It's hard to imagine what it would have been like to be one of the victims of the 2014 leaks, in which nearly 500 private photos of celebrities were hacked from their supposedly secure storage on the cloud and posted online for all to see. Eventually, the culprit was caught and punished for his actions, but that still left those photos spread across the internet, for anyone with access to the web on their phones or laptops able to find and share them with others.
Jennifer Lawrence was one of many women targeted and had to deal with a world that had seen an intimate photo of her - not exactly an easy thing to overcome when you're one of the most famous actresses in Hollywood. When she was later asked about how the ordeal made her feel, she described it as like being "gang-banged by the f***ing planet".
"There's not one person in the world that is not capable of seeing these intimate photos of me," she said on an episode of The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter Podcast. "You can just be at a barbecue and somebody can just pull them up on their phone. That was a really impossible thing to process."
However, in the four years since the event, she has found empowerment in a way many wouldn't have expected. In her latest movie, the spy thriller Red Sparrow, she has found a way to process the event by presenting her body and her sexuality on her own terms.
Now, in a recent interview with Bill Whitaker on 60 Minutes, she explained how nerve-racking the nude scenes were to film, including one in which she was "really naked getting freezing water poured on me":
“I was terrified. I don’t think I have ever been so scared of doing a movie before in my life. I feel like something that was taken from me I got back and am using in my art.
“I mean it was empowering for me personally … I feel like I didn’t even really realize until I had finished that scene how much fear and insecurity and a complex of being judged had been following me for so many years.
She went on to describe how the movie's treatment of women is vital given the current climate:
“I ended up thanking [director Francis Lawrence], which might sound crazy but also we’re talking about a world of deceit and corruption and abuse and abuse to women through the lens of a woman who regains her freedom through losing her intellect and I don’t think there is a better time for this movie than right now.”
The movie stars Lawrence as a Russian ballerina turned spy who is forced to use her body as a weapon in a mission involving a CIA agent. We can see how the finished product turns out when it's released on March 2.