At 25, she is the youngest actress to have four Golden Globe and three Oscar nominations with two Globes and one Oscar already won. Joy is her third film with David O. Russell.
One can only imagine the near heart attacks Miss Lawrence sometimes causes her publicist when she speaks the truth, unfiltered. Her honesty is what makes her not only an entertaining interview subject but also 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.” She has said. “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. She was only 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 unusual understanding of the movie business and extremely smart career planning for someone as young as she is.
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 catering to the masses. As open as she is, personal stuff on social media or elsewhere is not going to be shared no matter how hard anyone tries to get a quote out of her. When her personal accounts were hacked and her very private photos publicized on the Internet, she became even more fiercely protective of her privacy. That a then 24 year-old was able to handle this kind of invasion without completely falling apart is a testament to her strength and resilience.
It is exactly that strength combined with an almost ethereal vulnerability that creates this incredible talent for slipping into characters and is the reason David O.Russell is so excited by the actress that he keeps re-hiring her. The feeling, of course, is mutual: “I watched I Heart Huckabees I think six or seven years ago, eleven times in a week, and I just started vigorously googling whoever this guy was and was like he directed The Fighter, what? So I watched everything that he did was fascinated by him. He is such an independent, special, unique and fiercely just himself in his sense of humor.“
However her acting choices do not always reflect her personal taste as a moviegoer. 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 and flipped out over it. Movies are like music: as long as they’re good there’s nothing that I don’t like.”
After five years in the limelight, the 25 year-old from Louisville, Kentucky is still not used to red carpets, though: “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!”
These days she hangs out with Adele and fellow Globe-nominee Amy Schumer (who happens to be nominated in the same category this year) because – she says – it’s easier to expedite friendship when you meet people who are on the same level and have no agenda. That the threesome can go out and have dinner in public might surprise some. She adds a little disclaimer: “Well, we brought a circus with us, but yeah, the restaurant served us food!“