Jennifer Lawrence is an American actress, popular for her lead roles such as Katniss in 'The Hunger Games' film series and Mystique in 'X-Men'. She is an Oscar and Golden Globe Award winner, ranking her as one of the best actresses in the world. Her rise to fame has been slow and steady as she had other roles before her major breakthrough with 'X-Men' and 'The Hunger Games' which catapulted her into the limelight. She was known as America’s sweetheart for a long time, charming people with her realistic and down-to-earth character which is virtually unseen in Hollywood, but this has changed over time thanks to various public instances. Whatever the case, she is one of the highest paid actresses in the industry.
Jennifer Shrader Lawrence was born in Louisville, Kentucky. Her father, Gary Lawrence, is a construction worker while her mother, Karen is a children’s camp manager. She is the third of three children, with older brothers Ben and Blaine. Growing up, Lawrence considered herself a misfit and didn’t get along with her peers. She suffered from social anxiety and was quite hyperactive. She played field hockey, softball and basketball on a boys team which her father coached. She was also a cheerleader although her mother did not allow her to play with other girls because she was ‘too rough’. She never anticipated that she would be a great actress but she always knew that she would be famous, despite having a very simple idea of how her life was going to pen out. She always thought she would be a mom and a doctor.
Her first role was that of a school prostitute in a church play. She was so good at it that she continued participating in different churches and school musicals. Her mother was not keen on her pursuing an acting career, although she allowed her at the advice of a scouting agent to read lines in New York during a family vacation. She eventually moved to Los Angeles for some acting roles and would visit Kentucky often where she also served as an assistant nurse in her mother’s camp.
Lawrence started out her career in minor roles. The first were in Company Town and The Monk and Medium in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Her minor roles in these movies paved the way for her to be cast as a regular in The Bill Engyall Show, a sitcom that regularly aired on TBS for three seasons, starting in 2007. Her role was that of a rebellious teenage daughter, Lauren. She won a Young Artist Award for this role in 2009 as an ‘Outstanding Young Performer in a TV Series’.
Her debut in film was marked by her role in Garden Party in 2008, followed by another role in The Poker House which was also released in the same year. She won an ‘Outstanding Performance Award’ from the Los Angeles Film Festival for her role in The Poker House. She later won the Premio Marcello Matroianni Award for the ‘Best Emerging Actress’ at The Venice Film Festival for her role in The Burning Plain in 2008, which she shared with Charlize Theron. They depicted the character at different stages in life.
Her role as Ree Dolly in Winter’s Bone was her big breakthrough as it earned her a Best Actress Academy Award nomination, making her the second youngest person to be nominated in the category. The production had other notable accomplishments such as winning the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ at the Sundance Film Festival as well as Lawrence’s ‘National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Performance’.
Lawrence starred in other roles in different films such as Like Crazy and The Beaver before landing her role as Mystique, a shape-shifting mutant, in 2011 in X-Men: First Class. This became her most widely seen film at the time, grossing $350 million. Mystique was initially played by Rebecca Romjin but the 2011 reboot film became the prequel to the other X-Men movies. In 2012, she played the lead in a high-profile movie, The Hunger Games which was also a prequel to the film series. Her role was that of Katniss Everdeen. The film grossed $690 million, making her the highest grossing action actress.
The practice and training that Lawrence puts into her roles is notable on screen. For Winter’s Bone, she flew out to live with the family that the story was based on, learning how to hunt and skin a squirrel among other things. For The Hunger Games, she had been skeptical about the role at first. She had witnessed firsthand the negative effects of fame in one’s personal life from observing the change in Twilight’s lead actress Kristen Stewart. However, after deciding to pursue the opportunity, Lawrence took up hand-to-hand combat, rock climbing and archery among other activities in order to help her fit into the role. Part of her success can be attributed to the commitment, practice and determination she puts into preparing for each role.
Since then, Lawrence has played lead roles in other films including House at the End of the Street and David O’Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook as well as a supporting role in American Hustle (2013). David O’Russell has been known for casting Lawrence into older roles which she executes well. This role won her a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar Academy Award for ‘Best Actress’, making her the second youngest actress to win the award at 22. She took on the role of Katniss in the sequel to The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire grossed $864.9 million and ranks as her highest grossing film as of 2016.
Lawrence has, undoubtedly, proven her prowess in acting. She has taken on different roles in her career, challenging herself to portray each with the same authenticity and believability. She has a lot to show for her prowess through the numerous awards she has won as well as the nominations that she has received for the academies, a reserve for only the best in the business.
