Jennifer Shrader Lawrence (born August 15, 1990) is an American actress. Her first major role was as a lead cast member on TBS' The Bill Engvall Show (2007–2009) and she subsequently appeared in the independent films The Burning Plain (2008) and Winter's Bone (2010), for which she received nominations for the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award,Satellite Award, Independent Spirit Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress. At age 20, she was the second-youngest actress ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. At age 22, her performance as a recovering sex addict in the romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook (2012) earned her the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Satellite Award and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress, amongst other accolades, making her the youngest person ever to be nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Actress and the second-youngest Best Actress winner.
Lawrence is also known for playing Raven Darkhölme / Mystique in the 2011 film X-Men: First Class, a role she will reprise in X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014. In 2012, she achieved international recognition starring as the heroine Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, an adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling novel of the same name. Her performance in the film garnered her notable critical praise and marked her as the highest-grossing action heroine of all time. Lawrence's performances thus far have prompted Rolling Stone to call her "the most talented young actress in America."
Lawrence was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. Her parents are Karen (née Koch), who runs a children's camp, and Gary Lawrence, who once owned a concrete construction firm, Lawrence & Associates. She has two older brothers, Ben and Blaine. She acted in local theater and, by the age of 14, had decided to pursue an acting career, persuading her parents to take her to New York City to find a talent agent. Prior to finding success in Hollywood, Lawrence attended Kammerer Middle School in Kentucky. She graduated from high school two years early with a 3.9 average in order to begin a career in acting. While growing up and in between acting, Lawrence served as an assistant nurse at the children's summer day camp that her mother ran.
2006–09: Early workEdit
Lawrence has never taken any drama classes or lessons for acting. She started out her acting career in the TBS comedy The Bill Engvall Show, playing Lauren Pearson, the eldest daughter. Written and created by Bill Engvall and Michael Leeson, the show is set in a Denver suburb and follows the life of 'Bill Pearson' (played by Engvall), a family counselor whose own family could use a little dose of counseling. The series went on the air in September 2007 and was canceled in 2009 after three seasons. Lawrence received the Young Artist Award for Outstanding Young Performer in a TV Series for her role in the show.
In 2008, she appeared in a small role in the film Garden Party as Tiff. It was directed by Jason Freeland. The same year, Lawrence appeared on the big screen in Guillermo Arriaga's film directorial debut The Burning Plain, opposite Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger. Her performance in the film earned her the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young emerging actor/actress at the Venice Film Festival in 2008.
Still in 2008, Lawrence had the lead role in another film director's debut, Lori Petty's family drama The Poker House, opposite Selma Blair and Chloë Grace Moretz, where she starred as Agnes, a young girl victim of abuse. Lawrence was awarded the Los Angeles Film Festival Award for Outstanding Performance for her role in the film. She appeared in the music video for the song "The Mess I Made", from the 2009 album Losing Sleep by Parachute.
Lawrence's lead role in Debra Granik's Winter's Bone, which won best picture at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010, is generally cited as a breakout performance for her. She portrays Ree Dolly, a seventeen-year-old in the Ozark Mountains who cares for her mentally ill mother and her younger brother and sister. Ree then discovers that her father put their house and land up as a bond for a court appearance before he disappeared, and the family now faces eviction. The performance was highly acclaimed by film critics. David Denby, writing in The New Yorker, said "the movie would be unimaginable with anyone less charismatic playing Ree." Peter Travers from the Rolling Stone also spoke highly of her and noted that "her performance is more than acting, it's a gathering storm. Lawrence's eyes are a roadmap to what's tearing Ree apart". Receiving accolades for her performance, Lawrence was awarded the National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Performance. She received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress on January 25, 2011, becoming the third-youngest actress to date to be nominated for the category, and also accrued nominations from the Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, and the Satellite Awards among others.
Lawrence appeared in The Beaver, a dark comedy starring Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson. The film was shot in 2009, but spent an extended period of time stalled due to controversy. It was released on May 6, 2011. She also co-starred in the independent film Like Crazy, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The following year, it was announced that Lawrence was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In March 2011, Lawrence was offered the part of Katniss Everdeen in the film The Hunger Games, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins. Despite being a fan of the books, Lawrence took three days to accept the role because she was initially intimidated by the size of the movie and what it may mean for her fame. She underwent extensive training to get in shape for the role, including stunt training, archery, rock and tree climbing, combat, running, parkour, pilates, and yoga.The film was released on March 23, 2012, and set the record for the third-largest opening weekend of all time, making a record-breaking $152.5 million in three days for a non-sequel film.
The fact that The Hunger Games emerged as a big box office hit with a female lead represents a dramatic shift for the action film genre because historically, among the "top 200 worldwide box-office hits ever ($350 million and up), not one has been built around a female action star" and for the first time ever, Lawrence contradicts that. Forbes stated "No one who has seen The Hunger Games would question star Jennifer Lawrence's ability to play an action star." She is currently the highest grossing action heroine ever.
Though the film generally received positive reviews, Lawrence's portrayal of Katniss Everdeen was the most highly praised with Todd McCarthy from The Hollywood Reporter saying Lawrence embodies Katniss, "just as one might imagine her from the novel" and "anchors" the whole film "with impressive gravity and presence", ultimately calling her "the ideal screen actress".Kenneth Turan from theLos Angeles Times stated that Lawrence is the "best possible performer as Katniss and is the key factor in making 'Hunger Games' an involving popular entertainment with strong narrative drive that holds our attention". Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert also agreed that "Lawrence is strong and convincing in the central role".
In June 2011, she starred as shape-shifting villain Mystique alongside James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in X-Men: First Class, a prequel to the rest of the X-Men film series. Lawrence's Mystique is a younger version of the character played by Rebecca Romijn in earlier X-Men films. Lawrence will reprise the role in the 2014 sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past. She also starred alongside Max Thieriot and Elisabeth Shue in Mark Tonderai's thriller House at the End of the Street, which was released in September 2012. She was originally cast to play "O" in the film Savages directed by Oliver Stone, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
In November 2012, Lawrence played a recovering sex addict in David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, an adaptation of the novel of the same name, by Matthew Quick, opposite Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. She received widespread critical praise for her performance in the film, with Richard Corliss of TIME Magazine writing, "The reason to stay is Lawrence. 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... Jennifer Lawrence is the silver lining in this mostly ordinary playbook."Peter Travers of Rolling Stone also wrote 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. No list of Best Actress Oscar contenders would be complete without the electrifying Lawrence in the lead. She lights up the screen." She won the Academy and Golden Globe awards for best actress for her performance.
2012–present: Upcoming projectsEdit
In 2012, Lawrence replaced Angelina Jolie in Susanne Bier's depression-era thriller, Serena, based on the novel of the same name by Ron Rash. She will be playing the role of an unstable woman named Serena who learns that she can never bear her husband children and is set out to murder the woman who bore her husband an illegitimate son before their marriage.
On September 10, 2012, Lawrence began working on the film adaptation of the second novel in the The Hunger Games trilogy, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which is scheduled to be released on November 22, 2013.
On February 15, 2013 it was announced that Lawrence will star opposite Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Adams in the Untitled David O. Russell/Abscam Project about the ’70s FBI sting operation Abscam. She will also be starring in her third collaboration film with David O. Russell titled The Ends of the Earth.