Coming out of nowhere to quickly become one of the biggest actresses on the planet, Jennifer Lawrence has wowed us with award-winning performances in the likes of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, whilst also headlining successful event movies such as X-Men: First Class and The Hunger Games.
Below are 20 things you might not have realised about the star, whose films have – so far – made a quite staggering $6 billion worldwide.
20. She originally turned down the role of Katniss Everdeen
Though Jennifer Lawrence has been involved in quite a few franchises by this point in her career, the role that took her to global fame was Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine anyone else as the spirited rebel from District 12, but for a time there was no guarantee that Lawrence would even accept the role.
As surprising as it may seem, when Lawrence was first offered the part of Katniss, she turned it down outright.
It was only after being told to consider it that she changed her mind, and called the casting director back three days later in order to accept the offer.
As to why Lawrence initially turned down the part of Katniss, it had to do with Kristen Stewart’s experience with Twilight.
Lawrence remembered that Stewart’s life completely changed as a result of her playing Bella Swan, and Lawrence wanted to avoid her life being similarly changed.
19. The tabloids once let Lawrence pick which of her co-stars they would claim she was having an affair with
Being a film star has its perks, but there are also downsides to making it in Hollywood, with the big one being constant scrutiny from the press.
Sometimes that even includes publications just making up rumours wholesale, which is exactly what happened to Jennifer Lawrence.
Essentially, a tabloid was planning on running a story about Jennifer Lawrence having an affair with her co-star.
However, Lawrence’s agent found out about the story first, and negotiated to let Lawrence choose which co-star she would be rumoured to be having an affair with.
Lawrence chose her Silver Linings Playbook co-star Bradley Cooper over her Hunger Games: Catching Fire co-star Samuel Claflin.
Why? According to Lawrence herself, she “chose Bradley Cooper because I love Sam’s fiancé so much”.
18. She was almost the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Before Jennifer Lawrence got the huge, life-changing parts of Katniss Everdeen and Mystique, she auditioned unsuccessfully to be a part of other big franchises.
Amongst the parts she auditioned for was Bella Swan in Twilight, which eventually went to Kristen Stewart.
Lawrence also auditioned to play the titular Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, otherwise known as Lisbeth Salander.
The role eventually went to Rooney Mara, but Lawrence got quite far through the audition process, which meant she walked away with a cool memento.
Lawrence progressed far enough through the audition process to see herself fully dressed up as the character.
Lawrence still has a picture of herself on her phone, fully dressed in the goth assassin get-up that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo would require.
17. Her blue Mystique make-up ruined the London flat she was staying in
Playing Mystique did definitely take Jennifer Lawrence’s career to the next level, but it wasn’t a totally easy role to play.
Applying the full-body make-up was an arduous process, and it had to be constantly touched up and reapplied on set.
Not only that, but Lawrence had to sit or stand on a bicycle while the make-up was being applied, which no doubt got old quickly.
Worst of all though, the Mystique make-up destroyed the London flat she was staying in while the movie was filmed, to the point where she had to fight to get her security deposit back.
After coming home from set each day and showering, Jennifer Lawrence found she had completely stained the bathtub with blue body paint.
The paint just wouldn’t budge and had to be professionally cleaned, and Lawrence only got her security deposit back after a long and protracted argument.
16. She once tried to shoot some builders with a bow and arrow
If you’ve ever wondered if training to be an action star would come in handy in real life, Jennifer Lawrence is the definitive proof that it does.
All her bow and arrow training from The Hunger Games paid off when she thought she saw two men loitering on her porch, intending to burgle her.
Lawrence immediately did exactly what Katniss Everdeen would do in that situation, and grabbed a bow and arrow, intending to shoot and scare them off.
Thankfully, she never got around to the actual shooting part though, which in retrospect is a pretty good thing.
It turns out, the people on her porch were actually builders, and they weren’t loitering on her porch – they were just trying to fix her deck.
Still, at least Lawrence knows that she can successfully defend herself if she needs to, as long as she keeps a bow and arrow around.
