Jennifer Lawrence on Lack of Support Before Stardom: “I grew up in Kentucky, so nobody was like, ‘You’re gonna be a movie star”

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Jennifer Lawrence in Joy

“Developing a character is the only thing in the world I feel 100 percent confident in, that I understand.” – Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence is twenty-five years old, an Oscar winner, and the star of two major franchises, The Hunger Games and X-Men. It has been an absolutely incredible run for an actress whose first movie came out less than a decade ago. In an intimate interview with Glamour, Lawrence reveals how being driven toward succeeding as an actor at a very young age laid a strong foundation for her successful career.

Lawrence admits that part of the reason why she acts is because it’s what gives her the most confidence. She says, “I’m addicted to work. And acting. I don’t know how to describe it—reading a script is like a map. [But] it’s on set, finding that character, feeling the emotions, getting that adrenaline—it is such a rush. Developing a character is the only thing in the world I feel 100 percent confident in, that I understand. I still have that feeling from being a teenager: ‘I’m good at this, and I like this.’ So I want to keep doing it, because it makes me feel good about myself.”

However, Lawrence recalls that she didn’t receive a lot of support growing up. She explains, “I grew up in Kentucky, so nobody was like, ‘You’re gonna be a movie star.’ [Laughs.] There just wasn’t a possibility. And then, when I told my parents when I was 14 that I wanted to move to New York and become an actress, they were like, ‘Well, no. Obviously.’ And I just wouldn’t shut up about it. I had already saved up babysitting money. So I was like, ‘I’m going.'”

So Lawrence saved up all the money she could to go to New York. She says, “I’ve always been a real stickler with money. I wouldn’t buy things from the concession stand. I never knew what I was saving for until New York hit my mind. And then I was like, ‘That’s what I’ve been saving for…. I’m going.’ And they were like, ‘Well, we don’t want her to die.’ [So] my brother came with me…. But they were like, ‘You can try it for the summer, and then you have to come back and finish school.’… My mom always says she…wanted me to fail so that I could come home, because not failing meant me being in New York. She lost a daughter, really, at 14. I mean, she’s very proud of me. She got on board when she saw how happy it made me. Because I knew. Emma Stone and I—we stayed up until, like, six in the morning talking about it the other night. We both were just like, ‘I just knew.'”

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About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...)For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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