Wednesday 22 October 2014

Why we're all hungry for more of Jennifer Lawrence

Published 26/11/2013 | 01:00

Red hot: Jennifer in 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
Red hot: Jennifer at 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' premiere

The whole world loves Jennifer Lawrence and it's no mystery why. She's the anti-movie star movie star, a borderline-dorky (though admittedly very beautiful) young woman who has reacted to overnight celebrity the way many of us might like to think we would – with good-natured bafflement and a large slice of irreverence.

She has done so while unobtrusively overtaking Angelina, Jen, K-Stew et al to become one of the most recognisable actresses on the planet.

Just arrived in cinemas, the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire, looks set to be the biggest thing ever in teen franchises, bigger than Twilight, bigger than Harry Potter. Obviously, part of that is down to the Hunger Games 'intellectual property' itself – who doesn't like a film about feral adolescents firing crossbows at one another?

But you can't help suspect that, in contrast to Potter and Twilight, much of the success of the series is down to one person, 23-year-old J-Law.

"People relate to the sense that she's not a carefully maintained remote Hollywood creation," says film writer Darren Mooney of them0vieblog.com

"She projects this very grounded and human air, giving the impression that her image isn't being meticulously micro-managed or constantly air-brushed. There's something candid and real about her. She's quite willing to be a little embarrassed in public, and to be quite open about the awkward moments in her career."

With movie stars' public personas burnished to the point where it is impossible to imagine them walking among us real people (try to picture Angelina Jolie curled up at home in front of the telly – you can't, can you?), Jennifer stands apart.

She doesn't play the game – the majority of the time, in fact, she appears entirely unaware there is a 'game' to be played.

She has had her mishaps, for sure. Rather than an embarrassment, however, these have served to make her more human. Who didn't hug themselves a little upon seeing her trip up on her couture dress at this year's Oscars?

Her inability to carry off the vaulted glamour de rigueur among the Hollywood elite was deeply endearing.

In addition, Jennifer seems to have decided that she will not allow the industry to steam-roll all over her in its customary fashion. She has pulled up journalists who have posed leading questions about her weight.

"Why do you want to discuss my weight?" she said to one interviewer recently "Would you feel comfortable if I asked you how much you weigh?"

Indeed, her irreverence may be her truly winning quality. She was caught 'photo-bombing' Sarah Jessica Parker at a society bash in New York and was able to quote entire chunks of dialogue from the movie Dumb and Dumber on a US chat-show.

Asked about the 'pieces she was wearing' at an award ceremony red carpet, meanwhile, she responded as if it was the silliest question she'd ever heard. "This is the top," she said. "And, this is the bottom."

Jennifer is nobody's babydoll either. She was more than able to hold her own when Jack Nicholson, a ladies' man among ladies' men, sidled alongside her at post Oscars party. "You look like an old girlfriend of mine", quipped Nicholson. "Do I look like your next girlfriend," snapped the actress.

"Jennifer's public approval is due to her blasé attitude towards her own fame and fame in general. She is an everyday normal gal' and has no problem laughing at herself," says Ross O'Neill of Irish movie website FilmFixx.

Irish Independent

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