Jennifer Lawrence has defended herself amid backlash over a “personal joke” gone wrong at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs).
The 27-year-old was accused of being rude to British actress Joanna Lumley while presenting a BAFTA for Outstanding British Film at the Sunday (UK time) award ceremony in London.
Lumley, who hosted the ceremony, introduced Lawrence as “the hottest actress on the planet” to which Lawrence responded: “That was a bit much, but thank you Joanna.”
— GloTIME (@GloTIMETV_) February 19, 2018
Social media immediately lit up with accusations Lawrence was being rude and disrespectful to the Absolutely Fabulous star, 71, but Lawrence clarified her intentions in a radio interview with Ronan Keating on Monday (UK time).
“I want to clear it up,” Lawrence said.
“Okay so backstage Joanna and I were both about to go out … and I was like, ‘Just [say] adjective after adjective, ‘tall’, ‘beautiful’, just say that I’m this and that. And she was like, ‘All right darling’.
“It was an inside joke. She went on and said all these really nice things about me and then when I got up to the podium, I was like ‘that was a bit much’ after I just spent all backstage telling her how to be really nice to me. I wasn’t being rude, it was an inside joke.
“Then everybody thought that I was being rude. But to be fair, I couldn’t have just walked out after she [described me as] ‘the biggest movie star in the world’ and gone ‘thank you, Joanna’. That would have been like, ‘So you agree, you think you’re really pretty’.”
Lumley is yet to comment on the controversy.
Lawrence was attending the Awards to promote her upcoming spy thriller Red Sparrow, which she recently revealed will be one of her last on-screen outings for 12 months.
On February 16, the Oscar winner told Entertainment Tonight she is taking a year-long break from acting to focus on activism, particularly the organisation Represent.Us, which works to pas anti-corruption laws.
“I’m going to take the next year off,” Lawrence said.
“I’m going to be working with this organisation as a part of Represent. Us … trying to get young people engaged politically on a local level. It doesn’t have anything to do with partisan [politics].
“It’s just anti-corruption and stuff trying to pass state-by-state laws that can help prevent corruption, fix our democracy.”
Lawrence has spoken in the past about her struggles with fame and the spotlight, telling Adam Sandler in an interview: “Once I enter a public place I become incredibly rude, I turn into a huge a—hole.”
Despite her acting hiatus Lawrence is still set to appear in Red Sparrow, in Australian cinemas from March 1, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which has already been filmed and is due out later this year.