Actress Jennifer Lawrence challenged by action scene in new sci-fi film Passengers

Jennifer Lawrence, seen here with Passengers co-star Chris Pratt in Beijing, said that Passengers contains the most physically challenging scene she has ever done.
Jennifer Lawrence, seen here with Passengers co-star Chris Pratt in Beijing, said that Passengers contains the most physically challenging scene she has ever done.PHOTO: EPA

BEIJING - Sci-fi film Passengers may be a romance, but it is also a thriller with plenty of action scenes.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence, 26, said at a press conference at Park Hyatt Beijing on Saturday (Dec 17) that it had the most physically challenging scene she had ever done. And the star of such films as The Hunger Games series (2012-2015) is no stranger to action.

She said: "I was in a pool when the gravity went out on the ship, and (that) took two weeks to shoot. I was either in the pool or in a tank of water all day and we were doing harness work."

Lawrence and actor Chris Pratt play fellow passengers on board the spaceship Starship Avalon. He is mechanical engineer Jim Preston and she plays writer Aurora Lane.

They wake up from hibernation 90 years before the spaceship reaches its destination, then fall in love and discover that the Avalon is breaking down.

Passengers opens in Singapore on Dec 22.

Jurassic World (2015) star Pratt, 37, said he was attracted to "how original the story was" and "how daring and provocative the ideas were that exist inside the story".

Another thing that drew him to the project was the prospect of working with Lawrence. "Picturing the movie with her in that role was a movie I wanted to see."

The two seemed thoroughly at ease in each other's company at the press event and were even dressed in matching black ensembles.

She said: "I knew he was going to be funny, but he was the funniest person to ever live. It's true, I've met everyone who's ever lived. We became best friends immediately."

Pratt showed his sense of humour when he was asked to share tips from the movie for wooing a woman.

He joked: "Really try to find a girl who's isolated on a starship. Greatly diminish her other prospects by being the only potential mate. And dress nice."

The stars were presented with gifts of silk robes as well as panda bear stuffed figures in space suits.

In turn, they showed off the Mandarin they had picked up by saying "xie xie" (thank you) often.

They also learnt a new phrase, "gong xi fa cai", at the end of the press conference and wished everyone prosperity in the coming Lunar New Year.

bchan@sph.com.sg