15. The night she won an Oscar was one of the worst of her life
For most actors, winning an Oscar represents hitting the pinnacle of their career, and is no doubt one of the high points of their personal life as well.
However, for Jennifer Lawrence, the night she won an Oscar also represented a night of complete personal catastrophe.
While being interviewed on Graham Norton about her Oscar win, she claimed “Oh I don’t want to talk about that night! It was a whole mess!”
As for why she found it so upsetting, it probably started when she tripped on her way up to accept her award, a moment which became a meme worldwide.
Lawrence also claimed that she was humiliated when she forgot to thank David O Russell, the director of the film she was the Oscar for, and that things only got worse when she went home once the awards were done.
Apparently, Lawrence’s friend ordered the wrong pizza, and a mix up with her birth control meant she was super emotional, resulting in her crying about how the Oscar meant nothing. Poor Jennifer Lawrence.
14. Anne Hathaway accidentally helped Lawrence get an Oscar (and vice versa)
When Jennifer Lawrence won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2012, she probably should have thanked Anne Hathaway.
Not only that, but when Hathaway won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the same year, she probably should have thanked Lawrence in return.
The reason is that Anne Hathaway originally auditioned for the role of Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook, and was even locked in to play the role at one point.
However, when it got closer to production on the film, Anne Hathaway had to step away due to limited availability.
Jennifer Lawrence stepped in to play the role of Tiffany, and Anne Hathaway stepped away in order to play Fantine in Les Miserables.
Both actresses won Oscars for their respective films, so the switch around probably worked out for the best for both of them.
13. She went deaf for a month filming The Hunger Games after being shot in the ear with a water cannon
The Hunger Games was invaluable to Jennifer Lawrence’s career, raising her profile to a whole new level and giving her a worldwide audience.
With that said, it wasn’t an easy franchise to film, and Lawrence had to deal with a fair share of injuries along the way.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t tumbling through the woods, fighting off other tributes or even wearing a dress that was literally on fire that caused Lawrence to get hurt.
Instead, she was injured during the making of the second film, Catching Fire, thanks to the huge amount of water present in the movie.
Lawrence was shot directly in the ear with a water cannon while shooting, and subsequently went deaf in one ear for a whole month while shooting.
It didn’t help that Lawrence had already done several weeks of diving into water and swimming, which gave her constant ear infections and pain. Ouch.
12. She got into a car accident because of Honey Boo-Boo
Jennifer Lawrence is one of the biggest actresses in the world, and she no doubt has a passionate fanbase of her own.
However, she’s also prone to her own fangirl outbursts, and the people she is obsessed with might come as a surprise.
For example, Lawrence is totally obsessed with Toddlers & Tiaras alum Honey Boo-Boo, so much so that she once almost crashed her car.
Lawrence was driving through Georgia when she saw Honey Boo-Boo’s name on the side of a parade float, and she almost crashed her car while trying to get a look.
Unfortunately, the bright pink parade floats were actually in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, and the side of the floats actually said “boobs”, not “boo-boo”.
So no Honey Boo-Boo, which is probably a good thing, since who knows what would have happened to Lawrence’s car if Honey Boo-Boo had actually been there.
11. She had to kill and skin a squirrel for Winter’s Bone
Jennifer Lawrence might be living the high life right now, but she’s never been afraid to dive headfirst into a role, even if it means getting grubby.
Maybe the best example of this is A Winter’s Bone, for which Jennifer Lawrence had to spend time living with survivalists full time.
The survivalists taught Lawrence to hunt, kill, skin and cook a squirrel – which she still maintains is the most intense thing she has ever had to do for a role.
Lawrence was also taught to chop wood and fight, which helped make her character in the movie more convincing.
As hard as the preparation for the role was, the work paid off when Lawrence was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.
It also probably made Lawrence’s later work in The Hunger Games better, too, since she also had to look convincing hunting and fighting in District 12 and The Capital.
