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In the Spotlight: Academy Award Nominee Jennifer Lawrence

March 05, 2014


In the Spotlight: Academy Award Nominee Jennifer Lawrence

Born August 15, 1990, in Louisville, Kentucky, Jennifer Lawrence says she has never taken an acting class. And yet, in 2012, Rolling Stone called Jennifer “the most talented young actress in America.”

The Big Break

Jennifer was 14 in 2004, on spring break in New York with her family, when she stumbled upon her big break.  During her vacation, Jennifer had arranged for a few auditions with talent and modeling agencies.  At her initial cold read, the agents told her mother that "it   was the best cold read by a 14- year-old they had ever heard.” They tried to convince her mother that Jennifer should spend the summer in Manhattan.  The same day, Jennifer was spotted by an agent while shooting an H&M ad and asked to take her picture. The next day, that agent called to invite her to the studio for a cold read audition.

Again, the agents were wowed and urged her mother to allow her to spend the summer in New York City. And that’s what happened. Jennifer and her family spent the summer in New York, landing several commercials including MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16.”

Fulfilling a promise to her parents, Jennifer graduated from high school two years early so that she could pursue her acting career. Her career demanded that she and her family move out to Los Angeles. There, she gained a role in The Bill Engvall Show (2007), the TBS Sitcom, as well as The Poker House (2008) and The Burning Plain (2008).

Not to be Type Cast

Next, Jennifer set her sights on the edgy role of Ree Dolly in Winter’s Bone (2010). The producers turned her down at her first audition because they thought she was “too pretty” for the role. "Like a psychopath,” she was quoted in People magazine, “I followed them to New York on the red-eye and showed up the next day at the casting there. Not brushing my hair or washing my face did the trick."
Winter’s Bone received universal critical acclaim, resulting in nominations for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award. The following year, Jennifer appeared alongside Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster in The Beaver and landed the role of Mystique in X-Men: First Class.

Jennifer Lawrence, on working with directors:

“It's always been about the script and the director, for me. There are directors that I want to work with and that I admire. You can love a script, but if it doesn't have a good director, it won't be that. I like to adapt to a director's way of working. I love doing that. Each director is so different, and you have to adapt to this new way of doing something. That's what's amazing to me. That's why I love directors. I don't want the director to have to work around me. I think it's more fun for me to come in on their thing.”