Later this week, Star Trek Beyond will introduce fans to Sofia Boutella‘s Jaylah, an alien woman who doesn’t quite fit the traditional Trek mode. And apparently the inspiration for Jaylah’s character came from a surprising source: Jennifer Lawrence! Although in retrospect, maybe we should have spotted the Jaylah and J-Law connection sooner.
Via Variety, Star Trek Beyond screenwriter and costar Simon Pegg shared the story behind Lawrence’s influence on Trek’s newest female lead. “We were trying to create this very independent character. But we didn’t have a name for it,” related Pegg. “So we just called it ‘Jennifer-Lawrence-In-Winter’s-Bone.’ That’s a long name, so it started getting tiring always saying, well Jennifer-Lawrence-In-Winter’s-Bone is fighting here. So then we started calling her ‘J-Law.’ And then she became ‘Jaylah.’”
Winter’s Bone was the movie that elevated Lawrence’s career after she gave an Oscar-nominated performance as Ree Dolly, a young girl who was barely keeping her younger siblings afloat while attempting to locate her missing father and save the family’s home. It wasn’t a widely seen film, but it helped Lawrence land the role of Mystique in the X-Men prequel trilogy and the coveted part of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games films. From there, Lawrence became the superstar that she is today.
What we can infer from Pegg’s comments is that Jaylah may have a similar character trajectory to Lawrence’s Ree, and that she may be sticking around past this adventure. Pegg added that “we love Sofia, she’s a nutcase and a golden edition to this group. There are not a lot of girls in Star Trek. Zoe [Saldana as Uhura] has a lot on her shoulders.”
Star Trek Beyond will be released this Friday, July 22.
What do you think about the revelation that Jaylah was inspired by J-Law? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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