Jennifer Shrader Lawrence (born August 15, 1990) is an American actress. She was the world's highest-paid actress in 2015 and 2016, with her films grossing over $6 billion worldwide to date. She appeared in Time's 100 most influential people in the world list in 2013 and in the Forbes Celebrity 100 list from 2013 to 2016.
During her childhood, Lawrence performed in church plays and school musicals. At age fourteen, she was spotted by a talent scout while vacationing in New York City with her family. She then moved to Los Angeles and began her acting career by playing guest roles on television. Her first major role came as a main cast member on the sitcom The Bill Engvall Show (2007–2009). Lawrence made her film debut in a supporting role in the drama Garden Party (2008) and had her breakthrough playing a poverty-stricken teenage girl Ree Dolly in the coming-of-age independent mystery drama Winter's Bone (2010). Her career progressed with her starring roles as the mutant Mystique in the X-Men film series (2011–2019) and Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games film series (2012–2015). The latter made her the highest-grossing action heroine of all time.
Jennifer Shrader Lawrence was born on August 15, 1990, in Indian Hills, Kentucky, to Gary, a construction company owner, and Karen (née Koch), a summer camp manager. She has two older brothers, Ben and Blaine. Karen raised her to be "tough" like her brothers and would not allow her to play with other girls in preschool, as she deemed her "too rough" with them. Lawrence 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. She has said that her anxieties vanished when she performed on stage and that acting gave her a sense of accomplishment. Lawrence's school activities included cheerleading, softball, field hockey, and basketball, which she played on a boys' team that was coached by her father. While growing up, she was fond of horseback riding and frequently visited a local horse farm. She has an injured tailbone as a result of being thrown from a horse. When her father worked from home, she performed for him, often dressing up as a clown or ballerina. She had her first acting assignment at age nine, when she played the role of a prostitute in a church play that was based on the Book of Jonah. For the next few years, she continued to take parts in church plays and school musicals.
Lawrence was fourteen and on a family vacation in New York City when she was spotted on the street by a talent scout, who arranged for her to audition for talent agents. Karen was not keen on allowing her daughter to pursue an acting career, but she briefly moved her family to New York to let her read for roles. After her first cold reading, the agents said that hers was the best they had heard from someone that young; Lawrence's mother convinced her that they were lying. Lawrence said her early experiences were difficult because she felt lonely and friendless. She signed with CESD Talent Agency, which convinced her parents to let her audition for roles in Los Angeles. While her mother encouraged her to go into modeling, she insisted on pursuing acting. At that time, she considered acting to be a natural fit for her abilities, and she turned down several offers for modeling assignments. She dropped out of school at age 14 without receiving a GED or a diploma. She has said that she was "self-educated" and that her career was her priority. Between her acting jobs in the city, she made regular visits to Louisville, where she served as an assistant nurse at her mother's camp.
In 2011, Lawrence took on a supporting role in Like Crazy, a romantic drama about long-distance relationships, starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones.Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times considered the film to be an "intensely wrought and immensely satisfying love story" and credited all three performers for "making their [characters'] yearning palpable". She then appeared again with Yelchin in Jodie Foster's The Beaver, alongside Foster and Mel Gibson. Filmed in 2009, the production was delayed due to controversy concerning Gibson and earned less than half of its $21 million budget. After her dramatic role in Winter's Bone, Lawrence looked for something less serious, and found it with her first high-profile release—Matthew Vaughn's superhero film X-Men: First Class (2011)—a prequel to the X-Men film series. She portrayed the shapeshifting mutant Mystique, a role played by Rebecca Romijn in the earlier films. Vaughn cast Lawrence, as he thought that she would be able to portray the weakness and strength involved in the character's transformation. For the part, Lawrence lost weight and practiced yoga. For Mystique's blue form, she had to undergo eight hours of makeup, where latex pieces and body paint were applied to her otherwise nude body, as Romijn had done on the other films. This process required Lawrence to report to set at 2:00 am. She was intimidated in the role as she admired Romijn. Writing for USA Today, Claudia Puig considered the film to be a "classy re-boot" of the film series, and believed that her "high-spirited performance" empowered the film. With worldwide earnings of $350 million, X-Men: First Class became Lawrence's highest-grossing film at that point.
In 2012, Lawrence starred as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, an adaptation of the first book in author Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, the series 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 hesitant to accept the part, because of the grand scale of the film. She agreed to the project after her mother convinced her to take the part. She practiced archery, rock and tree climbing, and hand-to-hand combat techniques, and other physically demanding activities for the role. While training for the part, she injured herself running into a wall.The Hunger Games garnered positive reviews, with Lawrence's portrayal of Everdeen being particularly praised;Roger Ebert described the film as "an effective entertainment," and found Lawrence to be "strong and convincing in the central role." Similarly, Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter called her an "ideal screen actress", believing that she had embodied the Everdeen of the novel, and added that she "anchors [the film] with impressive gravity and presence". 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 film's success established her as a global star.
