When Jennifer Lawrence came roaring into the public eye as a Hollywood actress, her candid and blunt nature was truly refreshing. Here was a young, spitfire of an actress seemingly unafraid to say anything that was on her mind, and for the most part, America loved her for it. She might have been a walking PR nightmare, but she was charming enough to pull it off.
Fast forward a few years later, and Lawrence, who sat down with the New York Times for an interview, seemed to be very much aware of the public’s perception, which has affected what she says and does in the public eye. Being a young actress in Hollywood, you’re told to be quiet and fit in a box, so Lawrence’s bold style might have been a bit off-putting to some. Love her or hate her, people inside and outside of the business took notice.
Opening up about her first few years under the public’s gaze, Lawrence said, “I don’t feel like I’m being dragged by anything anymore. I feel more in control. I’m calmer. I know that there’s no point to feeling anxious all day, so I try not to. I’m still scared, but it’s about different things. Now, I worry about —”
Although she interrupted herself from going deeper, she continued on about what has changed since she got the role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games franchise. “You want to know how I’ve changed? I’m so scared to say anything now. I can see every negative way that people can take it, and I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining. “Oh, she’s so conceited now. Oh, she’s so jaded now.” It probably comes from Googling myself. If it were up to me, I would not talk. I would just act.”
Jennifer Lawrence Googles herself? That sounds anxiety inducing, but Lawrence, who has always maintained her “girl next door vibe,” really was a regular 22-year-old when she got caught up in the tent-pole project, and the Oscar nominations. “You try being 22, having a period, and staying away from Google. I once Googled ‘Jennifer Lawrence Ugly.’ Do I sound bi***y?”
She pressed on, “I can’t think of a more wasteful use of my time than to worry about this. Why do I care what people think? But I do. I just can’t pretend I don’t care. I get really insecure about it. The world makes an opinion of you without ever meeting you. That worry should not bother me, but it does. It bothers me.”
Picking up on the stress-inducing situation that Lawrence had pained, the reporter asked just how she deals with her anxiety, and without missing a beat Lawrence said, “I have a prescription [Laughs].”
She then continued on in a more serious tone, “I find a certain peace by thinking of me in public as sort of an avatar self. You out there can have the avatar me. I can keep me. And I just try to acknowledge that this scrutiny is stressful, and that anyone would find it stressful. So I’ve got to try to let it go, and try to be myself, and focus on important things, like picking up dog poop.”
[Photo by Mike Coppola / Getty Images]