X-Men Apocalypse, starring Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender, opens today in theaters. It is the latest installment of the X-Men movie franchise.
1. Jennifer Lawrence was very athletic as a child. Born and raised in the suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky, Lawrence grew up riding horses, she said in a Rolling Stone interview. Unfortunately, she has a deformed tailbone from getting thrown off of a horse, she told Vogue.
She also played on the boys basketball team her father coached, as well as playing softball and field hockey. Lawrence was also a high school cheerleader.
2. Lawrence had what she called an “unhappy” childhood. Growing up, she was not a good student, she confessed to Vogue.
— JustJared.com (@JustJared) May 26, 2016
“I was a horrible student, and I kept getting grounded every time my report card came out,” she recalled. “Acting was never an option. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, well, you got a C in math; you’re grounded. But you can be an actor!'”
Her parents were so worried about her that they took her to a therapist.
“I’ve always just had this weird anxiety,” she told Vogue. “I hated recess. I didn’t like field trips. Parties really stressed me out. And, I had a very different sense of humor.”
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3. Lawrence was discovered by a talent agent at age 14 on a trip to New York City. She recalled to Vanity Fair that as they were watching some street dancers, a talent scout asked if he could take her picture. She obliged and gave him her mother’s phone number.
Lawrence got called in the next day by the agency, and her ambitions changed very quickly.
“I was playing field hockey and cheerleading and wanted to be a doctor,” she told Vanity Fair, “but within 20 minutes, in the cab ride from the hotel room, I decided I didn’t want to be a model, that, in fact, I wanted to be an actress… I don’t know where that came from.”
She was just 14 when this happened.
— VOGUE.CO.UK (@BritishVogue) May 26, 2016
4. Jennifer Lawrence started her acting career small, but quickly worked her way up. The Hollywood Reporter documented her rise to stardom. In 2006, she guest-starred in an episode of Monk, and then in Cold Case and Medium in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
Her first regular work came with TBS’ The Bill Engvall Show. Even though it only ran for 30 episodes over three seasons, Lawrence remembers her time there fondly.
“I had so much fun on that show, and we all became like family,” she told Under the Radar Magazine. “It funded my indie career, so I could do the movies that I want.”
5. Lawrence’s break-through film was Winter’s Bone, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Before she appeared in any X-Men or Hunger Games movies, Jennifer Lawrence was cast in Winter’s Bone. According to the Week, she played a young, impoverished teenager who has to care for her mentally ill mother and her siblings in the Ozark Mountains.
The movie received high praise from Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, who said, “Every once in a rare while a movie gets inside your head and heart, rubbing your emotions raw. The remarkable Winter’s Bone is just such a movie.”
Travers praised Lawrence as well, saying, “Her performance is more than acting, it’s a gathering storm.”
While she didn’t win Best Actress for Winter’s Bone, Lawrence did capture the Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook in 2012.
X-Men Apocalypse opens in theaters this Memorial Day Weekend. Check local listings for show times.
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]