Jennifer Lawrence is an unusual kind of shy. She’s clearly uncomfortable with praise, especially fake praise, and is the first person to make fun of herself. At the same time she’s not hesitant, even enthusiastic about sharing her self-deprecation with the rest of the world. It’s a shtick, what she does, but a sincere shtick, if one she’s gotten better at controlling when around the press. But she can still be a loose cannon. One minute she’ll be goofily oversharing about a time they shot a scene in “The Hunger Games” franchise in a pretty meadow. (“I got a selfie of me peeing in it!”). The next she’s cryptically honest.
“It’s certainly a blessed life,” Lawrence admits at a presser for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1. “But there are also sacrifices. I get to do what I love, but there’s a downside to every job.” (Thankfully no one ruins the mood by asking her to comment further on one of the things to which she’s alluding: the massive security breach that flooded private photos of her onto the Internet.)
Even sitting amidst a big clump of “Hunger Games” actors and filmmakers, Lawrence predictably gets the most questions, even ones she admits she’s not totally comfortable fielding. She’s among those asked about the politics of the series, and especially “Mockingjay — Part 1”’s depiction of revolution from within the rebel bunker, led by the vaguely sinister President Coin (Julianne Moore).
“Katniss is representing the consequences of war,” she says. “It’s not that she doesn’t believe in what President Coin wants. It’s not that she doesn’t believe the Capital is a terrible government that’s only good for the one percent. But war is complicated. It affects everyone on both sides. There’s no right way to start or end a war. I don’t know.” She then adds another self-takedown: “And then at the end of it all I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’”
In fact, it’s another cast member — Natalie Dormer, who plays fellow revolutionary Cressida — who has to summarize Lawrence’s worldview for Lawrence. “Jen was saying that Katniss doesn’t have any ego. Neither does Jennifer Lawrence,” Dormer says. “Jen has a reputation as a role model. So does Katniss Everdeen. But [Lawrence] can’t comment on that reputation herself, because by her very nature she wouldn’t.”
Lawrence repeatedly talks about how the cast and crew were all family, and how her best friends are fellow stars Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth, who plays Gale.
“I would never have expected to have a man this good looking be my best friend,” Lawrence says about Hemsworth. “He taught me how to be fair and to stand up for myself. My biggest weakness is negotiating with people. I’m a wimp about standing up for myself. He’s really good at making sure everything stays fair. Whereas I used to let people walk all over me. He taught me to toughen up.”
But then she’s back to making fun of herself. When asked what she sees of herself in Katniss, Lawrence easily finds a self-deprecating quip: “I always get nervous making comparisons, because Katniss is a leader of a rebellion that changes the world, and I’m…just…chilling.”