10 Jennifer Lawrence Milestones
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 has just topped the box office with nearly $370 million in its first week. The movie’s success further confirms that 1.) The Hunger Games will become a successful film franchise a la Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and (yes) Twilight. And 2.) That no “scandal” can prevent the masses from watching a Jennifer Lawrence movie. There is no doubt that in only a few years, Jennifer Lawrence has become America’s most successful young actress. With three Oscar nominations, virtually no real box office bombs (attributed to her), and an endearing down-to-earth personality, Lawrence proves that the “Hollywood star” still exists. Here are the 10 milestones that got Jennifer Lawrence to where she is today.
1. Super Sweet Sixteen
In her 2013 SAG Award speech, Jennifer Lawrence revealed that her very first role was as a spoiled teenager for MTV’s Super Sweet Sixteen‘s commercial promos. She was only fourteen. If I had first seen these, I would have never thought the actress would move on to become an international super star. Moral of the story: Don’t underestimate commercial actors! That Progressive Lady could be the next Meryl Streep.
According to IMDB, her very first credited role was as a Mascot in the season 5 Monk episode “Mr. Monk and the Big Game.” There’s not really much to this performance, but, hey, even the most popular of actresses had their rough starts. Also, her voice is quite high in this clip.
3. The Bill Engvall Show
Her first (and so far only) regular role on a television series was the cable sitcom The Bill Engvall Show…starring Bill Engvall! Lawrence played Engvall’s daughter. The show only lasted 30 episodes, but she did win a Young Artist Award. And if the show had continued, she might not have had the career she has now. It’s all about perspective.
4. Winter’s Bone
Jennifer Lawrence received her first Academy Award nomination for her leading performance in Winter’s Bone. Considered her breakout performance, Lawrence plays a teenage girl who struggles to care for her two younger siblings in the Ozarks. The movie received strong critical praise and an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
5. Like Crazy
Jennifer Lawrence had a small, yet meaningful, role in the independent romantic drama Like Crazy, which also starred Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones. That same year, she would also star opposite Yelchin in Jodie Foster’s directorial effort The Beaver, which also starred Mel Gibson.
Lawrence received commercial recognition for her performance as Mystique in X-Men: First Class. Although the idea of taking Rebecca Romijn’s legendary role was intimidating for the actress, Lawrence turned in a great performance. Three years later, she reprised her role in Days of Future Past and is slated to appear in X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016.
7. The Hunger Games
Arguably, her most recognizable role is that of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games series, based on the books by Suzanne Collins. Although her casting caused some minor backlash from fans of the novel, Lawrence quickly proved most of the haters wrong with her raw, fierce, and passionate performance. Jennifer Lawrence proved that the world was ready for a leading heroine. In my opinion, her performance in the first movie is her best so far.
8. Silver Linings Playbook
Jennifer Lawrence received a string of awards, including an Oscar, for Silver Linings Playbook. The David O. Russell romantic comedy-drama also starred Bradley Cooper, Jacki Weaver, and Robert De Niro. Although the movie is mostly through Cooper’s POV, Lawrence has such a strong presence throughout the film that she was considered a co-lead.
9. American Hustle
The next year, Lawrence teamed up with Bradley Cooper again in American Hustle, alongside Amy Adams and Christian Bale. Like Silver Linings Playbook, all four main actors received Oscar nominations, with Jlaw also winning a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for her comedic supporting role.
And Jennifer Lawrence will continue her collaboration with director David O. Russell for the film Joy, which is to be released next year. The biopic will revolve around entrepreneur Joy Mangano, the inventor of the Miracle Mop. If it’s like their last two collaborations, the film will be great.
Jennifer Lawrence has the career that many young actresses could only dream of: commercial and critical appeal. However, at 24, has she peaked too early? Or is she only set to do bigger and better things? We’ll have to wait and see. But, so far, Lawrence seems to be doing just fine.