Jennifer Lawrence and Gary Ross Team Up Again, But, This Time, JLaw's a Murderer
Katniss on a killing spree?! Just kidding of course — but Jennifer Lawrence has teamed up for the third time with Gary Ross, the director of the Hunger Games franchise and the new East of Eden retelling that they announced two weeks ago, to play a blood-thirsty murderer who gets beheaded. Sign me up! The new project is a film adaptation of Hannah Kent's novel, Burial Rites, and was picked up by Lionsgate. Lawrence will play Agnes Magnúsdóttir, an Icelandic woman who's convicted of murder and sentenced to beheading. Brutal! In the days leading up to her execution, she's sent to isolation and makes friendly with a priest and her host family. (It's just like a study abroad trip, for murderers.)
Lawrence is pretty much universally agreed to be one of the most likable actresses in Hollywood, so it's interesting that lately she's picking up these darker roles. In her other collaboration with Ross, East of Eden, she's playing Cathy Ames, a maneater through and through. Inevitably, we'll end up falling for Lawrence as Cathy Ames and even as an icy murderer headed to a... well, beheading, because she possesses a charm that is contagious. But would the switch work for other actresses? Has it in the past? Emma Stone, our favorite husky-voiced comedian, took on the role of Grace Faraday in Gangster Squad, where she played Mickey Cohen's (Sean Penn) girlfriend. But she wasn't necessarily a baddie, just dating one...
Remember Reese Witherspoon? She played high school bad girl Tracy in the cult hit Election, and she was mean, but she wasn't killing anyone! There was Mila Kunis in Black Swan, playing a devious ballerina, but Kunis has always had a bad girl vibe to her. Lawrence is definitely one of the first ubiquitously loved ladies to turn the tide and pick up the axe. And she'll likely be phenomenal as a multi-dimensional murderer because the girl's got acting chops. Even when she's killing, we probably won't be able to help ourselves from wanting to hang out with her. Because, on screen, she simply kills.