Lawrence at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International
Jennifer Shrader Lawrence|
August 15, 1990
Indian Hills, Kentucky, U.S.
|Residence||Beverly Hills, California, U.S.|
Jennifer Shrader Lawrence (born August 15, 1990) is an American actress. The highest-paid actress in the world, Lawrence's films have grossed over $5 billion worldwide. She is the youngest woman to accrue four Academy Award nominations. Lawrence is known in the media for being a vocal advocate of feminism and gender equality, and is the founder of the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation through which she supports various charitable organizations.
After performing in church plays and school musicals during her childhood, a talent scout spotted her in New York City when she was 14. Lawrence then moved to Los Angeles and began her acting career by playing guest roles in television shows. Her first major role came as a main cast member on the sitcom The Bill Engvall Show (2007–2009). She made her film debut with a supporting role in Garden Party (2008), following which she had her breakthrough with the acclaimed role of a poverty-stricken teenager in the independent drama Winter's Bone (2010). Lawrence achieved wider recognition for playing the mutant Mystique in X-Men: First Class (2011), a role she reprised in later installments of the X-Men franchise.
Lawrence's starring role as Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games film series (2012–2015) established her as the highest-grossing action heroine of all time. She has earned several accolades from her collaborations with the director David O. Russell. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for playing a depressed widow in the romantic drama Silver Linings Playbook (2012), making her the second-youngest Best Actress Oscar winner. She received the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for portraying a troubled wife in the black comedy American Hustle (2013). She also won three Golden Globe Awards for her roles in the two aforementioned films and for starring as the eponymous inventor in the biopic Joy (2015).
Jennifer Shrader Lawrence was born on August 15, 1990, in Indian Hills, Kentucky, to Gary Lawrence, a construction worker, and Karen (née Koch), a children's camp manager. She has two older brothers, Ben and Blaine. Lawrence was educated at the Kammerer Middle School in Louisville. She describes her childhood as an "unhappy" experience, as she suffered from hyperactivity and social anxiety and considered herself a misfit among her peers. Lawrence says that her anxieties would "disappear" when she performed onstage and that acting "made me happy because I felt capable whereas before I felt good for nothing".
A cheerleader at school, Lawrence also played several sports, including softball, field hockey and basketball, which she played on a boys team that her father coached. Her mother did not allow her to play with other girls as she deemed her "too rough". Lawrence was particularly fond of horseback riding and made daily visits to a local horse farm. She has a deformed coccyx from being thrown off a horse. Describing her ambitions as a child, Lawrence has said, "I always had a very normal idea of what I wanted: I was going to be a mom and I was going to be a doctor and I was going to live in Kentucky. But I always knew that I was going to be famous." When her father worked from home, she would perform for him, often dressing up as a clown or ballerina. Her first acting assignment was at the age of nine with the role of a prostitute in a church play based on the Book of Jonah that led to a family friend telling her mother, "We don't know if we should congratulate you or not, because your kid's a great prostitute". For the next few years, Lawrence continued to take on parts in church plays and school musicals.
During a family vacation to New York City, when Lawrence was 14 years old, she was spotted by a talent scout who arranged for her to audition for agents. Karen was not keen to let her daughter pursue an acting career, but she briefly moved to the city to let Lawrence read for roles. After Lawrence's first cold read, the agents opined that her read was the best they had seen from someone that young, though her mother convinced her that the agents were lying. Describing her early experiences, Lawrence said: "It was hard at first. I didn't have any friends. I remember being kind of lonely." Despite opposition from her parents, she signed on with the CESD Talent Agency, who convinced her parents to let their daughter audition for roles in Los Angeles. Lawrence's mother agreed to let her pursue acting on the condition that she graduate from high school. Lawrence was eventually home-schooled in Los Angeles, and graduated two years early with a high score. Considering acting to be a natural fit for her, she turned down several offers for modelling assignments at the time. Between her acting jobs in the city, she made regular visits to Louisville, during which she served as an assistant nurse at her mother's camp.
2006–2010: Career beginnings and breakthrough
Lawrence began her acting career with a minor role in the television film Company Town (2006). She followed it with guest roles in a number of television shows, including Monk (2006) and Medium (2007). These parts led to her being cast as a series regular on the TBS sitcom The Bill Engvall Show, in which she played Lauren, the rebellious teenage daughter of a family living in suburban Louisville, Colorado. The series premiered in 2007 and ran for three seasons. Critic Tom Shales of The Washington Post considered Lawrence to be a "scene-stealer" in her part and David Hinckley of the New York Daily News wrote that she was successful in "deliver[ing] the perpetual exasperation of teenage girls". Lawrence won a Young Artist Award for Outstanding Young Performer in a TV Series for the role in 2009.
