Jennifer Lawrence’s newest starring vehicle, the Joy Mangano sorta-biopic, sorta-a-bunch-of-other-movies-smashed-together Joy, went into wide release over this past weekend only to meet with a spate of middling reviews. Lawrence’s unquestioning and absolute allegiance to director David O. Russell would appear to suggest that audiences can look forward to lots more pictures in the vein of the not-quite-there Joy, the not-quite-there American Hustle, and the not-quite-there Silver Linings Playbook. But hop one parallel dimension over, and Lawrence is currently being showered with praise for one of her most memorable, risky roles in a film that’s generated quite a bit of awards buzz.

In this Sliding Doors-style alternate timeline, J-Law ended up starring in Quentin Tarantino’s new gutbucket Western The Hateful Eight — a twist of fate that, according to a new interview with Tarantino in Entertainment Weekly, was not entirely out of the realm of possibility. The auteur told EW that while he was in the process of casting his newest picture, he sat down with the starlet to discuss the role of Daisy Domergue that ultimately went to Jennifer Jason Leigh.

“I’m a huge Jennifer Lawrence fan,” Tarantino said, confirming that he is in fact a human being after all. The pair discussed the ins and outs of the role one afternoon before Tarantino began the pre-production process in earnest, comparing Lawrence’s repeated collaborations with Russell to the fruitful partnership between director of yore William Wyler and his muse Bette Davis. (He may have a weirdly off-putting presence, but damn if the guy doesn’t know how to pay a compliment.) But other factors conspired to quash this team-up before it could even begin; Lawrence had committed to Joy, which was already on track to start shooting during The Hateful Eight’s projected production timeline. Tarantino didn’t seem especially broken up about this, saying to EW that “I’m glad I didn’t cast somebody that young. I think I absolutely positively made the right choice, as far as the ages of the characters.” (Jennifer Jason Leigh clocks in at 53 years old to Lawrence’s 25, a detail that would have radically altered the character and the mechanics of her performance.) Thems is the breaks in Hollywood — if I’ve learned anything from masochistic repeated viewings of old Entourage episodes, it’s the fickle nature of scheduling and commitments. One minute, J-Law’s doing the movie, the next minute, J-Law’s not doing the movie, and the next minute, she’s arguing with Johnny Drama.

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