Joy Trailer Breakdown

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The first teaser trailer for David O. Russell’s awards hopeful Joy has landed, showing Jennifer Lawrence as the titular businesswoman, striving to make her way in a cut-throat world. “We are deep in the edit,” says Russell, snatching a few minutes away from the Los Angeles cutting room. “I can assure you that as always we seek to go into the human soul and surprise and shock and move everybody in ways that they don’t expect. So that’s what we’re doing. That’s what we pray we’re doing.”

“Listen to me, I’ll tell you what’s gonna come of you,” says Diane Ladd, addressing a young Joy as the trailer opens. “You are going to grow up and be a strong, smart young woman. Go to school, meet a fine young man, have beautiful children of your own and you’re gonna build wonderful things”

“She plays Mimi,” says Russell. “Sometimes the grandmother is more the mother. The mother is oddly almost more of a child to the child. Her Grandmother is her rock, Diane Ladd is the rock.”

Joy was originally reported as a biopic of Joy Mangano, creator of the Miracle Mop, and in the trailer we see Joy finding inspiration for her invention. But Russell drew on other figures, too. “This is not just based on one person. I based it on my own mother and her friends, who are a very fierce group of ladies. I also based it on Lillian Vernon, who started the first mail order catalogue that was very formidable in the ‘60s and ‘50s and was married to a Latin husband. Lillian Vernon ran a business near where I grew up. So for Jennifer I borrowed things from different women that I thought were very fierce.”

As well as Lawrence, who worked with Russell in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Robert De Niro is also returning for the director. “He’s Jennifer’s father, who runs a truck and bus autobody garage. That’s where her life begins. You’ve got Diane Ladd as this very strong, rise to meet anything woman. And you’ve got Carrie, the mother, by Virginia Madsen, who’s kind of living in her own fantasy world in her room. A world caught up in soap operas.”

“We have Jennifer surrounded by other formidable women: Isabella Rossellini is the fierce financier who is De Niro’s girlfriend. She’s a formidable banker and adversary. It’s so fantastic to see her as she’s been intense in all of her previous roles, whether it’s Blue Velvet or whatever you like from her previous work.”

“It’s ambitious in the different voices that it has and there’s four powerful women and three strong men: De Niro, Bradley Cooper and Edgar Ramirez.”

“Jennifer would many a time say to me, ‘My gosh, this is just so intense to be the person carrying the whole movie’ - in her heart and her emotions, not by running and doing action. Like by doing it with her soul. She carried the movie. And I said to her many times, ‘Any worthy endeavour will make you think you’re gonna die or be killed at least nine times’. And that’s the journey her character goes through.”

Joy will open in America on Christmas Day and in the United Kingdom on January 1.