Don’t Look Up Joke References A Missed Jennifer Lawrence Movie Role
Don’t Look Up included a joke that referenced a movie role Jennifer Lawrence missed out on. Following a two-year hiatus from starring in movies — with her last role being the negatively received X-Men: Dark Phoenix — Lawrence made her feature film return with Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up.
In Don’t Look Up, Lawrence plays Kate Dibiasky, a doctoral candidate and astronomer who first discovered the comet headed straight for Earth. Kate is a tough character and she’s shocked when no one — not even the president and her Chief of Staff Jason Orlean (Jonah Hill) — takes her and Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) seriously. Throughout the film, Jason and Kate have a contentious relationship, with the former constantly making digs at Kate and calling her names out of pettiness. At one point, Jason calls Kate the “boy with the dragon tattoo” after she asks him a question.
The joke is not only funny, but it takes on a meta context when considering Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the role of Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher’s 2011 adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Swedish author Stieg Larsson. The actress was one of many who was up for the leading role opposite Daniel Craig, including Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. However, she ultimately lost out on the role of Lisbeth and Rooney Mara was cast instead. The reboot — The Girl in the Spider’s Web, which was based on the fourth book in the series and wasn’t directed by Fincher — ended up recasting Mara in the role, with Claire Foy playing Lisbeth. Lawrence was reportedly passed over for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because she was too tall.
It’s not surprising Jason Orlean would make such a reference when speaking to Kate in Don’t Look Up, though the meta joke itself was more than likely unintentional. However, the joke works because Kate’s look in Don’t Look Up can easily be compared with that of Rooney Mara’s in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. While Kate doesn’t have any major facial piercings (besides a nose ring) or tattoos that are visibly apparent, she does sport the same short bangs and a similar attitude as Lisbeth. To be sure, Lawrence is no stranger to playing characters who have a tough, no-nonsense exterior, which only adds to the meta aspect of the reference in McKay’s film.
Before being cast as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games franchise, Jennifer Lawrence also auditioned for another major book-to-film adaptation — Bella Swan in Twilight, a role that famously went to Kristen Stewart. Lawrence managed to find success despite the fact that she wasn’t chosen for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and has starred in a plethora of films since then that have elevated her to being a must-watch actress. Playing Kate Dibiasky in Don’t Look Up might be the closest viewers will get of what Lawrence could’ve looked like in the role of Lisbeth, albeit the film’s satirical nature is miles away from the darkness of Fincher’s movie. Considering the film’s inability to connect with audiences, Lawrence being passed on for the role was probably a good thing in hindsight.