Jennifer Lawrence says falling up the stairs while collecting her first Oscar for the film Silver Linings Playbook was “horrific humiliation,” but Anderson Cooper’s suggestion that she staged the viral moment was “devastating.”
This week, the 30-year-old actress recalled the viral incident at the 2013 Academy Awards that occured while ascending the stairs to collect her Best Actress in a Leading Role trophy. Wearing a pink Christian Dior ballgown, she tripped and fell, receiving a standing ovation.
“You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell and that’s really embarrassing but thank you,” a shaken Lawrence said at the podium, before delivering her acceptance remarks. The moment was captured in hashtags and viral memes.
However during comedian Heather McMahan’s Absolutely Not podcast on Thursday, Lawrence explained that the moment wasn’t so funny.
“I was ready, I was very nervous and also very superstitious. I didn’t want to acknowledge the possibility that I would win, I didn’t want to write down a speech, I had everything in my head. [I was] very, very nervous but I was ready,” said Lawrence.
“...They call my name and I’m elated and in shock — you kind of black out — I actually don’t remember what that moment felt like when they said my name,” she added. “And then I fell, and it just erased everything from my mind. My full brain went blank. I can look back at it now...fondly but for a very long time the fall thing was very sensitive.”
Making her feel worse, said Lawrence, was watching CNN’s Anderson Cooper suggest that she faked the fall. “It was so devastating because it was this horrific humiliation to me, that took away — I don’t know if I’ll ever have the chance to give a speech like that again,” Lawrence said. “That didn’t like, feel good for me not to have a speech.”
Months later, Lawrence confronted the news anchor at a Christmas party. “My friend told me that a vein was bulging out of my head. But he apologized, but I think we’re good friends now.”
According to Lawrence, she asked Cooper, “‘Have you ever tried to walk up stairs in a ballgown? So then how do you know?’... He apologized immediately, he was like, ‘I don’t know, I have no idea’ and [gave this] wonderful apology. And I was all fired up…he probably told everyone I was a psycho.”
Lawrence has talked about the famous fall before — in a post-Oscar press conference, she compared her earlier stress levels to that of Steve Martin’s character in Father of the Bride. Admitting to taking a shot beforehand, she joked that the fall was on purpose. “I tried to walk upstairs and...think I just stepped on the [dress] fabric and they wax the stairs.”
And in 2018, the actress told Howard Stern, “I would do anything to be able to go back and redo that moment.”
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