"The Hunger Games" has changed Jennifer Lawrence's life in at least one way: She's armed now. "I mean, I still have arrows in my car," Lawrence admits. (Her character in the film, Katniss Everdeen, is a talented bow-hunter, so Lawrence has had to master archery.) "I didn't realize that until two of my friends were getting into the backseat of my car and they were like, 'Why do you have spears back here?' In case I get pulled over!"
Lawrence made such an impression in the critically acclaimed "Winter's Bone" -- as a hard-luck teen who must provide for her impoverished family -- that producers of "The Hunger Games" immediately thought of her for Katniss, a hard-luck teen who must provide for her impoverished family. "White trash with too much responsibility," Lawrence says, comparing the characters, a mischievous grin on her face. "My publicist doesn't like it when I say that."
Lawrence had hesitations about taking the role -- and was even close to turning it down outright. "It was so big. I love my life, and there's not a lot of times in a person's life where a yes or no decision can change your life forever and it will never, no matter what, go back to the way it was before. And that was terrifying to me," she admits. "Even from a professional standpoint, I wanted to continue to make small passion projects that I love, and I still want people to be able to lose themselves in my characters. I don't want people to watch something and go, 'Oh yeah, look at what Katniss is doing. Oh, Katniss is wearing a dress.' I didn't want that, but I realized that all of the no's just had to do with me being scared. I didn't want to miss out on something just because I was scared."
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The new 'Twilight'?
It's no secret that many are looking to "The Hunger Games" as the new young-adult megafranchise, what with "Twilight" tying up its prolonged victory lap later this year. And parallels have already been drawn between Lawrence and "Twilight" lead Kristen Stewart, an indie actress whose life was transformed by her sudden blockbuster success. But Lawrence is surprisingly immune to the hype that's been built up.
"I kind of feel like an idiot because I haven't even thought about it," she says. "Everybody is like, 'The movie is coming out!' And I'm like, 'Yup.' I'm going to look back at myself five years from now and be like, 'You were an idiot. You had no idea what was about to happen.' I just feel this calm because there is nothing I can do. It's kind of like when you say something and that quote is being written -- it's kind of like you immediately go into this calm of like, 'Well, there is nothing I can do now!'"