Turns out having your whole body painted blue kinda sucks. After X-Men: Apocalypse, Jennifer Lawrence seemed more than a bit lukewarm about returning to the franchise as Mystique. The actress’ deal expired with the 2016 mutant installment and, frankly, was tired of being blue. “I love these movies — it’s just the paint,” Lawrence told EW on the set of Apocalypse in 2015. “I was 20 [when she she starred in First Class] and I didn’t care about fumes and toxins, and now I’m almost 25 and I’m like, ‘I can’t even pronounce this and that’s going in my nose? I’m breathing that?’”
But Lawrence couldn’t turn down good friend and franchise writer/producer Simon Kinberg. When Kinberg expressed interest in directing Dark Phoenix, Lawrence was one of his biggest champions and couldn’t not be part of the project.
“I kind of f—ed myself,” Lawrence says. “Because when I was trying to talk Simon into directing, he said something like, ‘If I direct it, you have to do it,’ and I was like, ‘Of course! Duh!’ Then they offered me the movie, and I was like, ‘Goddammit!'” But she adds, “It was the fan base, though, too — the other reason was for the fans.”
And Kinberg’s script and direction on Phoenix gave Lawrence her most satisfying turn as the shapeshifter to date. Says the actress, “Acting-wise it was the best experience I’ve had [on these films]. He’s been writing these characters for so long and he knows them so deeply. I suddenly felt more connected to my character than I ever have been before.”
Plus, the shoot was calm and fun, something that is not always the case with the X-Men films. “It was unrecognizable,” admits Lawrence. “Everything was on time. Everything was organized. These movies have always been fun amidst chaos, and now they were fun with no chaos.”