When Jennifer Lawrence came onto the DGA Theater stage as part of Paramount’s presentation at last month’s 7th annual Deadline’s The Contenders event she described her film motheras simply “an assault, but a necessary one.”

Deadline

In front of a packed audience of AMPAS and key guild voters, the Oscar-winning star explained her motive in doing the controversial film was to work with director Darren Aronofsky, and also to challenge herself.  She said it was especially grueling since the camera is always on her face — even to the point that there could be no music score, since the idea was that her expressions would lead the audience to feel what they should feel.

There was a three-month rehearsal process, Lawrence tells me, something she has never experienced before, and she adds that this was the only time she completely lost herself in a role, even though she took great measures to stay “mentally healthy” during the shoot.

Check out our conversation above.