Jennifer Lawrence Was Scared She Was Going to Annoy Meryl Streep

Jennifer Lawrence at Dior show
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Dior

Jennifer Lawrence is an Oscar-winning actress with a career under her belt that would intimidate the most established actor, but when she stepped onto the set of her upcoming film, Don’t Look Up, she was suddenly surrounded by big hitters like Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, and, of course, Meryl Streep, and suddenly, Lawrence was the one who was nervous.

“My biggest concern was I did not want to annoy Meryl Streep. That’s my worst nightmare,” Lawrence said in a recent interview with Vanity Fair. In order to prevent that, Lawrence decided, she would “only speak if spoken to,” in order to be “the least annoying person in the room.” Notably, when Lawrence won a Golden Globes back in 2013 for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook over Streep’s in Hope Springs, her acceptance speech included the phrase, “I beat Meryl!” It was a nod towards First Wives Club that not everyone fully understood at the time, and some interpreted as a jab at Streep.

According to the Don’t Look Up’s director, Adam McKay, Lawrence did not trust that she would be able to play it cool around the iconic actress who plays a gender-swapped Trumpian president in the end-of-the-world comedy. “She just kept saying, ‘I’m going to be quiet. I won’t speak,’” McKay said of Lawrence. Eventually, when Streep showed up on set, McKay said Lawrence came up to him acting like “a 12-year-old” asking “What do I say? What do I do?” Luckily for Lawrence, Streep seemed to warm up quickly, and she immediately started showing Lawrence house listings on her phone. “And now I would say she’s my best friend,” said Lawrence.

Streep, meanwhile, had only nice things to say about Lawrence. “She is a bold and unself-conscious actress—someone whose gift is alive on her skin and in her being,” she told Vanity Fair. Streep continued, comparing Lawrence to her acting partner DiCaprio, saying that while for the actor, “the struggle is part of the job,” Lawrence “spins it out of the air in the room.” Streep ended her statement, saying, “I am sort of in awe of both of them.” So it seems that Lawrence succeeded and more in her goal of not annoying Streep.