Jennifer Lawrence on ‘No Hard Feelings,’ the R-rated comedy made with the Oscar winner in mind

June 23, 2023  -LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jennifer Lawrence has wanted to do a big comedy for years. She has always been funny and vibrant in her television appearances. And while she has brought humor and physical comedy to many of her roles for David O. Russell and others, she also hasn’t exactly gotten the big, broad “Dumb and Dumber” or “Anchorman” experience, to cite some of her favorites (or at least the ones she’s memorized).

That changes Friday with “No Hard Feelings,” a classic, raunchy R-rated comedy that was tailor made for the Oscar winner.

“I’ve always wanted to do a comedy. And I’ve read a lot of them,” Lawrence told The Associated Press during an interview about the highly anticipated summer movie season. “I just didn’t read anything that was funny enough.”

“No Hard Feelings” was inspired by a real Craigslist ad posted by parents who were seeking a woman to “date” their son to bring him out of his shell the summer before he went to college. There are debates over just how real the “real ad” was, but thinking about the woman who might answer an ad like that was a premise funny enough to catch the attention of several producers and writer-director Gene Stupnitsky.

Stupnitsky, an Emmy-nominated alum of “The Office” who also directed and co-wrote the 2019 hit “Good Boys,” knew just who to take it to. He told Lawrence about the idea one night at dinner with friends in which, he estimated, they had had about “eight or nine martinis between us.”

The two met over a decade ago, through a mutual friend, at Medieval Times of all places. Lawrence, he remembered, was dressed in a full wizard costume. And they soon became actual friends. He even introduced Lawrence to her husband.

“I owed him one,” Lawrence said. “That’s why I did this film.”

Stupnitsky, sitting next to Lawrence, added: “There’s probably some truth to that.”

With Lawrence attached to star and produce, the movie became a hot commodity, with streaming services and studios vying for the rights to make it. Ultimately, they went with Sony and a traditional theatrical release.

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