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1. Joy is a 2015 American biographical comedy-drama film written and directed by David O. Russell and starring Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano, a self-made millionaire who created her own business empire.
2. Mangano was a divorced mother with three children in the early 1990s when she invented the Miracle Mop and became an overnight success, after which she patented many other products, often selling on the Home Shopping Network and QVC. The film is a semi-fictional and inspirational portrayal of how Mangano overcame personal and professional obstacles to rise to the top. Joy received a wide theatrical release on December 25, 2015, and is distributed by 20th Century Fox.
3. The film follows Joy Mangano (Lawrence), a divorced mother, who overcomes a failed marriage, both hers and her parents, in order to invent the world’s first self wringing mop. She eventually lands a large deal with QVC and, through an exorbitant amount of debt, sells enough mops to become a self-made multimillionaire.
4. “It’s the story of that woman’s journey from the time she’s 10 to the time she’s 43. I’d never done that [before],” Russell said of the film at the panel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “And I’d also never gone into [a movie about a] more grounded, mature person, a more ordinary person who became extraordinary and was extraordinary from a young age. I got to do the magic of that young age, I got to do her nightmares, and I got to see what it was like how she handled success.”
5. The real life Joy gave David O. Russell her blessing to take parts of her story and create a unique story for the rest of the film. The movie is not a biopic, which she was fine with. Instead, it’s about half truth and half fiction.
6. In an interview with Deadline.com, Russell said the Golden Globe-nominated film is “half fiction,” based in part on dozens of phone interviews he conducted with Mangano, which he said she likened to “psychoanalysis.” “I didn’t meet her until the very end,” he explained. “I wasn’t in a hurry to because I wanted to create what I wanted to create.” Likewise, on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Lawrence said she didn’t want the “burden” of playing a real person, but added, “the craziest stuff in the story is true.”
7. This film is the fourth collaboration for Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. The duo have co-starred in Serena, American Hustle, and Silver Linings Playbook. Two of the three films were also under the direction of David O. Russell, just like Joy – American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook. Robert De Niro also appeared in both of those films, and Elisabeth Rohm also appeared in American Hustle, so this set was something of a reunion for everyone.
8. In a recent interview, the director admitted that part of his inspiration for the film came from the familial aspects of films like The Godfather. He thought Joy was very much like a female Godfather story. Joy seemed like an ordinary woman, but there’s something special about her. It’s why Russell wanted to focus so much of the story on the relationships in her life as well.
9. Jennifer Lawrence found out she got the part at 4AM. She revealed in interviews for the movie that she was woken up at 4 AM by a phone call from Russell to let her know that she would definitely be playing Joy. She laughed it off in interviews though because she’s “gotten a lot of middle-of-the-night phone calls” from him, likely while working on other films with him as well. Russell is a very energetic filmmaker, and Lawrence has also revealed that she often has to remember to take a step back and let him work to get the best out of her performance.
10. Jennifer Lawrence shares her birth with the miracle mop. Funnily enough, Lawrence, who stars in the film as Joy, was born the same year that the real life woman invented the miracle mop – 1990.