In 2008, Lawrence made her film debut with a supporting role in the independent drama film Garden Party, following which she featured in prominent roles in two additional releases of the year. She had a starring role in Lori Petty's drama The Poker House, as the oldest of three sisters living with their drug-abusing mother. Critic Stephen Farber of The Hollywood Reporter thought that Lawrence "has a touching poise on camera that conveys the resilience of children", and the role won her an Outstanding Performance award from the Los Angeles Film Festival. She then featured in director Guillermo Arriaga's feature film debut The Burning Plain (2008), a drama narrated in a hyperlink format. Lawrence was cast as the teenage daughter of Kim Basinger's character who discovers her mother's extramarital affair—a role she shared with Charlize Theron; both actresses portrayed the role at different stages of the character's life. A writer for The Boston Globe considered Lawrence to be miscast in the part, but the critic for Variety praised her as the production's prime asset, writing that she "plumbs fresher depths" into the film. Her performance earned her the Premio Marcello Mastroianni award for Best Emerging Actress at the Venice Film Festival. Also that year, Lawrence appeared in the music video for the song "The Mess I Made" by Parachute.
Lawrence's breakthrough role came in small-scale drama Winter's Bone (2010), based on Daniel Woodrell's novel of the same name. In Debra Granik's independent feature, she portrayed Ree Dolly, a poverty-stricken teenager in the Ozark Mountains who cares for her mentally ill mother and younger siblings while searching for her missing father. Lawrence traveled to the Ozarks a week before filming to live with the family on whom the story was based, and in preparation, she learned to fight, skin squirrels, and chop wood. Her performance was acclaimed by film critics; David Denby of The New Yorker said the film "would be unimaginable with anyone less charismatic", and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone opined that "her performance is more than acting, it's a gathering storm. Lawrence's eyes are a roadmap to what's tearing Ree apart." The production won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival; Lawrence was awarded the National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Performance and among accolades, received her first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the second youngest person to be nominated in the category.
2011–2013: Film franchises and awards success
In 2011, Lawrence took on a supporting role in Like Crazy, a romantic drama about long-distance relationships, starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones. A writer for Los Angeles Times considered the film to be an "intensely wrought and immensely satisfying love story" and credited all three performers for "making their [character's] yearning palpable". She then appeared in The Beaver, a black comedy directed by Jodie Foster, in which she played the daughter of Foster and Mel Gibson's characters. Filmed in 2009, the production was delayed due to controversy concerning Gibson, and eventually failed commercially. After a dramatic role in Winter Bones, Lawrence looked for "something a little lighter" that she found with her first high-profile release—Matthew Vaughn's superhero film X-Men: First Class (2011)—which served as a prequel to the previous films in the X-Men franchise. She portrayed the shape-shifting mutant Mystique, a role played by Rebecca Romijn in the earlier films. Vaughn cast Lawrence as he thought that "she could pull off the challenging dichotomy that Raven faces as she transforms into Mystique; that vulnerability that shields a powerful inner strength." Lawrence prepared for the part by going on a diet and working out, and for Mystique's blue form, she had to undergo an eight-hour make-up process similar to that of Romijn on the other films. Lawrence had reservations about her performance because of Romijin's roles in the franchise's previous films as she considered her to be "the most gorgeous person in the world", although her performance was well received by critics. Writing for USA Today, Claudia Puig considered the film to be a "classy re-boot" of the franchise, and believed that Lawrence's "high-spirited performance" empowered the film. With a worldwide gross of $350 million, X-Men: First Class became Lawrence's most widely seen film to that point.
Lawrence's profile continued to grow in 2012 as she played Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, an adaptation of author Suzanne Collins' first book in The Hunger Games trilogy. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, the franchise tells the story of the teenage heroine Everdeen as she joins rebel forces against a totalitarian government after winning a brutal televised annual event. Despite being an admirer of the books, Lawrence was initially skeptical to accept the part, as she was intimidated by the scale of the film, and pondered on how it would affect her career. She later agreed to the project after her mother convinced her to take the part. Lawrence underwent extensive physical training for the role, and practiced yoga, archery, rock and tree climbing, and hand-to-hand combat techniques. While training for the part, she injured herself after running into a wall. The film received generally positive reviews, and Lawrence's portrayal of Everdeen was particularly praised. Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter labelled her an "ideal screen actress", adding that she embodies Everdeen "just as one might imagine her from the novel," and believed that she anchored the film "with impressive gravity and presence". Critic Roger Ebert agreed that she was "strong and convincing in the central role". With worldwide revenues of over $690 million, The Hunger Games became a top-grossing film featuring a female lead, making Lawrence the highest-grossing action heroine of all time. The success of the film established Lawrence as a star; she remarked: "I wasn't famous 24 hours earlier and I got up to go about my day as usual and went to the grocery store. All of a sudden there were like 25 paparazzi following me and there was a three-car pile up."
