This photo shoot is… interesting. I couldn’t figure out what its driving creative force was; I landed on “regular person shlubbing around, but with boots on,” and then read the story, which is basically all about how Brie Larson slides under everyone’s fame radar and is trying really hard to be a regular person in a very irregular business. So that’s synergy, I guess?

Brie talks a bit about her career choices since Room, which have involved mostly leaning away from similar experiences and straight into the flash-bang of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Honestly, I don’t blame her. She won an Oscar already, for a harrowing role. Get that paycheck and go have fun. (This is not how she expresses her motivation; I am making assumptions and then overlaying them with what sounds tempting to me.) Especially because she seems like someone who has grappled with notoriety and with her identity in the midst of all that, in a way that seems mentally very tiring:

Rather than capitalize on her fame or “extend her brand,” as A-list actresses are now wont to do, she used [her podcast] to test whether she could be in the world without triggering a tempest. “I wanted to prove that I could put stuff out and it wasn’t going to be like, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe she said that’ or ‘I can’t believe she did that.’ ” The past three years have given her perspective. She was grappling with big questions rooted in deep feelings, like, “Am I allowed to exist? Am I allowed to just be lovable as I am? Am I worthy of just being here?”

A year ago or so, Gawker did a whole thing about how they found her Instagram presence to be cringey and lonely, which cannot have helped. Honestly, she seems like a good egg to me — a good, goofy egg who just wanted to play for a while and be choosy about where her energy went. Sounds perfectly fair.

[Photos: Collier Schorr, story by Carina Chocano; Harper’s Bazaar’s April “Reinvention” issue is on newsstands April 4]