Later in 2012, Lawrence played Tiffany Maxwell, a young widow with an undisclosed mental disorder (probably intended to be borderline personality disorder), in David O. Russell's romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook. The film is an adaptation of Matthew Quick's novel of the same name, and follows her character as she finds companionship with Pat Solitano Jr. (played by Bradley Cooper), a man with bipolar disorder. Lawrence was drawn to her character's complex personality, explaining, "She was just kind of this mysterious enigma to me because 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." While Russell initially found her too young for the part, she convinced him to cast her via 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 [her] life".Richard Corliss of Time magazine wrote: "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 opined 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, Screen Actors Guild Award and the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance, becoming—at age 22—the second-youngest Best Actress winner. Her final film of the year was alongside Max Thieriot and Elisabeth Shue in Mark Tonderai's critically panned thriller House at the End of the Street.
In January 2013, Lawrence hosted an episode of the NBC late-night sketch comedy Saturday Night Live.The Devil You Know, a small-scale production that she had filmed for 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 series. While performing the film's underwater stunts, Lawrence suffered from an ear infection that resulted in a brief loss of hearing. Writing for The Village Voice, Stephanie Zacharek believed that the actress' portrayal of Everdeen made her an ideal role model, stating that "there's no sanctimony or pretense of false modesty in the way Lawrence plays her." With box office earnings of $865 million, Catching Fire remains her highest-grossing film to date. In the same year, Lawrence took on a supporting role in David O. Russell's ensemble black comedy crime American Hustle as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, the neurotic wife of con man Irving Rosenfeld (played by Christian Bale). Inspired by the FBI's Abscam sting operation, the film is set against the backdrop of political corruption in 1970s New Jersey. She did little research for the role, and based her performance on knowledge of the era from films and television shows she had watched. Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent found Lawrence to be "brilliant", "funny and acerbic" in her part, and highlighted an improvised scene in which she aggressively kisses her husband's mistress (played by Amy Adams) on the lips. For her performance, she won the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress, and received her third Screen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award nominations, her first in the supporting category. This made her the youngest actor to accrue three Oscar nominations.
Lawrence played Serena Pemberton in Susanne Bier's depression-era drama Serena (2014), based on the novel of the same name by Ron Rash. In the film, she and her husband George (played by Bradley Cooper) become involved in criminal activities after realizing that they cannot bear children. The project was filmed in 2012, and 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). The film received positive reviews and grossed $748.1 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film in the X-Men series to that point.Justin Chang of Variety praised her look in the film but thought she had little to do but "glower, snarl and let the f/x artists do their thing". Lawrence's next two releases were the final installments of The Hunger Games film series, Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and Part 2 (2015). For the soundtrack of the former film, she recorded the song "The Hanging Tree", which charted on multiple international singles charts. In a review of the final installment in the series, Manohla Dargis of The New York Times drew similarities between Everdeen's journey as a rebel leader and Lawrence's rise to stardom, stating that the actress "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 grossed over $650 million worldwide.
Lawrence worked with David O. Russell for the third time on the biopic Joy (2015), in which she played the eponymous character, a troubled single mother who becomes a successful businesswoman after inventing the Miracle Mop. During filming in Boston, the press reported on a disagreement between Lawrence and Russell that resulted in a "screaming match". She claimed that their friendship made it easier for them to disagree, because people fight when they really love each other. The film was not as well-received as their previous collaborations, but Lawrence's performance was unanimously praised; critic Richard Roeper thought it was her best work since Winter's Bone, describing it as "a wonderfully layered performance that carries the film through its rough spots and sometime dubious detours." She won her third Golden Globe for it, and was nominated for another Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming the youngest actor in history to accrue four Oscar nominations.
Lawrence began 2016 by providing the narration for A Beautiful Planet, a documentary film that explores Earth from the International Space Station. She played Mystique for the third time in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). The film received mixed reviews, with a consensus that it was overfilled with action that detracted from the story's themes and the cast's performances. Helen O'Hara of Empire deemed it a letdown from the previous installments of the series and criticized Lawrence for making her character too grim. Despite this, she was awarded Favorite Movie Actress at the 43rd People's Choice Awards. Lawrence was paid $20 million to star in the science fiction romance Passengers (2016), and received top billing over co-star Chris Pratt. The film featured Pratt and her as two individuals who wake up ninety years too soon from an induced hibernation on a spaceship bound for a new planet. She felt nervous performing her first sex scene and kissing a married man (Pratt) onscreen; she drank alcohol to prepare herself for filming those scenes.Passengers was met with underwhelming reviews, much to the surprise of its cast and crew, but Lawrence defended the film by calling it a "tainted, complicated love story."