Later in 2012, Lawrence played a young, depressed widow in David O. Russell's romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook. The film was an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Matthew Quick, and co-starred Bradley Cooper as a man with bipolar disorder who finds companionship in Lawrence's character. The actress was drawn to the character's complex personality: "She didn't really fit any basic kind of character profile. Somebody who is very forceful and bullheaded is normally very insecure, but she isn't". Although Russell considered Lawrence to be too young for the part, she convinced him to hire her over a Skype audition. She found herself challenged by Russell's spontaneity as a director, and described working on the project as the "best experience of my life". Richard Corliss of Time wrote in his review: "Just 21 when the movie was shot, Lawrence is that rare young actress who plays, who is, grown-up. Sullen and sultry, she lends a mature intelligence to any role." Peter Travers believed that Lawrence "is some kind of miracle. She's rude, dirty, funny, foulmouthed, sloppy, sexy, vibrant, and vulnerable, sometimes all in the same scene, even in the same breath." She won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film, becoming, at age 22, the second-youngest Best Actress Oscar winner. Lawrence's final release of the year was alongside Max Thieriot and Elisabeth Shue in Mark Tonderai's critically panned thriller House at the End of the Street.
The Devil You Know, a small-scale feature that Lawrence had filmed for back in 2005 was her first release of 2013. She then reprised the role of Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second installment in the Hunger Games franchise. While performing the film's underwater stunts, Lawrence suffered from an ear infection that resulted in a brief loss of hearing. With box office earnings of $864.9 million, the film remains her highest-grossing release. Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice believed that Lawrence's portrayal of Everdeen made her an ideal role model for youngsters, and wrote that "there's no sanctimony or pretense of false modesty in the way Lawrence plays her". She next took on a supporting role in Russell's ensemble crime drama American Hustle (2013) as the neurotic wife of a con man (portrayed by Christian Bale). Inspired by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Abscam sting operation, the film is set against the backdrop of political corruption in 1970s New Jersey and also starred Cooper, Amy Adams, and Jeremy Renner. Lawrence did little research for the part, and instead relied on her instincts and knowledge of the era from the films and television shows she had seen. During the film's production, Lawrence damaged some of her costumes, causing the wardrobe department to create a number of identical dresses. The critic for The Independent praised Lawrence for her "funny and acerbic performance, very different indeed from her warrior heroics in The Hunger Games", and particularly took note of an improvised scene in which she aggressively kisses Adams on the lips. Lawrence's performance won her the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress, in addition to a third Academy Award nomination, her first in the supporting category.
2014–present: Established actress
Susanne Bier's depression-era drama Serena (2014), based on the novel of the same name by Ron Rash, marked Lawrence's third collaboration with Cooper. The pair starred as a married couple who become involved in criminal activities after realizing that they cannot bear children. The project was filmed in 2012, but was released in 2014 to poor reviews. Lawrence then reprised the role of Mystique in X-Men: Days of Future Past, which served as a sequel to both X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and X-Men: First Class (2011). Critically acclaimed, the film grossed $748.1 million worldwide to become the highest-grossing film in the X-Men franchise to that point. Justin Chang of Variety praised Lawrence's look in the film but thought that "she has relatively little to do here other than glower, snarl and let the f/x artists do their thing". Lawrence's next two releases were in the final parts of The Hunger Games film series—Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and Part 2 (2015). For the musical score of the former film, she sang the song "The Hanging Tree", which charted on multiple international single charts. In a review for the final film in the franchise, Manohla Dargis of The New York Times drew similarities between Lawrence's rise to stardom and Everdeen's journey as a rebel leader, writing: "Lawrence now inhabits the role as effortlessly as breathing, partly because, like all great stars, she seems to be playing a version of her 'real' self". Both films earned more than $650 million worldwide.
