JENNIFER Lawrence is not a subscriber to the Tinseltown hype machine. Unlike many of her big- screen contemporaries, the Hunger Games star is determined to sidestep the precious diva demeanour, particularly widespread in young Hollywood, who let their new-found fame bloat their already soaring, self-assured egos.
"I can't stand this bullsh*t on set, even if it's real," says the refreshingly grounded Oscar-nominee. "It's just a job at the end of the day and if you get caught up in it, if you can't have a bit of fun and not take it all too seriously when you're making a movie, then what's the point? But there's so many who channel that attitude."
Irish star Michael Fassbender seems to be a rare, prime example of what Lawrence seeks in the industry. The photogenic pair will appear together again in the next X-Men instalment, Days of Future Past, after working on last year's box office juggernaut First Class, and the Oscar-nominee happily claims the Killarney-raised actor is one of the only fellows in cinema devoid of the 'bull'.
"Michael doesn't have that. He's a complete artist at his craft, mesmerising to work with but he's as normal as they come. He doesn't buy into all that and I admire him for it."
Still only 22, Lawrence has enjoyed an upward trajectory since her Academy Award nomination for Winter's Bone last year. Courted as Hollywood's next darling, the pillow-lipped beauty with the mournful turquoise eyes was flooded with offers of movie roles, cosmetic campaigns and lucrative fashion house contracts but managed to stand her ground.
"I guess it all came at once and you could easily get swept along, but I needed to step back and take a breath. Decide what was best for me in the long run and not get caught up in all of 'that'. And I like to think I've made some right choices."
That she certainly has. Jennifer fought off competition from Abigail Breslin and Saoirse Ronan for the career-defining role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, an apocalyptic Twilight-style franchise that's already racked up nearly $700m worldwide. There's much expectation for the follow-up, Catching Fire, currently being shot in Hawaii.
"You know what, it feels normal, there's no pressure. It's so bizarre, seeing the whole crew back, it's like a little reunion. It's really fun and I couldn't wait for it to start up again.
"Compared to when I arrived on set for the first movie, the size of it makes you pause, it's life-changing," she remembers. "But I didn't want to pass on [The Hunger Games] because I was scared. It doesn't matter about the size of the film, it doesn't. Once you accept the fact that your life is going to get a little more stressed, but for the better, then you go with it and I couldn't be more proud of these films."
Soon as Catching Fire wraps, Lawrence will reprise her role as Mystique in the X-Men reboot along with Fassbender, James McAvoy and her About a Boy beau, Nicholas Hoult. But it's not about the big budgets for the Kentucky-bred actress, who gives a vivid performance as an emotionally unhinged outsider, who offers a lifeline to Bradley Cooper's bi-polar sufferer in Silver Linings Playbook.
"I just thought [her character Tiffany] was a hilarious kind of enigma. I've never met anyone like her and I've never read a character like her. Normally when people are very forceful and opinionated, they're hiding insecurities, but she's the exact opposite. She's someone you can't define, in a movie you can't really define."
Cooper and Lawrence, who'll reunite for costume drama Serena next year, share electrifying on-screen chemistry, best showcased in a theatrical dance sequence. While The Hangover star embraced his inner Astaire, Jennifer felt far removed from Ginger.
"We worked for so long on that scene and Bradley is a great dancer and well, I'm not so much. I felt really bad for him because he would get the moves instantly, and I'd be calling in secret dance lessons."
Also starring Robert De Niro and Animal Kingdom actress Jacki Weaver, buzz for Linings has naturally kicked in for the forthcoming awards season.
"You can't get too fixated on that," says Lawrence. "When you have a director like David O Russell and Bradley, Robert and Jacki Weaver, you know you're on board something very special."
> Silver Linings Playbook opens in cinemas tomorrow