When Jennifer Lawrence was offered the role of Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games franchise, she didn’t say yes right away.
Not because she didn’t want the role. “I really wanted it, really badly. I loved the books, I loved the idea of it and then when they offered it to me I took a few days,” she told NPR’s Terry Gross in the most recent episode of Fresh Air.
“It really hit me what a huge decision it was,” she explained — knowing that it could catapult her to a level of fame she wasn’t necessarily comfortable with. “A yes-or-no question very rarely changes your entire life.
“I was just thinking about fame, really, and also my future. I don’t know if men do this, but as a woman I’ve always imagined being a mother and I’ve always loved acting but I didn’t think it would take up a huge part of my life.
“I was kind of casual about acting and more kind of focussed on my future as being a human and being mum and what would that be like being a super, incredibly famous person?”
With the final instalment of the Hunger Games films, Mockingjay Part 2, in cinemas now and Lawrence’s new film Joy premièring this month, there’s no denying the 25-year-old Oscar winner is at the top of her game, but fame, as it turns out, has it’s upsides.
“I’m a total homebody. I’m always looking for excuses not to go out… I can now use fame as an excuse,” she says, “and I do.”
Social anxiety is something Lawrence readily admits to — and discusses at length in the interview. She also shares her thoughts on wage equality in Hollywood, how it felt when photos of her naked body were leaked to the public, moving to New York to pursue acting at 14 and working with Amy Schumer.
We’ve pulled out some of the best bits for you.
On being a very famous “homebody”:
“I get overwhelmed. I much prefer just small circles of people who I actually want to be around and I actually want to talk to,” Lawrence says.
“I’m at the age now where everyone is getting married — all my friends are getting married — and I’m like you wanna spend your whole night going ‘thanks, thank you, thank you for coming’… it just seems like a nightmare, seems like award season.”
She also laments how quickly people tend to judge celebrities, often based on little more than a sound bite.
“It’s amazing how with celebrities there’s some bizarre thing where, like, you say one thing, you do one thing… and if you don’t know a person how you can judge their entire being based on one thing that they’ve said. It’s a huge amount of pressure.”
On having her nude photos leaked by hackers:
“I would feel so creepy looking at someone’s naked body without their permission and when it happened to me I wasn’t embarrassed,” she says. “I was in a long distance relationship for four and half years and even if I wasn’t, it was my body, it was private email… Hackers are hackers. And hackers are gross disgusting perverts and what they did was wrong and that goes without saying.
“Those pictures were incredibly personal to me — and my naked body I haven’t shown on camera by choice — it’s my body. I felt angry at websites reposting them… I can’t really describe to you the feeling that took a very long time to go away, wondering at any point who is just passing my body around. Who’s got a picture of my body on their phone and is at a barbecue and looking at them. It was an unshakable, really awful feeling that after it healed a little bit made me incredibly angry.”