Lawrence re-teamed with Russell for the third time in the biopic Joy (2015), in which she played the eponymous character, a troubled single mother who becomes a successful businessperson after inventing the Miracle Mop. During its production in Boston, the press reported on a feud between Russell and Lawrence that resulted in a "screaming match". Addressing the issue, Lawrence said that her friendship with Russell made it easier for them to have disagreements, adding that "when you really love somebody, you fight with them". The film was not as well received as their previous collaborations, but Lawrence's performance was praised. Critic Richard Roeper labelled her performance as her best since Winter's Bone, calling it "a wonderfully layered performance that carries the film through its rough spots and sometime dubious detours". She won a third Golden Globe Award, and was nominated for another Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming the youngest person to accrue four Oscars nominations. Lawrence began 2016 by providing the narration for A Beautiful Planet, a documentary film that explores Earth from the International Space Station. She then played Mystique for the third time in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). An Empire writer considered the film to be a letdown from the previous installments of the franchise and criticized Lawrence for making her character "more unrelentingly grim than ever". By June 2016, Lawrence's films had grossed over $5 billion worldwide.
As of June 2016, Lawrence has five upcoming projects. She was paid $20 million to co-star with Chris Pratt in the science fiction film Passengers, which is scheduled for release in December 2016. She has also filmed Mother from director Darren Aronofsky, co-starring Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer and Domhnall Gleeson, about a young couple whose lives are disrupted by the arrival of unexpected guests. In addition, Lawrence has co-written the screenplay for a comedy film with Amy Schumer, in which the pair will co-star as sisters. She will also star in Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of photojournalist Lynsey Addario's memoir It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War, and will feature as Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the Theranos blood testing company, in Adam McKay's film Bad Blood.
While filming X-Men: First Class in 2010, Lawrence began a romantic relationship with her co-star Nicholas Hoult. Following a brief split in 2013, the couple broke up while filming for X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014. In 2014, Lawrence was one of the victims of the iCloud leaks of celebrity photos, during which several nude pictures of her were leaked online. Emphasizing that the images were never meant to be public, Lawrence called the leak a "sex crime" and a "sexual violation", adding that "anybody who looked at those pictures, you're perpetuating a sexual offense and you should cower with shame". As of 2016, Lawrence lives in Beverly Hills, California.
Lawrence is vocal about issues pertaining to women's rights. She identifies as pro-choice and is a supporter of Planned Parenthood. She is a feminist and believes that women can be strong-willed and yet retain their empathetic nature. In 2015, Lawrence wrote an essay for the Lenny Letter in which she criticized the gender pay gap in Hollywood. She wrote about her own experiences in the industry, in particular about the considerably lesser salary she received for her work in American Hustle in comparison to her male co-stars. In a 2015 interview with Vogue, Lawrence criticized Kim Davis for her opposition to same-sex marriage. Though Lawrence was "raised a Republican," she has said, "I just can't imagine supporting a party that doesn't support women's basic rights."
Lawrence became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2011. Lawrence has lent her support to several charitable organizations, such as the World Food Programme, Feeding America, and The Thirst Project. Along with Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, her co-stars of The Hunger Games (2012), Lawrence partnered with the United Nations to create awareness on poverty and hunger. She organized an early screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) to benefit Saint Mary's Center, a special disabilities organization located in her hometown of Louisville, and raised more than $40,000 for the cause. Lawrence partnered with the charity broadcast network Chideo to raise funds for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games by organizing a screening of her film Serena (2014). She also collaborated with Omaze to host a fundraising contest for the games as part of the premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014). In 2015, she teamed with Hutcherson and Hemsworth for Prank It FWD, a charitable initiative to raise money for the non-profit organization Do Something. That year, she also launched the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, which supports charities such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Special Olympics. In 2016, Lawrence donated $2 million to the Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville to set up a cardiac intensive care unit named after her foundation.
In the media
The review website IndieWire, in 2012, described Lawrence's personality as "down-to-earth", "self-deprecating" and "unaffected", writing that "[she] does not pretend in the space(s) ... nor does she act 'female' in the way that we have come to expect young female celebrities to act today—hyper-sexual, truistic, ditsy, mollifying". She is frequently referred to as "America's Sweetheart" in the media. An IGN writer considers her to be a "sharp", "funny" and "quirky" actress who likes to "stay grounded" despite considerable success. Lawrence says that she finds acting "stupid" and does not believe in being "cocky" about her success. As a role model to young people, she tries to be careful with her words.
