Since Jennifer Lawrence published her essay about gender pay inequality in Hollywood, fellow actors from Julia Roberts to Josh Hutcherson have praised her for drawing attention to the issue. In a new interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America on Thursday, Lawrence elaborated on her essay, saying that while she was afraid of coming off as unlikeable, she felt she had to speak up.
“My question to myself was, ‘Why am I not asking for it?’” Lawrence said. “I think I know that I’ve always kind of carried a habit of submissiveness with the idea of that makes me more likeable.”
In her essay, published on Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter in October, Lawrence wrote that when she was negotiating her pay for American Hustle, she decided “to close the deal without a real fight,” adding that she “didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.’” The Sony hack last year revealed that Lawrence earned less pay than her male costars for American Hustle.
“I felt like I had to say something because we need to talk about it,” Lawrence told Sawyer. “On average, women are paid 21 percent less than men. We can ask for the same exact thing that men do, and we do face the reality that we do get judged more. It’s just something that is intrinsic, and I would love to see change.”
Lawrence and Sawyer also discussed how her life has changed since she first took up Katniss’ bow for The Hunger Games. The fourth and final movie in the franchise, Mockingjay – Part 2, will hit theaters on Nov. 20
“When I wrapped The Hunger Games, these movies had been my life for so long. They had to come first in everything,” Lawrence said. “I was also in a relationship with somebody for five years, and we broke up around the same time that I wrapped these movies. … Being 24 was this whole year of who am I without these movies. Who am I without this man?”
In addition to discussing her childhood in Louisville, and how she played the oboe growing up, Lawrence also teased her starring role in the upcoming movie Joy. Directed by David O. Russell, Joy chronicles one woman’s life from the age of 10 until the age of 40, including her invention of the Miracle Mop. “She has this ability, this magic that she finally can’t deny any longer,” Lawrence says of her character.
Watch the full interview below.