November 1, 2015 / 2:00 AM / 2 years ago

Jennifer Lawrence says Hollywood pay gap complaint was self-critical

Actress from the upcoming movie "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" Jennifer Lawrence waves after leaving her hand and footprints in cement in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California October 31, 2015.Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence said on Saturday that her recent critique of the gender pay gap in Hollywood raised as many questions about herself, and her willingness to be assertive, as it did about bias in the U.S. film industry.

"It was more of how did my mentality get in my own way of fighting just as hard as the men to get a better deal," Lawrence said during a Los Angeles press conference for her latest film "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2."

Lawrence unleashed a highly-publicized attack on male-female pay discrimination in Hollywood earlier this month in an open letter published in Lena Dunham's Lenny newsletter.

She said that in the past she worried about being labeled a spoiled brat when negotiating movie deals, but she was now finished with trying to be "adorable" while getting shortchanged.

The actress added that her "American Hustle" male co-stars Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Jeremy Renner "all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves," and were praised for doing so.

"I hoped to just write more about how my own fears of 'how am I going to be portrayed,' or 'how am I going to look,' or 'how will people judge me,'" Lawrence said on Saturday.

"(That) got in my way when obviously the men in the movie don't think that way," she said.

The actress added that one headline called her letter a "bratty display."

"Thank you for completely making my point that if a woman goes and speaks up, and is assertive and has a voice, she's going to be called a brat. I just don't see a man being called a brat," she said.

Lawrence, 25, was the world's highest-paid film actress last year with an estimated $52 million in earnings from movies and endorsements, according to Forbes. She has been praised by her colleagues and fans alike for being open about an issue usually kept under wraps.

In response to her complaint, Cooper told Reuters he had already begun teaming up with female co-stars to negotiate salaries.

Lawrence is currently promoting the final installment of "The Hunger Games" franchise, out in theaters next month. She plays the young heroine Katniss Everdeen, who leads a rebellion against a tyrannical ruler of a dystopian society.

Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy

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