"At 22, Jennifer Lawrence is a testament to the globe-conquering power that flows from her mixture of a) fame, b) raw talent and c) not giving too much of a hoot about either a) or b). She got $10 million to reprise the role of Katniss Everdeen in the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire, enough money that her lawyers got her to write out a will — it all goes to her family and favorite charities. She hasn't had a chance to spend any of it. She used to have an apartment on Santa Monica but that got infested with paparazzi, so now it’s hotels and couch-surfing with friends. She spent last night managing to convince her best friend, Justine, that the elevator of the Casa del Mar was haunted. That’s her biggest fear: ghosts. Not acting opposite Robert De Niro. Or tripping over her dress in front of 40 million people. The undead. “I’ll lay in bed and hear a noise and imagine the scariest possible scenario, and then my adrenaline starts going and then I tell myself that because my adrenaline is going, the spirit is feeding off my adrenaline! Or if there’s a spider. I try to kill it and I miss it. Great. Now it knows what I look like. It can’t just be ‘ Oh no the spider’s still on the loose.’ No, it’s ‘that spider knows what you look like and knows you tried to kill it.” Psychopaths, on the other hand, not so much. “At least that makes sense. It’s here. I sleep with a bow and arrow under my bed. I have pink mace in my bag. I’m like: you just wait, you’re walking into a world of pain.”
Actually today her handbag has no mace — she has a bodyguard these days — but it does contain a bottle of perfume, an iPhone, some multi-vitamins (unopened), a silicon falsie from a recent photo-shoot, and her diary, the first entry of which reads: “Keeping journals always makes me nervous people are going to find it so if you’re reading this just stop. Don't be a journal reader. Those people suck.” The picture on her iPhone is of her nephew. “Are you in for a world of cute?” she asks, “Isn't he precious. Do you want to see him count really fast?” and shows me a video of a curly-haired toddler counting from one to ten.
Ten seconds also happens to be the rough amount of time it takes for an average human being to fall in with Jennifer Lawrence like she’s you’re sister. She’s very funny, with something of the compulsive honesty and room-temperature affect of the great comedians — Louis C K only prettier. When I ask her what she most likes about her new life, she doesn't miss a beat.
“The money,” she says in her husky, Bacall-esque voice.
“I’m joking. The work, the work…”
She puts so little store by the usual pieties that prop up the celebrity interview — the love of the work, the importance of craft, the dedication to one’s art, the method behind one’s madness — that at times the whole structure threatens to come crashing down with one push. She could be the most radical talent currently working in Hollywood — a pure natural, a slob genius in the tradition of great slob geniuses that included the young Liz Taylor and Elvis, with the same plush appeal on the audience’s emotions, the same ruby-like glint of trashiness in her soul. She never even intended to be an actress but got talent spotted on the streets of New York and figured an actress was a better thing to be than a model. She’s never had an acting lesson. She doesn’t rehearse or research her roles and only commits her lines to memory the night before. Before each take, she is normally to be found, eating potato chips, joking around with the crew.
“It’s normally chips. My bodyguard Gilbert, right before they call action, I’m like ‘If there aren’t Cheezits here by the time they call cut, just go home.’ And he’ll start running. It cracks me up how seriously he takes it. I’m just lazy. Whenever DPs are like “I’m so sorry to do this but ‘would you mind not saying that one line’, I’m like ‘Dude, I don't want to say any of it. Whatever is easiest. Believe me. It's not my performance that is motivating me. I want to get the on set catering.” And then, just when her director is starting to sweat a little, she knocks it out of the park. “She’s one of the least neurotic people I’ve ever met,” says David O Russell, who directed her to her Oscar in Silver Linings. “She came onto the set like some gee whiz kid, ‘what’s it like to have people ask for your autograph Mr De Niro?’ And then she jumped in and took over the whole scene from every actor in the room. De Niro turned to me and nodded, like ‘wow this kid is really bringing it.’ He loved it. She’s like Michael Jordan. Her jaw doesn't get set. That's how they can go in, under pressure and hit a 100mph fastball because they’re so loose.”From Harper's