Jennifer Lawrence moves on to ‘Joy’ and working with Amy Schumer (Part 2)
LOS ANGELES—In part two of our column on Jennifer Lawrence, based on our interview with her in Berlin, the actress talks about suddenly being the voice against sexism and gender pay gap in Hollywood, what she has learned in her almost 10 years as an actress, her moments of doubt and how she decorated her first major real-property splurge, a mansion in Beverly Hills.
On whether she feels pressure these days as a result of speaking up, Jennifer stressed, “I don’t feel pressure. I feel really delighted. I’m so fortunate to be given a platform, a voice to be able to help and do something. I don’t do enough. It’s a wonderful thing!
“It’s certainly a responsibility and something to be aware of. I’m aware that girls are looking at me. I’m aware that people are watching and that I’m kind of always working, in a sense, if I’m not in my house. But definitely, I don’t feel pressure. I feel excited by it!”
On “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2” depicting war and aggression, Jennifer explained, “We tried not to glamorize the consequences of war. We tried not to glorify any of the violence, but to really show the gravity of war. Katniss doesn’t know any different.
“In the first movies, she grew up in District 12. It wasn’t until she began her journey on The Hunger Games and saw the unrest and frustration in all of the other districts, and when they could finally communicate, they could form this official rebellion and throw out the government.”
On the personal side, Jennifer finally bought a house, reportedly worth more than $7 million—a mansion that used to belong to Jessica Simpson.
Being a homeowner thrilled the star. “It’s crazy. I was just thinking about that. Because I’ve been filming in Atlanta, then I came back to LA before we started this tour. I was like, I have a house! (laughs). It’s amazing.”
On how she decorated her Beverly Hills home, the Louisville, Kentucky native said, “I worked with great decorators from Kentucky. I used to always walk by this store called Bittners when I was younger. Bittners is fancy. We could never afford anything from Bittners at our house. I would always walk by and be like, when I grow up I’m going to have a house and I’m going to decorate it with Bittners!
“So that’s who I called when I got my house, which was incredibly inconvenient because they live in Kentucky. So everything had to come out in semitrucks, but I love it. Most of the furniture is from Kentucky. My coffee tables and kitchen table are old—made of wood from bourbon barrels. It’s homey and I like it. I’m changing little stuff. It’s too overwhelming to look at a house and try to decorate it, but once they decorated it, I feel like I can change little details.
Does she do gardening? “Absolutely not,” she said with a chuckle. “I’ll pick an orange out of a tree and eat, but that’s about it!”
These are exciting times for the girl from Kentucky. She recalled her growing up years: “When I was a teenager, I was weird. I dropped out of school when I was about 14, so I went through my teen years without a social group. I kind of formed my own self. I was friends with everybody, but I didn’t really belong. I was very independent. I’ve always liked alone time to recharge. I was incredibly hyper. I’m still pretty hyper.”
From those teenage years to a young woman finding success in Hollywood, Jennifer said she has “learned a lot. If I had to sum up the biggest thing that I’ve learned, I feel that I’ve leveled out a lot more. I don’t think that I realized how much I was struggling to deal with everything in the first few years when everything was happening, because it’s so great. I love my life so much and I love my job… I was thinking about the positive things.
“I wasn’t cutting myself some slack for the difficult things. I wasn’t really taking into account how it was affecting me, because some of that was from growing up. At 25, you’re different than when you were 21. I feel a lot calmer and more level about everything. Things stop getting so shocking.
“In a f***ed-up way, when I go home at Christmas, I expect a creepy stalker in the backyard at my family’s home, which sucks. When it happens, it’s not a big dramatic thing. We call the police. I don’t put as much weight on everything anymore.”
Jennifer admitted that though she comes across as tough, “It’s important to have moments of doubt. It’s important to look at yourself and question yourself and your choices, question things you said (laughs) because that’s how you grow, so I do have doubts, and I do question myself. But I’ve never felt like that’s a negative thing.
“On my strength, I’ve been alone, pretty much. I left home when I was 14, so I was alone a lot and I was in New York and it was scary. I was raised by rats (laughs) and that’ll toughen you up.”
(E-mail rvnepal[email protected] Follow him at http://twitter.com/nepalesruben.)
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