Darren Aronofsky's psychological horror film mother! was Lawrence's sole release of 2017. She played a young wife who experiences trauma when her home is invaded by unexpected guests. Lawrence spent three months rehearsing the film in a warehouse in Brooklyn, despite her reluctance to rehearsals in her previous assignments. The intense role proved grueling for her; she was put on supplemental oxygen when she hyperventilated one day, and also dislocated a rib.Mother! polarized audiences and prompted mass walkouts. The film was better received by critics; Walter Addiego of the San Francisco Chronicle labeled it "assaultive" and a "deliberate test of audience endurance", and credited Lawrence for "never allow[ing] herself to be reduced simply to a howling victim." The following year, she starred as Dominika Egorova, a Russian spy who makes contact with a mysterious CIA agent (played by Joel Edgerton), in Francis Lawrence's espionage thriller Red Sparrow, based on Jason Matthews' novel of the same name. In preparation for the part, she learned to speak in a Russian accent and trained in ballet for four months. Having been the victim of a nude photo hack, the actress found herself challenged by the sexuality in her role but said that performing the nude scenes made her feel empowered. Eric Kohn of IndieWire disliked the film's denouement, but praised the performances of Lawrence and Charlotte Rampling, remarking that "the considerable talent on display is [the film's] constant saving grace." In 2019, Lawrence made her fourth and final appearance as Mystique, in the superhero film Dark Phoenix, which emerged as a critical and box-office failure.
In 2012, the review website IndieWire described Lawrence's off-screen persona as "down-to-earth, self-deprecating, unaffected". An IGN writer has described her as a "sharp", "funny" and "quirky" actress who likes to "stay grounded" despite considerable success. Lawrence has said she finds acting "stupid" in comparison to life-saving professions like doctors, and therefore does not believe in being "cocky" about her accomplishments.
Lawrence in 2014
In 2012, Rolling Stone called Lawrence "the most talented young actress in America". Her The Hunger Games co-star Donald Sutherland finds her to be an "exquisite and brilliant actor", and has favorably compared her craft to that of Laurence Olivier. David O. Russell (who directed her in Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and Joy) has praised her effortless acting that makes her performances look easy. Throughout her career, Lawrence has played roles in both high-profile, mainstream productions and low-budget independent films, and appeared in a range of film genres. She did not study acting and has not been involved in professional theater. She instead bases her acting approach on her observations of people around her. Lawrence said in 2010 that she does not "invest any of [her] real emotions" or take home any pain of her characters. She went on to say that "I don't even take it to craft services" and has never shared their experiences, relying instead on her imagination, remarking that "I can't go around looking for roles that are exactly like my life." She stated, "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 world's highest-paid actresses; The Daily Telegraph reported in 2014 that she was earning $10 million a film. In 2013, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world,Elle labeled her the most powerful woman in the entertainment business, and Forbes ranked her as the second most powerful actress, behind only Angelina Jolie. 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 on the magazine's Celebrity 100 list; she appeared on the list again in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, Lawrence was named "Entertainer of the Year" by Entertainment Weekly—a title she also won in 2012—and was recognized as the highest-grossing action heroine in Guinness World Records for starring in the Hunger Games series. In 2015 and 2016, Forbes ranked her as the world's highest-paid actress with annual earnings of $52 million and $46 million, respectively. The magazine ranked her as the world's third and fourth highest-paid actress in the next two years, with respective earnings of $24 million and $18 million.The Hollywood Reporter listed Lawrence among the 100 most powerful people in entertainment every year from 2016 to 2018. As of 2019[update], her films have grossed over $6 billion worldwide.
During Raf Simons's tenure at Dior, Lawrence became a celebrity ambassador for the brand, appearing in advertisement campaigns for its fashion and perfumes. She frequently wears Dior to red carpet events, including film premieres and award ceremonies. She also wore a custom Dior bridal gown on her wedding day.
In 2015, Lawrence teamed with Hutcherson and Hemsworth for Prank It FWD, a charitable initiative to raise money for the nonprofit organization DoSomething. 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, she donated $2 million to the Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville to set up a cardiac intensive care unit named after her foundation. Lawrence is a board member of RepresentUs, a nonprofit seeking to pass anti-corruption laws in the United States. In 2018, she collaborated with 300 women in Hollywood to set up the Time's Up initiative to protect women from harassment and discrimination. She took part in the 2018 Women's March in Los Angeles.
While filming X-Men: First Class in 2010, Lawrence began a relationship with her co-star Nicholas Hoult. The relationship ended around the time they wrapped filming X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014.
Lawrence was one of the victims of the 2014 celebrity nude photo leak, in which several self-photographed nude pictures of her were leaked online. The actress emphasized that the photos were never meant to go public, calling the hack a "sex crime" and a "sexual violation". She added that viewers of the images should be ashamed of themselves for "perpetuating a sexual offense". She later said her pictures were intended for Hoult, and that unlike other victims of the incident, she did not plan to sue Apple Inc.
In September 2016, Lawrence began dating filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, after they had met during the filming of Mother!. They broke up in November 2017.
In 2018, she began a relationship with Cooke Maroney, an art gallery director, and they became engaged in February 2019. They married that October in Rhode Island. In September 2021, Lawrence announced that she was expecting her first child with Maroney. As of May 2019[update], they reside in the Lower Manhattan area of New York City and in Beverly Hills, California.