She claimed her spot in Hollywood with an Academy Award nomination for Winter’s Bone (2010), followed by her appearance on the red carpet in a body-conscious minimalist Calvin Klein dress that launched a million fan sites.
Then came another sexy avatar in X-Men: First Class (2011).
Now, Jennifer Shrader Lawrence, 21, will be seen in the recentlyreleased The Hunger Games, where she plays Katniss Everdeen in the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ postapocalyptic trilogy.
Having acted in church plays and graduated from high school two years early, just to begin acting, Lawrence has more to say about her role in the sci-fi thriller, set in a dystopian post-America, where the elite preside over a starving working class:
Did you make an instant connection with your character, Katniss Everdeen? I always was a fan of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy.
I read all of them long ago.
I read them in hardcover, and I was on the waitlist on Amazon for (the last book) Mockingjay.
I devoured these books.
One fine day, I got a call from Gary Ross and I went and read the book with him and discussed the whole project.
I was so overwhelmed when he wanted me to play Katniss.
You have done a few stunts in the movie.
What went into preparing for the role?
Since half the movie sees me running, I worked extensively with a running coach.
All day long I was running down mountains, through sticks and bushes, and doing it over and over again.
I also worked a lot on clim bing, both at rock gyms and on real trees, as well as on vault stunts and even more on archery.
The training was really rough, but also fun.
Has your Academy Awards nomination for Winter’s Bone change the way you select your projects? My fan base has definitely changed.
I believe young girls and teens see me as a role model, which is flattering.
I did Indie films and one of them (Winter’s Bone) got lucky.
I was in X-Men but that movie was already a franchise, which I just joined on to in the end.
This is like insane.
Who is your inspiration?
Meryl Streep, Laura Linney and Cate Blanchett.
I would someday love to do a film with Steven Spielberg because he is the world’s best.
Also, Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan — they are the best we have, as of now.
What keeps you busy and happy off the sets?
I play my guitar or rest at home or just catch up on some movies.
How far can you go to get into character?
I truly am a method actor.
I learned how to skin squirrels, chop wood, and fight for the recent films that I have been doing.