Jennifer Lawrence is known for her roles in The Hunger Games and Winter’s Bone, and is heralded as one of the most promising young actresses working today.
Jennifer Lawrence was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 15, 1990. She got her big break at 14, when she was discovered while vacationing in New York City with her family. She quickly landed a role in the TV series The Bill Engvall Show, and roles in films including The Burning Plain, Winter’s Bone, X-Men: First Class and The Hunger Games. She is reprising her role in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Lawrence won an Academy Award in 2013 for her work in Silver Linings Playbook.
Jennifer Shrader Lawrence was born on August 15, 1990, in a suburb of Louisville, Kentucky. She has two older brothers, Blaine and Ben, and her parents, Karen and Gary, owned a farm just outside the city.
Lawrence was an athletic child, involved in cheerleading, field hockey and softball, and thought she might be a doctor when she grew up. She did some modeling and community theater, but never dreamed that she’d become an actress.
Lawrence’s big break came when she was discovered at 14 while on spring break in New York with her family. A stranger asked to take her picture and took her mother’s phone number, then called the next day to ask her to do a screen test. Things happened quickly after that: Lawrence stayed in New York City for the summer, acting in commercials for MTV and filming the 2007 thriller Devil You Know with Lena Olin (the film was shelved due to lack of distribution and was eventually released in 2013). Soon after, Lawrence and her family moved to Los Angeles, where she had small roles on the series Medium, Monk and Cold Case, before landing a part on the TBS series The Bill Engvall Show. While working on the series, she also appeared in feature films like The Poker House and The Burning Plain alongside Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger.
After The Bill Engvall Show was canceled after three seasons, Lawrence went on to appear in the critically acclaimed Winter’s Bone in 2010, which earned her nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Opportunities continued to pour in, and in 2011 Lawrence appeared in The Beaver with Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and Anton Yelchin, and played Mystique in X-Men: First Class.
In 2012, Lawrence played Katniss Everdeen, the lead in The Hunger Games, the film adaptation of a novel by Suzanne Collins. Set in a post-apocalyptic state, Lawrence’s character must participate in an event in which 24 teens fight to the death as televised entertainment. The film broke box-office records on opening weekend, and Lawrence was asked to reprise her role for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in 2013.
Other 2012 releases included the thriller House at the End of the Street, co-starring Elisabeth Shue, and two dramas with Bradley Cooper: The Falling and Silver Linings Playbook, which has garnered several award nominations, including a Golden Globe nomination (best actress in a comedy or musical) for Lawrence. She took home the Academy Award for best actress in February 2013. Lawrence seemed overcome with emotion as she accepted the honor. In her characteristic frankness, she told the audience that “this is nuts” and went on to thank the cast and crew of Silver Linings Playbook.
In early 2015, Lawrence, Cooper and Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell signed on to bring the story of inventor Joy Mangano to the big screen, with Lawrence taking on the lead role.
In the media
Lawrence’s performances in 2012 prompted Rolling Stone to call her “the most talented young actress in America.” Donald Sutherland compared her to Laurence Olivier and described her as an “exquisite and brilliant actor.” Director David O. Russell has praised her effortless acting that make her performances look easy. Lawrence was never involved with theater and did not take acting classes, stating, “I’ve always studied people and been fascinated by their reactions and feelings. And I think that’s the best acting class you can take – watching real people, listening to them and studying them.”
Lawrence is perceived as being in a position of influence and power within the film industry. In 2013, she was among the Time 100, an annual list of the most influential people in the world published by Time, was named the most powerful woman in the entertainment business by Elle, and was ranked as the second-most powerful actress by Forbes, having earned an estimated $26 million over the previous year. In 2014, Forbes named her the second-highest-paid actress in Hollywood behind Sandra Bullock, and cited her as the most powerful actress, ranking at No. 12 overall in the magazine’s Celebrity 100 list. She has also garnered publicity for her physical appearance: AskMen named her the “most desirable woman” of 2013, and FHM listed her as its annual “sexiest woman in the world” in 2014. In August 2015, Forbes recognized her as the highest-paid actress of 2015, with earnings of $52 million.
Lawrence grew up in rural Kentucky around horses: “Growing up, I lived 15 minutes away from a horse farm, and I went there almost every day… My brothers were into fishing, but I was all about the horses.” In an interview with David Letterman she stated: “My parents were cheap so they never bought trained horses. I have a deformed tailbone, actually, from being thrown off a horse.”
On August 31, 2014, nude photographs of Lawrence were leaked online, believed to be obtained from her iCloud account by a hacker. Lawrence confirmed that the photographs are real. Emphasizing that the images were never meant to be public, she called the leak a “sex crime” and a “sexual violation”, telling Vanity Fair in October 2014, “Anybody who looked at those pictures, you’re perpetuating a sexual offense. You should cower with shame.” She said she feels similarly regarding people she knows and loves, adding, “I don’t want to get mad, but at the same time I’m thinking, I didn’t tell you that you could look at my naked body.”
Lawrence is active in charities such as the World Food Programme, Feeding America, and The Thirst Project. She organized an early screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to benefit Saint Mary’s Center, a special disabilities organization located in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, and raised more than $40,000 for the cause. Lawrence is an official ambassador of the Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Lawrence has created the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, which supports charities such as the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Special Olympics, and Do Something, a non-profit organization with the goal of motivating young people to take action around social changes. She also held a fundraising contest for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles as part of the LA premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.happy wheels
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