10. She wasn’t allowed to play with other girls in pre-school
Jennifer Lawrence has a reputation for being an ultra down-to-Earth person, with an unabashed sense of humour and tendency to say whatever she’s thinking.
Those personality traits make even more sense when you realise that Lawrence grew up with brothers, and was encouraged to keep up with them by her family.
As a consequence of growing up with boys, Jennifer Lawrence was encouraged to be pretty rough and tumble.
Unfortunately, that made things difficult when Lawrence started preschool, as her mother worried she was too tough to play with the other girls.
In fact, her mother went so far as to suggest to Lawrence’s teachers that she should be kept apart from the other girls, so she wouldn’t play with them too roughly.
Thankfully, Lawrence was outgoing enough that she still managed to make friends and play with others – she just had to be careful of her strength.
9. She was once seriously injured after being thrown from a horse
Jennifer Lawrence grew up fairly sporty, playing in the boys’ basketball team that her father managed, while also dabbling in football and hockey.
Lawrence also learnt to ride a horse at her local farm, and developed a strong love for riding that has stuck with her to this day.
With that said, her horseriding wasn’t entirely without incident, since one time she was thrown from her horse in a serious incident.
The fall gave Lawrence a bruised tailbone that took a while to recover from, and probably made getting back on a horse pretty uncomfortable for a while.
In the years since, Jennifer Lawrence has worked with horses multiple times, most significantly in Winter’s Bone.
Lawrence has also shot a spread for Vogue Magazine, where the photographs focused on her being on a horse or interacting with one.
8. She was spotted by a talent scout at the age of 14
Lawrence was spotted on the street by a talent scout at the age of 14, whilst she was holidaying with her family in New York City.
Lawrence’s mother gave the scout her phone number, and later accompanied Lawrence to a script reading, where young J-Law blew the watching casting agents away.
At her first script reading, the talent agents said that Lawrence gave the best performance they had ever seen from someone so young.
Lawrence’s mother told her to ignore the compliment and stay humble, but the scouting did represent the start of Lawrence’s professional acting career.
The talent agents couldn’t believe that Lawrence had done no formal acting training, and had only participated in local theatre.
Lawrence’s parents weren’t super convinced that a life of acting professionally could make Lawrence happy, until they saw her working on set and realised how excited she was.
7. She’s one of the youngest people ever to win an acting Oscar
After appearing in a number of TV shows and films, often in small roles, Lawrence’s breakthrough came when she starred in the 2010 film Winter’s Bone.
Her performance as poverty-stricken teenager Ree Dolly meant that Lawrence was at the time the second-youngest actress ever to be nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award.
Jennifer Lawrence was just 20 when she was nominated, making her still the third-youngest nominee ever in history, beaten out only by a nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis and a 13-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes.
Jennifer Lawrence went on to win the Oscar for her work in Silver Linings Playbook just two years later, making her the second-youngest actress ever to win in that category.
As for who is the youngest actress to ever win the Best Actress Oscar, that honour goes to Marlee Matlin, who won the award for her work on Children of a Lesser God in 1987.
Matlin was just 21 when she won, a year younger than Lawrence. Matlin has held the record for 33 years.
6. She’s the highest-grossing action heroine of all time
After hitting the big time playing shape-shifting mutant Mystique for the first time in the 2011 X-Men prequel First Class, Lawrence’s career continued going from strength to strength.
Only a year later she would star as Katniss Everdeen in the first The Hunger Games film, and would go on to star in its three sequels.
The first Hunger Games movie became the highest-grossing film with a female lead ever, and also made Lawrence the highest-grossing action heroine of all time.
Lawrence has since moved away from action movies, though she also starred in the action-heavy sci-fi Passengers in 2016.
Lawrence has since moved into other genres, pursuing complex and challenging roles in projects like Mother!, and starring in the espionage thriller Red Sparrow.
She is currently working on a drama with director Lila Neugebauer called Red, White and Water, andd is set to appear in the blockbuster Netflix comedy Don’t Look Up.