Jennifer Lawrence has been the ‘it girl’ in the public eye for a while now. With her overnight rise to stardom thanks to her role as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, she became a sweetheart in the eyes of many. It helps that she is not the conventional famous actress that people are used to. She has a likeable personality and is not afraid to share her opinion on different issues.
Jennifer Lawrence advocates gender equality as well as being comfortable in your own skin. She has no qualms about her body and is not afraid to share this with the world where the question about Hollywood and ideal body weight and size is concerned. She has made some pretty bold and unfiltered comments over the years. Some of these include the fact that she cannot stay hungry just to make someone else happy, that she would rather be chubby on screen, but look like a real person off screen and that she would not consider going on a diet for a role. She has often said that she is not afraid to indulge in McDonalds or any other food just to stay thin. While these are palatable to women of her body size, it came off as some form of body-shaming for thinner people who wondered whether they were no longer real people just because they were thin in real life. It also came off as bad advice for those who would want to lose weight to become a better version of themselves. Lawrence’s remarks were termed as ‘snarky’ because she is not fat in the standards of the world. Compared to Melissa McCarthy’s interviews where she admits she should actually be smaller for her healthy lifestyle, Lawrence’s comments are viewed as some as some sort of ungratefulness or arrogance for not having to work for her great figure, although, the same might be considered as chubby in Hollywood.
In addition to such remarks, Lawrence’s comments to a reporter about not living his life behind a screen came off as rude and rubbed the wrong way. This might have been the beginning of her dethroning as the ‘it girl’. The public was outraged that she had been mean to the reporter who was reading a question from his phone. Although, she had become lovable through her unhinged and relatable nature, this thrust her under the bus on social media as people weighed in on the issue and the negative image she portrayed. It left the audiences asking whether she is actually just plain rude and loud-mouthed as opposed to funny and cool as people initially thought her to be.
Beneath the badass, carefree image that Lawrence portrays lays a kind bone. She donated $2.5 million to the Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville in order to aid in setting up a cardiac intensive care unit named after her foundation. Lawrence is the founder of the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation which helps out different charitable organizations such as ‘The Boys and Girls Club of America’ and the ‘Special Olympics’. In the past, she has teamed up with other actors including co-stars Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson to support different charitable organization programmes including the ‘World Food Programme’, ‘The Thirst Project’ as well as ‘Feeding America’. She has also carried out other charitable events including organizing an early screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, for Saint Mary’s center in Louisville, Kentucky. She also partnered with Chideo, a charity broadcast network to raise funds for the Special Olympic World Summer Games in 2015.
Lawrence is also an advocator of women’s rights as well as gender equality, specifically in pay as well. In 2015 she wrote an article about the disparity in pay between the male and female actors in Hollywood. She also stood up against a hacker who posted and circulated nude photos of her as well as other celebrities. She defended her right to privacy, earning her a medal of sorts in the public eye. She asserted that the hacker and anyone who viewed the photos perpetuated a ‘sex crime’ and violation. Lawrence was brought up as a Republican. However, she is pro-choice and supports same sex marriages. She asserts that she cannot support a party that denies women their basic rights.
Jennifer Lawrence lives in Beverly Hills, California. Unlike other celebrities, she does not hop from one relationship to another. She rarely dates and attributes this to being ‘picky’; she does not date just anyone. She reiterates that for her, having a ‘spark’ is important before she pursues anything and that the spark rarely happens. She explains that she may end up feeling a spark with just one person throughout the year. Among some of the people she has dated are her fellow X-Men cast mate, Nicholas Hoult – a relationship that lasted two years – and Coldplay’s Chris Martin after he and ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow split up. The relationship with Martin was rumored to have begun in 2014 ended in 2015. She has admitted to kissing her The Hunger Games’ co-star Liam Hemsworth, explaining that they have grown up together while noting that he is also hot. She also took a hard pass at ever dating Justin Beiber on a TV show when a caller asked whether she would consider dating him after he had revealed that she was his celebrity crush.
From her accomplishments and charitable undertakings, Jennifer Lawrence is admittedly more than just good looks and a great acting career. She is strong willed and is not afraid to speak her mind. She works to make a difference in society by reaching out to those who are disadvantaged in one way or another, such as those who cannot afford a decent meal, as well as the disabled, through personal endeavors and through her foundation too.