“House at the End of the street” director, Mark Tonderai talks about Jennifer’s acting and his choice of casting Jennifer in the film during the interview with FEARnet. Click here to read the entire interview.
As for working with Jennifer Lawrence in her first role after her Oscar-nominated turn in Winter’s Bone, Tonderai laughs, “I bribed her to come on board.
I had a couple of compromising pictures of her… No, I’m kidding. She had just done Winter’s Bone, and I had a great casting director come on board. I’d seen Winter’s Bone on TV in England, and I kind of knew that this is the girl that I wanted, because, as the whole world is now discovering, she’s just a great actress. She’s got a connection with the truth, and it’s really pretty extraordinary. Now it’s difficult, because when you have someone like that… I was like, ‘Okay, let’s hope she’s a great person,’ because that’s just as important when you make a film. Especially in something like this, which is all about trust. Then I met Jen, and she was. She was just a really engaging, funny kind of girl. I think I cast her and she got nominated, or she got nominated and I cast her.
I can’t remember what it was, but it was one or the other. It was a testament to her. All this stuff was happening to her, but we were still meeting up. She sings in the film, so she was learning a song, and doing her character diary, which I made her do, and made Max [Thieriot], who plays opposite her, do. That was what happened. She had a really active hand in developing the character.
That was kind of how she came onboard; and we had a great time filming it. She’s very funny, and very down to earth.
She’s one of those people who you can see really respects the craft and thinks it isn’t something that’s a right, but something she’s lucky to be doing.
I think she’s gonna be one of this generation’s premiere actors. You can see it in the choices she’s making. She’s making smart choices.”
Tonderai notes the parallels between Lawrence’s career and that of his film’s other star, Elisabeth Shue. “Elisabeth said it herself – ‘Jen is me twenty years ago.’
Because Elisabeth’s first big film wasThe Karate Kid. I’ll be honest with you: I always pinch myself when I think about what I do for a living, because it’s pretty awesome, and it’s pretty extraordinary.
I always think about how suddenly I went from watching Elisabeth Shue, as a kid in Africa, to working with her. It was great, absolutely great. One of those lovely moments, because she’s now a friend of mine. It can be very daunting, because you think to yourself, ‘Oh my word. What if this person is a terrible person and I’m not gonna enjoy that, y’know?’
Part of me has a philosophy that if he meets his heroes they’ll always let him down. But again, she’s a great person and brings a real kind of weight to the part. You really need that, because on a smaller film it’s so hard to get that level of detail and complexity and characterization. You really need people who can do that, and are prepared to do that. And she’s great.
There’s no other word for it; she’s really great, and on the money every time. Like I said, she was great for Jen, because they were almost mirror opposites. So it was fantastic.”