Jennifer Lawrence says starting a family was the 'scariest thing in the world': 'I was so scared that I would f*** it up'

Viola Davis and Jennifer Lawrence open up about the good, the bad and the ugly about being a mom while balancing a career in Hollywood. (Alexi Lubomirski for Variety)
Viola Davis and Jennifer Lawrence open up about the good, the bad and the ugly about being a mom while balancing a career in Hollywood. (Alexi Lubomirski for Variety)

It's always a fun time when you bring two Oscar-winning moms together.

As part of a string of covers for Variety's "Actors on Actors" series, Viola Davis, 57, and Jennifer Lawrence, 32, open up about balancing a career in Hollywood while raising children.

During the conversation, Lawrence, who shares 10-month old son Cy with husband Cooke Maroney, got candid about feelings of inadequacy as a new mom.

"It was the scariest thing in the entire world to think about making a family," she told Davis. "What if I f*** up? What if I can't do it? And I was so scared that I would f*** it up."

"Every day of being a mom, I feel awful. I feel guilty," she added. "I'm playing with [Cy] and I'm like, 'Is this what he wants to be doing? Should we be outside? We're outside. What if he's cold? What if he's going to get sick? Should we be inside? Is this enough? Is this developing your brain enough?'"

Davis shared her own experience from when her now-12-year-old daughter Genesis, was a baby.

"Jennifer, I locked my kid in the car, and it was sweltering hot outside," Davis said. "I had 50 million things on my plate. My daughter was in the back. She's happy, and I'm just so stressed out going to Target. I love Target. I walk out of the car, shut the door, and realize I don't have my keys. I threw myself on the concrete, Jennifer. I screamed. You would think I was in a Greek tragedy. 'My baby! Jesus!'"

That's when Davis says she grabbed two men walking by and screamed: "My baby is in the car! My baby!"

"And then what do I have in my hand? My phone," she said. "So the two men whose necks I’ve grabbed, they said, 'Ma'am, you just have to call 911.' And I said, 'Oh, OK.' So I called 911, and I proceeded to scream at the operator. Every expletive you can imagine came out of my mouth. They took her out of the car. And the reason why I'm telling you this story is it literally was seconds."

Lawrence then shared an incident with Cy in the car.

"I drove around with mine, didn't realize he wasn't buckled into the car seat," she said. "He was just teetering around, just flying. OK, great! Good to know that we all almost killed our kids."

Added Davis, "I love my daughter more than anything. She's my life. So there you go."

Indeed, Lawrence has embraced all the feelings that come with being a mom. In an October interview with Vogue, she gushed over the unconditional love she has for her son.

"I mean the euphoria of Cy is just — Jesus, it's impossible," she said. "I always tell him, I love you so much it's impossible."

"My heart has stretched to a capacity that I didn't know about," she continued. "I include my husband in that. And then they're both just, like, out there — walking around, crossing streets. He’s gonna drive one day. He’s gonna be a stupid teenager and be behind the wheel of a car. And I'm just gonna be like, Good night! You know? Like, who sleeps?"

The morning after she gave birth, Lawrence felt as if her "whole life had started over."

"Like, Now is day one of my life. I just started. I was just so in love," she said. "I also fell in love with all babies everywhere. Newborns are just so amazing. They’re these pink, swollen, fragile little survivors. Now I love all babies. Now I hear a baby crying in a restaurant and I'm like, Awwww, preciousssss."

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