Jennifer Lawrence on What Kind of Mother She'll Be and Why She Stepped Away From the Spotlight

'Every instinct in my body wants to protect their privacy for the rest of their lives,' the pregnant actress says of her child.

Jennifer Lawrence is gracing one of her first magazine covers in quite some time. The 31-year-old actress, who is expecting her first child with husband Cooke Maroney, poses for the latest issue of Vanity Fair and in the accompanying interview opens up about her hopes and fears for motherhood and why she decided to take a step back from the spotlight. 

"I was not pumping out the quality that I should have,” Lawrence says of her hiatus. "I just think everybody had gotten sick of me. I’d gotten sick of me. It had just gotten to a point where I couldn’t do anything right. If I walked a red carpet, it was, ‘Why didn’t she run?’… I think that I was people-pleasing for the majority of my life."

She adds, "I didn’t have a life. I thought I should go get one. ...The attention on me was so high and extreme that, in a bizarre way, the set had become a great escape. Everybody treats you normally. It’s not like you walk into hair and makeup and people are like, ‘Oh, my God!’ But you get burnt out. Eventually I had to ask myself, 'Am I saying yes because I want to go to work the next day? Or am I doing this because I want to make this movie?'"

As for becoming a mom, the Oscar winner admits she's hesitant to share that part of her life with the public. "If I was at a dinner party, and somebody was like, ‘Oh, my God, you’re expecting a baby,’ I wouldn’t be like, ‘God, I can’t talk about that. Get away from me, you psycho!’" she begins to explain. "But every instinct in my body wants to protect their privacy for the rest of their lives, as much as I can. I don’t want anyone to feel welcome into their existence. And I feel like that just starts with not including them in this part of my work."

While she's not super open to discussing her child, Lawrence did speak about her two-year marriage. "I really enjoy going to the grocery store with him,” she says of Maroney. “I don’t know why but it fills me with a lot of joy. I think maybe because it’s almost a metaphor for marriage. ‘OK, we’ve got this list. These are the things we need. Let’s work together and get this done.’ And I always get one of the cooking magazines, like 15 Minute Healthy Meals, and he always gives me a look like, ‘You’re not going to use that. When are you going to make that?’ And I say, ‘Yes, I am. Tuesday!’ And he’s always right, and I never do."

Lawrence also reveals she wears three accessories around her neck from her husband: her wedding band on a chain; a pearl necklace; and a diamond necklace Maroney gave her for her 30th birthday.

Also during the interview, the subject turns to Lawrence's upcoming movie, Don't Look Up, where she co-stars alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. Vanity Fair notes that Lawrence was paid $25 million for the movie, compared to DiCaprio’s $30 million, but the actress says in this instance she's OK with her salary being less than her male counterpart. 

"Look, Leo brings in more box office than I do. I’m extremely fortunate and happy with my deal," she tells the magazine. "But in other situations, what I have seen—and I’m sure other women in the workforce have seen as well—is that it’s extremely uncomfortable to inquire about equal pay. And if you do question something that appears unequal, you’re told it’s not gender disparity but they can’t tell you what exactly it is."

Don't Look Up is in select theaters on Dec. 10 and on Netflix on Dec. 24.