Jennifer Lawrence: Privacy loss takes heavy toll
NEW YORK – Jennifer Lawrence says she knew being a movie star would bring with it a certain loss of privacy. What she didn’t know, she says, was the deep emotional and even physical toll it would take.
“I knew the paparazzi were going to be a reality in my life,” the 24-year-old Oscar winner said in an interview Saturday. “But I didn’t know that I would feel anxiety every time I open my front door, or that being chased by 10 men you don’t know, or being surrounded, feels invasive and makes me feel scared and gets my adrenaline going every day.”
Lawrence was recently in the news when private nude photos of her and other celebrities were hacked, then posted online. She took the forceful position then that the hacking was not a scandal but “a sex crime.”
The actress spoke to the AP Saturday while promoting “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1,” the third installment of the blockbuster franchise that catapulted her to stardom.
“You can say, ‘This (invasion of privacy) is part of my job and this is going to be a reality of my life,'” Lawrence said, “but what you don’t expect is how your body and how your emotions are going to react to it.”
And yet, she added with her typical candor, the general public isn’t very sympathetic to such celebrity complaints: “Nobody wants to help us because it seems like, you know, ‘Shut up, millionaires!'”
Sitting alongside her co-stars Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, Lawrence told the AP that although she adores her job, “There are some things that I couldn’t really prepare for.”
As an example, she described checking into a hotel and opening the window to discover “a team of paparazzi outside that are shooting up into my hotel room. And we can’t ask them to move because they’re on public property. And they can photograph me because I’m a public person or can chase me because I’m a public person.”
“If these laws are going to be in place to protect the press and to protect the paparazzi and to protect the news,” she said, “then new measures need to be made, because this is an entirely new phenomenon. This didn’t exist 200 years ago.
“And my belief, and it’s something I am going to work very hard on changing and I hope it changes before I die, is to make it illegal to buy, post or shop a photo that’s been obtained illegally,” she said. “I have photographers that jump my fence … if somebody jumps my fence and takes a picture through my window of me naked, that’s illegal, but the photos can still be everywhere (online) the next day, and that makes no sense!”
Lawrence told Vanity Fair not long after the hacking episode, in which the photos were posted on various websites, that even those who looked at the photos online were perpetuating what she called the sex crime.
Calls for more policing of the Internet have clashed with concerns that such actions could mute its role as a megaphone for exposing abuses in government and elsewhere.
A “safe harbor” clause in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act absolves websites of legal liability for most content posted on their services. The law, known as the DMCA, requires websites and other Internet service providers to remove a piece of content believed to be infringing on a copyright after being notified of a violation by the copyright owner.
Though some websites pulled the naked photos of Lawrence and others, it didn’t happen quickly enough to prevent people from making their own copies on personal devices.
Lawrence’s co-stars echoed her concerns.
“They say, well, this is part of it, you should have known — but you can’t know. You don’t know how hard it is to lose your anonymity until it’s gone,” noted Hutcherson, 22, who plays Peeta Mellark to Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen.
Added Hemsworth, 24, who plays Gale Hawthorne: “There’s really no right reason for that (kind of thing) to be allowed.”
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