Jennifer Lawrence was working on the final installment of the Hunger Games when she received a call at 4 a.m. from director David O. Russell. “He said, ‘Do you want to play the part of the woman who invented The Miracle Mop?’ ” Lawrence took the unusual hour and the call itself in stride. “I’ve gotten a lot of middle-of-the-night phone calls from David,” she says with a laugh. But Joy ended up evolving into something else. “From that seed he went off into David land and it developed and changed, and now it’s a completely different story,” she says. “Usually [a film’s focus] is about the fight on the way to success and the happy ending. David goes on to tell the struggle that comes after that, along with all the sacrifices that come with finally getting what you want.”
Russell, who’s last three films — The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle — have all been nominated for Best Picture, was intrigued by the idea of doing a film larger in scope: an epic journey examing one woman’s life from age 10 to age 40, as she grows up, gets married, has children, and becomes an entrepreneur and matriarch. “It’s a woman’s soul over many decades of her life and how she changes,” he says.
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