like this because we’re so emotional.’ I mean, I’ve worked with Bryan Singer. I’ve seen emotional men. I’ve seen the biggest hissy fits thrown on set. [Neugebauer’s] my third female director, and they are the calmest, best decision-makers I’ve ever worked with. I absolutely love working with female directors.”
Lawrence starred in three of Singer’s X-Men films, 2011’s First Class, 2014’s Days of Future Past, and 2016’s Apocalypse. Simon Kinberg took the reins for Lawrence’s latest outing as Mystique in 2019’s Dark Phoenix, when it became “clear” Singer wouldn’t continue with the franchise. “It was the actors that approached me about directing the next of the X-Men movies. Jennifer especially,” Kinberg told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “Jen said she wouldn’t come back for another movie unless I directed it. So, I had a lot of support from them.”
Other actors have spoken about the difficulties of working with Singer. Halle Berry, who starred in the original X-Men films, previously told Variety: “Bryan’s not the easiest dude to work with.… I would sometimes be very angry with him. I got into a few fights with him, said a few cuss words out of sheer frustration…but at the same time, I have a lot of compassion for people who are struggling with whatever they’re struggling with, and Bryan struggles.” Rami Malek, star of Bohemian Rhapsody (which Singer was fired from late in the production), said his experience working with Singer was “not pleasant, not at all.” Sophie Turner, who appeared in Apocalypse, told Rolling Stone of the filmmaker: “Our time together was, like Rami said, unpleasant.”
Singer hasn’t made a film since Bohemian Rhapsody, after he was accused of sexually assaulting multiple underage boys in a 2019 Atlantic report, which he referred to as a “homophobic smear piece,” further describing his accusers as “a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention.”