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Jennifer Lawrence is gearing up to make her reentry into the public eye after putting her career on the backburner to enjoy a more normal life. Still, she's been impacted by a number of breaches of privacy throughout the years — most notably, the leak of her nude photos in 2014 which she says still traumatizes her.
"Anybody can go look at my naked body without my consent, any time of the day," she told Vanity Fair for the December 2021 cover. "Somebody in France just published them. My trauma will exist forever."
Lawrence was one of multiple victims of the hacking that distributed intimate photos of her, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst — among non-famous people — across the internet. At the time, Lawrence had a previous Vanity Fair cover story coming out, where she made additional comments about the deep invasion of privacy.
"It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime," she said. "It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting."
In the time since, all four hackers involved have served prison sentences for the crime. And although Lawrence expressed concern over the repercussions that the leak would have on her career, she explains in her latest interview that her decision to step out of the spotlight was a personal one.
"I just think everybody had gotten sick of me. I'd gotten sick of me. It had just gotten to a point where I couldn't do anything right. If I walked a red carpet, it was, 'Why didn't she run?'" she explained. "I think that I was people-pleasing for the majority of my life."
She also was experiencing anxiety as a result of her very public life.
"Since The Hunger Games I had a security guard or some kind of comfort thing in case I walked into a restaurant, and everyone went, 'Oh, God!' Just for my baseline anxiety," she said. "So; when I started dating my now-husband, I was so embarrassed to bring my [security] when he asked me out. I mean, how mortifying would that have been? So I didn't, and it made me really nervous the first few times, and it turned out totally fine. I realized you get more privacy."
During the height of Lawrence's career, she had used work as a sort of escape from that public attention. Ultimately, she discovered that it wouldn't solve her problems as she'd hoped.
"The attention on me was so high and extreme that, in a bizarre way, the set had become a great escape. Everybody treats you normally. It’s not like you walk into hair and makeup and people are like, 'Oh, my God!' But you get burnt out. Eventually I had to ask myself, Am I saying yes because I want to go to work the next day? Or am I doing this because I want to make this movie?" she recalled wondering. "I felt like I reached a point where people were not pleased just by my existence. So that kind of shook me out of thinking that work or your career can bring any kind of peace to your soul."
Now, as she gets ready for the release of her latest movie Don't Look Up, in which she stars alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep and Jonah Hill, the 31-year-old actress is also preparing for the life-changing role of motherhood as she expects her first child with husband Cooke Maroney. It's also proven to be a challenging exercise when it comes to creating boundaries and maintaining a private life.
"I have all of these new accessories added to my life that I obviously want to protect," she said of her husband who she married in 2019 and their unborn child. "If I was at a dinner party, and somebody was like, 'Oh, my God, you’re expecting a baby,' I wouldn’t be like, 'God, I can’t talk about that. Get away from me, you psycho!' But every instinct in my body wants to protect their privacy for the rest of their lives, as much as I can. I don’t want anyone to feel welcome into their existence. And I feel like that just starts with not including them in this part of my work."
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Watch: Jennifer Lawrence reacts to being paid less than Leo DiCaprio in 'Don't Look Up'