5. Her performance in Mother! was so intense she dislocated a rib
2017’s Mother! saw Jennifer Lawrence try her hand at full-tilt psychological horror, playing a mother who becomes distraught when her home is invaded by strangers.
The role was one of the most challenging that Lawrence had ever been asked to do, and involved her rehearsing for months inside a shipping container.
Lawrence has been pretty resistant to extended rehearsal periods in the past, worrying that they actually make her performance worse, not better.
However, all the work she put into crafting her Mother! character led to some pretty intense experiences on set, with Lawrence having to be given oxygen after hyperventilating.
Lawrence also managed to dislocate a rib while film, purely from the intense physicality of her performance.
The result was a movie that prompted mass walkouts, boos and a standing ovation when it was screened, but overall received positive reviews from critics.
4. She was the highest-paid actress in the world for two years running
Having already appeared in Time magazine’s ‘100 most influential people in the world’ list in 2013, Lawrence went on to become the highest-paid actress in the world for two years running.
The years in question were 2015 and 2016, a period that saw the hard-working star appear in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Joy, X-Men: Apocalypse and Passengers.
Jennifer Lawrence has stepped away from acting in recent years, preferring to take a break from the public eye and lay low.
When asked about her conscious decision to be less busy and take on less work, Lawrence said: “I was like, just wait: People are going to get sick of me. My picture is everywhere, my interviews are everywhere.”
However, Lawrence has several projects in the works for 2021, including her first true comedy film, Don’t Look Up, which will also star Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep.
Lawrence has also been cast in Bad Blood and Mob Girl, which are both currently still in pre-production, but set to move ahead soon.
3. She finds acting “stupid”
Lawrence, who has always appeared surprisingly grounded and genuine despite her success, has revealed that she is wary about becoming “cocky.”
She has also admitted to finding acting “stupid” when compared to other professions like medicine, in terms of how important the work she is doing actually is.
She explained her point of view towards the industry in an interview, saying: “Everybody is like “How can you remain with a level head?”. And I’m like “Why would I ever get cocky?”
“I’m not saving anybody’s life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I’m making movies. It’s stupid.”
With that said, Lawrence still has an immense love and respect for acting, and believes that the work she has done in films like movies are truly important.
Lawrence has no problem staying humble, though, repeatedly saying in interviews: “I am just a normal girl and a human being”.
2. She married an art gallery director in February 2019
Lawrence dated her X-Men co-star Nicholas Hoult from 2010 until 2014, followed by Mother! director Darren Aronofsky in 2016.
Lawrence then met art gallery director Cooke Maroney in 2018, and after becoming engaged in early 2019, the pair married in October that same year in Rhode Island.
The two met through a mutual friend called Laura Simpson, who introduced Lawrence to Maroney after realising they might hit it off.
The two managed to successfully date in secret for a few weeks, before being seen having dinner together in late 2018.
The couple got married at the historic Belcourt mansion in Rhode Island and threw a lavish party for all their friends and family.
The party allegedly included smoked pork belly, roast beef, bread pudding and a performance by The Ruckus, which seems like Jennifer Lawrence’s kind of party.
1. She has been outspoken about the gender pay gap in Hollywood
A self-confessed feminist, a stance she does not want to intimidate people with “because it just means equality,” Lawrence has also spoken out against the gender pay gap in Hollywood.
In a 2015 essay called Why Do I Get Paid Less Than My Male Co-Stars, the star shared many of her own experiences of being female in the industry, including the lower salary she received for starring in American Hustle compared to her male co-stars.
Opening up about her decision to not ask for a pay increase on American Hustle, Lawrence said: “if I’m honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight.”
She went on to say that she didn’t want to seem “difficult” or “spoiled”, and preferred not to rock the boat, even if she later felt ashamed of her decision.
Lawrence ended the essay by pledging to be more vocal about issues she is passionate about, saying: “I’m over trying to find the “adorable” way to state my opinion and still be likable!”