Nominee Profile: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
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At 23, she is the youngest actress to have three Golden Globe and two Oscar nominations and win one each. With David O. Russell’s American Hustle the most outspoken star in Hollywood continues on her career trajectory.
One can only imagine the near heart attacks Miss Lawrence sometimes causes her publicist when she tells it like it is, openly, without filter. But her honesty is what makes her not only an entertaining interview subject but a great actress. What gets her into trouble sometimes makes her likeable all the time – her self-deprecating humor and the fact that she doesn’t take herself and Hollywood too seriously: “Not to sound rude, but acting is stupid. Everybody's like, ‘How can you remain with a level head?’ And I'm like, ‘Why would I ever get cocky? I'm not saving anybody's life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I'm making movies.’ It’s stupid.”
Stupid or not, a career like hers does not happen very often. It was only three years ago – at 20 – when she burst into public view with her role in Winter’s Bone and her first Academy Award nomination. That she followed this with two huge franchises, X-Men and The Hunger Games, shows an incredible understanding of the movie business and extremely smart career planning for such a young woman.
When she went from Katniss Everdeen to Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook, she won a Golden Globe and an Oscar and a very memorable on-camera run-in with the legendary Jack Nicholson who interrupted her live TV interview with George Stephanopoulos. “A few days later I got a bottle of Cristal and red roses with a card, and then my mom moved me out of the house I was renting and I am afraid she lost the card. It said ‘Missing you already – Jack.’” As much as she would like to find Nicholson’s token of appreciation, the way he sent it freaked her out: “He found out my address without asking any of my people!”
Her most famous stalker aside, Lawrence has gained a big fan base without being on Twitter. In fact she doesn’t participate in (over)sharing personal stuff on social media or elsewhere at all. Her Facebook account is run like a business.
Her acting choices do not always reflect her personal taste as a movie-goer. As an actress she is sometimes drawn to dark roles. The two overlap when it comes to comedies. And she says her preferences have changed. “I have always liked comedies, but I’m starting to get into classics. I didn’t appreciate them when I was younger but I do realize now they are called classics for a reason. I watched Shadow of a Doubt a couple of months ago and flipped out over it. Movies are like music: as long as they’re good there’s nothing that I don’t like.”
Her next film is the depression-era period film Serena, directed by Danish director Susanne Bier. Lawrence was a big fan of Bier’s long before she worked with her. “She has such an unrelenting way of forcing an audience to just be. I noticed that when I watched her earlier films. She’ll just let conversations go and be real and there’s no time issue with her. She wants to tell a story and she wants to put you in a place and be there. I really like working with filmmakers like this whose only priority is the story they are telling.”
After three years of accolades, the 23 year-old is finally getting used to red carpets and awards season – her dress-gate moment at the Oscars last February aside. “I am feeling right at home! No, I’m getting better at it. I just don’t like being shouted at. I get really bad anxiety when people call me Jennifer. My parents always called me Jennifer when I was in trouble. So when they are screaming ‘Jennifer!’ I feel like I am being yelled at. But it’s not as scary anymore. It’s scarier the day after when the photos come out. I have learned that’s what’s to be afraid of. I have given up on trying to strike the perfect pose!”
One aspect she relishes now that she’s over 21? “Drinking! I can drink at award shows. I couldn’t when I first got nominated.”