By Talha Ishaq
Be it for Oscar nomination, box-office record, paparazzi clashes, being highest paid celeb and getting her $10 million paycheck, or romantic comedy-sparkle: Jennifer Lawrence has always hit the bull’s eye. She is one of those celebrities who are totally honest and authentic about their lifstyle and experiences – being the girl next door. She is super classy and has made a place in the hearts of millions with her exquisite yet joyful personality.
Jennifer Shrader Lawrence was born on August 15, 1990 in Indian Hills, Kentucky, to Gary, a construction worker, and Karen (née Koch), a summer camp manager. She has two older brothers, Ben and Blaine, and her mother brought her up to be “tough” like them. Lawrence’s mother did not allow her to play with other girls in preschool as she deemed her “too rough” with them. The actress was educated at the Kammerer Middle School in Louisville. She did not enjoy her childhood due to hyperactivity and social anxiety, and considered herself a misfit among her peers. Lawrence has said that her anxieties vanished when she performed on stage, and that acting gave her a sense of accomplishment. A cheerleader at school, Lawrence also played softball, field hockey and basketball, which she played on a boys team that her father coached. She was fond of horseback riding while growing up and frequently visited a local horse farm. She has a damaged coccyx from being thrown off a horse. The actress has said that she knew she would be famous from an early age. When her father worked from home, she performed 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. For the next few years, she continued to take parts in church plays and school musicals. By the age of 14, she had resolved to become an actress and began begging her parents to take her to New York and find her an agent. They complied and by 2007, she’d landed a role on The Bill Engvall Show, a sitcom about a suburban, middle-American family. Let’s say that she was not exactly challenged by her “typical teenage girl” part.
She gained popularity when she landed the role that ignited her career. In 2010’s “Winter’s Bone” she played a squirrel-skinning 17-year-old trying to hold her family together in the wilderness of the Ozark mountains. (A few hardscrabble roles later, she’d joke to this newspaper: “I’m just looking for interesting stories and strong characters. Maybe that’s where the good material is. Maybe that’s why I end up playing white-trash girls with too much responsibility.”) It was a performance that made real that cliched term “magnetic”, her face so completely captivating that Rolling Stone hailed it as “more than acting, it’s a gathering storm”. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for the role but lost to Natalie Portman. There followed an action role in 2011’s X-Men: First Class and then, in 2012, she starred as Tiffany Maxwell, a splenetic young widow reluctantly falling for an equally damaged Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook”. It won her an Oscar. The same year, she achieved global fame for her role as Katniss in The Hunger Games, the sci-fi dystopia based on the bestselling novels of Suzanne Collins. Lawrence took three days to say yes, acutely aware of how life-changing, for better and worse, the role would be. To date, the franchise has made more than $2bn worldwide. Lawrence’s empire isn’t all about film. For music score of franchise, she found her way onto the Billboard 100 for her rendition of “The Hanging Tree” from the “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1”. Lawrence subsequently won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for playing a troubled wife in the black comedy “American Hustle”. She also received Golden Globe Awards for her roles in each of these films, and for her performance as Joy Mangano in the biopic “Joy” . Lawrence played Serena Pemberton in Susanne Bier’s depression-era drama “Serena“, based on the novel of the same name by Ron Rash. The project was filmed in 2012, and was released in 2014 to poor reviews. For playing Aurora Lane in the science fiction film “Passengers “, Lawrence was paid $20 million and received top-billing over co-star Chris Pratt. Critical reaction was negative, with a consensus that the film had a “fatally flawed story”, though the chemistry between Lawrence and Pratt was praised. Darren Aronofsky’s psychological horror film “Mother!” was Lawrence’s sole release of 2017. She starred as a young woman married to a much-older man (played by Javier Bardem), who experiences trauma when her home is invaded by unexpected guests. “Mother!” polarized viewers; it prompted mass walkouts, received the lowest possible CinemaScore rating from viewers, and had the lowest-grossing opening weekend for a wide release in Lawrence’s career. The film was better received by critics. By March 2017, Lawrence’s films had grossed over $5.5 billion worldwide. Lawrence is known in the media as an advocate for feminism and gender equality. She is the founder of the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, through which she supports various charitable organizations.
In March 2018, Lawrence will star as Dominika Egorova, a Russian spy, in the espionage thriller “Red Sparrow” directed by Francis Lawrence. She has committed to star in her fourth X-Men film, subtitled Dark Phoenix, which is scheduled for release in November 2018. Lawrence and Amy Schumer have written a screenplay for a film in which they will star. She will 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”.