Jennifer Lawrence Calls the Real-Life Joy Mangano 'Intimidating'

To channel Joy Mangano on screen, Jennifer Lawrence studied the Miracle Mop inventor’s appearances on QVC and, most importantly, she met her.

It was Mangano’s energy and personality that Lawrence says was critical to bring to the big screen in the story of the struggling mother-of-three’s rocky road to success in “Joy,” opening Christmas Day.

“They are meeting Joy put into context: this quiet strength about her that is a wonderful mother, that’s very maternal, that values family above everything else, but also a really powerful presence that’s intimidating—very business-minded and smart,” Lawrence tells Made in Hollywood.

Mangano’s Miracle Mop–a self-wringing cleaning device–was created in her home and sold locally around Long Island. She financed her invention through loans–going into debt that soared into six-figures.

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The Miracle Mop finally became a hit when she appeared on QVC in 1992 to demonstrate its value. Her product set a record for the home shopping channel: 18,000 mops in 20 minutes.

Bradley Cooper portrays the QVC executive who gives Mangano the green light to shill it on-air. And it lead to more success for Mangano as a home products entrepreneur, launching Huggable Hangers, Forever Fragrant, among other bestsellers.

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Lawrence says moviegoers will see a balanced businesswoman-mother. “When you hear about someone who has given up so much of their life for everyone else, it’s easier to read that as someone is meek—a mild, softer person—or this persona started a dynasty, so they are tough.”

Also directed and written by David O’Russell and co-starring Robert De Niro as Mangano’s father and Édgar Ramírez as her husband, “Joy” arrives in theaters on Christmas Day.