If you thought Jennifer Lawrence was ruthless in American Hustle, wait until you see her in Serena. This exclusive clip from Lawrence’s and Bradley Cooper’s long-shelved Depression-era drama features the frequent onscreen collaborators as newlyweds fresh off a shotgun wedding. They arrive in his North Carolina hometown only to find that his previous flame (and baby mama) is there, too. Lawrence’s titular Serena isn’t having it: “Our love began the day we met. Nothing that happened before even exists.” Their happily-ever-after may be in serious jeopardy as Serena callously fights to protect her fortune and the future of her husband’s timber empire.
While Lawrence has shown her wild and unstable side in the critically acclaimed David O. Russell films, Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook (for which she won her Best Actress Oscar), Serena marks the first time we’ve seen the actress’s coldhearted side as a scheming society woman. (In a review of the movie, the U.K.’s Telegraph described Serena as “Lady Macbeth in jodhpurs.”) Katniss Everdeen would surely disapprove.
Serena was filmed back in 2012, just a few months before Playbook was released. Lawrence and Cooper have now appeared in three films together, counting Serena and the aforementioned Russell films, Playbook and Hustle, and are currently shooting Russell’s new movie Joy in Boston.
Serena is based on a bestselling 2008 novel and is directed by Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier (winner of the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for In a Better World). The movie generated a lot of buzz when it was announced ahead of the first Hunger Games installment, but went virtually underground until recently. The reason Serena took so long to come out is not entirely clear: Late last year, The Hollywood Reporter had an insider arguing the film wasn’t in trouble and that Bier is “a total perfectionist,” which prolonged the post-production.
Serena is now finally available to view on demand, and will also premiere in select theaters on March 27.
Watch the trailer for Serena: