Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique Makeup in the ‘X-Men’ Films Took 8 Hours and Prevented Her From Using the Bathroom

Jennifer Lawrence is well-known for her roles in major film franchises. While she might be best known for the character of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games franchise, comic book fans love her portrayal of Mystique in the X-Men series. Lawrence was able to bring the iconic superhero to life through her signature blend of intensity and dedication. Her portrayal was aided by some serious time in the makeup chair — up to eight hours, to be exact. Over the years, Lawrence has opened up about playing the character, revealing the unique challenges she tackled to embody Mystique.

Jennifer Lawrence played Mystique in the ‘X-Men’ films

jennifer lawrence mystique
American actress Jennifer Lawrence as Raven, aka Mystique in a scene from the film ‘X-Men: First Class’, 2011. | Murray Close/Getty Images

Lawrence first took on the role of Mystique in 2011, when she appeared as the shapeshifting mutant in X-Men: First Class. The film was new territory for Lawrence, who had primarily appeared in independent films up to that point. Inheriting the role from Rebecca Romijn, Lawrence made a splash and earned acclaim from critics and fans.

Lawrence became a huge star the following year, when The Hunger Games debuted. However, she proved her dedication to Mystique by reprising the part in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, and 2019’s Dark Phoenix, surpassing the number of times Romijn played the role.

Jennifer Lawrence had to undergo 8 hours of makeup to play Mystique

Not only did Lawrence take up yoga to play Mystique, but the actor endured a lot of time in the makeup chair as well. As reported by BuzzFeed, Lawrence spent up to eight hours at a time each day having blue body makeup applied. Lawrence herself opened up in 2015 about what it was like to get into costume as Mystique. “I love these movies — it’s just the paint [I hate],” Lawrence said, as reported by Refinery29.

In a 2016 appearance on Graham Norton’s talk show, Lawrence talked about the unique challenge of going to the bathroom while in costume. “The guys who made it were like, ‘Well, she’s a girl. She doesn’t go to the bathroom,” she said. “So, I pee standing up out of a funnel.”

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Of course, as a bonafide action star, Lawrence is no stranger to difficult on-set conditions. When filming Catching Fire, Lawrence had to dye her hair dark brown in order to play Katniss. She also had to wear a distinct braid style, so she could easily be picked out of a crowd in a distance shot. The result was that Lawrence’s hair was very badly damaged by the time she wrapped on Catching Fire. This forced the star to cut her hair into a dramatic pixie cut. Cutting her hair so short allowed Lawrence to start fresh, growing out her naturally dark blonde hair as she tried to bypass the damaging effects of heat styling.

In the 2018 film Red Sparrow, Lawrence played a Russian spy who is a master at changing her look. The role allowed Lawrence to show off her natural ability to step into any style or makeup look. Finally, in Lawrence’s most recent flick, Don’t Look Up, she portrayed a Ph.D. candidate who rocks blunt red bangs and a nose ring — a pretty stark departure from any of the actor’s previous onscreen looks.