NEW YORK - Imagine a movie so intense that watching the finished film scared the star who plays the lead.
"It was just the darkest place I could even imagine," Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence said. "Darker than I could imagine. Something nobody should ever feel."
When Lawrence first read the script to "Mother!" in a New York City hotel, she found it so upsetting that she threw the script across her room, calling the writer and director Darren Aronofsky "crazy."
"It's really assaulting, the movie," she said. "I was really shaken, and I thought, 'We've gone too far, this is too far. It's too much.'
In "Mother!" Lawrence has the title role of the wife of a poet with a bad case of writer's block known only as "him" and played by Javier Bardem.
"I had the same reaction to the script," she said. "When I first read the script, I was like, no, this is pure evil. And then I realized that's why it's a masterpiece."
For those used to Lawrence playing strong women such as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games" series, her passive role here amid so much mayhem will come as a surprise. She says the role was a departure with a high degree of difficulty.
"Physically, it wasn't too demanding," she said. "I mean, it looks very physically demanding...that wasn't physical, that was emotional. I hyperventilated too long, and I tore my diaphragm and I popped a chest rib out. I just lost total control of myself."
There's talk of another Oscar nomination for Lawrence, and she is now in a relationship with Arnofsky, a Brooklyn native.