In 2012, Rolling Stone called her "the most talented young actress in America." Her The Hunger Games co-star Donald Sutherland has favorably compared her craft to Laurence Olivier and considers her an "exquisite and brilliant actor." David O. Russell (who directed her in Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and Joy) has praised her effortless acting that make her performances look easy. During her career, Lawrence has played roles in both high-profile, mainstream productions and low-budget independent films, and has appeared in a range of film genres.<ref name=" Lawrence did not study acting and was not involved in professional theater. She says, "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." In a 2010 interview with The Globe and Mail, Lawrence described her approach to acting:
I don't invest any of my real emotions. [I don't take any of my characters' pain home with me,] I don't even take it to craft services. I've never been through anything that my characters have been through. And I can't go around looking for roles that are exactly like my life. So I just use my imagination. If it ever came down to the point where, to make a part better, I had to lose a little bit of my sanity, I wouldn't do it. I would just do comedies.
As her career has developed, Lawrence has become one of the most successful actresses—according to a 2014 report by The Daily Telegraph, she earns $10 million a film. In 2013, Time magazine named her one of the most 100 influential people in the world. That year, she was also named the most powerful woman in the entertainment business by Elle, and was ranked as the 50th most powerful actress by Forbes. In 2014, Forbes named her the second-highest-paid actress in the world with earnings of $34 million, and cited her as the most powerful actress, ranking at number 12 in the magazine's Celebrity 100 list. In 2015. Lawrence was named "Entertainer of the Year" by Entertainment Weekly—a title she won also in 2012—and was recognized as the highest-grossing action heroine in Guinness World Records for starring in the Hunger Games franchise. In 2015 and 2016, Forbes reported that she had emerged as the world's highest-paid actress with annual earnings of $52 million and $46 million, respectively.
Several media publications have noted Lawrence's sex appeal and beauty. She appeared in Victoria's Secret's listing of the "Sexiest Up-and-Coming Bombshell" in 2011. She was included in AskMen's annual beauty listings from 2011 to 2016, People's "Most Beautiful People" in 2011 and 2013, Maxim's Hot 100 from 2011–2014, and FHM's sexiest woman in the world in 2014. From 2013–15, she was featured in Glamour's annual listing of the best dressed women, topping the list in 2014.
|Garden Party||2008||Tiffany "Tiff"|
|Poker House, TheThe Poker House||2008||Agnes|
|Burning Plain, TheThe Burning Plain||2008||Mariana|
|Winter's Bone||2010||Ree Dolly|
|Beaver, TheThe Beaver||2011||Norah|
|X-Men: First Class||2011||Raven Darkhölme / Mystique|
|Hunger Games, TheThe Hunger Games||2012||Katniss Everdeen|
|House at the End of the Street||2012||Elissa Cassidy|
|Silver Linings Playbook||2012||Tiffany Maxwell|
|The Devil You Know||2013||Young Zoe Hughes|
|Hunger Games: Catching Fire, TheThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire||2013||Katniss Everdeen|
|American Hustle||2013||Rosalyn Rosenfeld|
|X-Men: Days of Future Past||2014||Raven Darkhölme / Mystique|
|Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, TheThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1||2014||Katniss Everdeen|
|Dior and I||2015||Herself||Documentary|
|Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, TheThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2||2015||Katniss Everdeen|
|A Beautiful Planet||2016||Narrator||Documentary|
|X-Men: Apocalypse||2016||Raven Darkhölme / Mystique|
|Company Town||2006||Caitlin||Television film|
|Monk||2006||Mascot||Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Big Game"|
|Cold Case||2007||Abby Bradford||Episode: "A Dollar, a Dream"|
|Medium||2007||Claire Chase||Episode: "Mother's Little Helper"|
|Medium||2008||Young Allison||Episode: "But for the Grace of God"|
|Bill Engvall Show, TheThe Bill Engvall Show||2007–09||Lauren Pearson||31 episodes|
|Saturday Night Live||2013||Host||Episode: "Jennifer Lawrence/The Lumineers"|
|Saturday Night Live||2014||Herself||Episode: "Woody Harrelson/Kendrick Lamar"|
|"The Mess I Made"||2010||Parachute|
Lawrence won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook (2012). She has won three Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress – Comedy or Musical for Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and Joy (2015), and Best Supporting Actress for American Hustle (2013). She has also won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for American Hustle (2013).
- List of actors with two or more Academy Award nominations in acting categories
- List of oldest and youngest Academy Award winners and nominees
- List of people from the Louisville metropolitan area
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