Forget the new 'do for a minute. Sit down with Jennifer Lawrence and you can't help but to stare into her eyes.
That's because she's about to cry.
Screen tough girl Katniss in The Hunger Games franchise shares a quick story that chokes her up on the eve of Catching Fire opening Nov. 22.
"I remember being on my very first movie and thinking that as an actor my job wasn't that important to the world. I just loved doing it. Then one day on Catching Fire, I met an extra who was covered in real life scars. She was burned. This girl told me that she was too self-conscious to go to school. Then she read Hunger Games and went to school, calling herself, 'The Girl Who Caught on Fire.' She was suddenly proud of her scars."
A tear slips out and Lawrence runs a hand through her short blonde hair. In person, she's almost six feet and wears a dusky gold shirt, beige pants and a big black sweater.
"I still can't tell the story," she sniffs. "But it puts it all into perspective."
YourTango: You're so amazingly outspoken. Do you think fans love you for it?
Jennifer Lawrence: Sometimes what I say and think comes back and bites me in the ass. But then I tell a story to you like that one and I hope young women feel empowered.
YourTango: Let's talk about Catching Fire. What was the toughest stunt for you to do?
Jennifer Lawrence: There's a scene where we're hanging on to a spinning clock in the middle of a river. It was hard because this wheel was going 30 miles per hour in freezing cold water. I had morning sickness.
Jennifer Lawrence: Oh no! I mean, motion sickness! Oh my god! Now, the morning sickness rumors are what I'll be dealing with for the rest of the month. I will say on the record that it was tough to keep the cookies down, but it wasn't morning sickness! It was motion sickness!
YourTango: What do you love about The Hunger Games franchise?
Jennifer Lawrence: This story is important. It's a wonderful message to show how important one voice can be. You can follow the feet in front of you or be that one voice. It definitively shows young people how important they are in shaping our society, which is important during a time when young people might feel as if they have no voice.
YourTango: Is there a lesson in these films?
Jennifer Lawrence: I think as a society, unfortunately, people feel entitled to certain things. We've been de-sensitized when it comes to our shock value, too. I think these movies and the books are about what happens when you de-sensitize a society that feels entitled.
YourTango: Let's talk about Katniss' confused love life for a moment. She has Liam Hemsworth at home, but undeniable feelings for Peeta. What should she do?
Jennifer Lawrence: It's really a tough predicament for her. Katniss is above all loyal. She's loyal to the boy back home who feels terrible that she has to go off and fight. But she does have feelings for Peeta who is her rock in surviving the games. It's tough because both of the guys have feelings for her and someone is going to be hurt. Katniss needs time to figure it out, but she doesn't have that time because it's all about survival for her.
YourTango: So Liam or Josh? What do you think?
Jennifer Lawrence: They're both like brothers to me. We tease each other a lot and have the best time on the set.
YourTango: The theme of Hunger Games is teens being sent to their deaths. But now with the sequel, we're beginning to see the rebellion. Is that exciting for you?
Jennifer Lawrence: These teenagers are beginning to say, "We don't need to play this game. We won't play this game. We don't have to follow the rules." Even if a few people say those words, it's progress. What we see here is Katniss growing and changing with each film. She's really finding her voice—and she becomes the voice of the people who have been forced to send their children off to die.
YourTango: Do you worry as an actress about being forever identified with Katniss?
Jennifer Lawrence: I knew the deal. When I signed on to do Hunger Games, we already had Harry Potter and Twilight. I knew what to expect to a certain extent. And if I'm going to be identified with a character for the rest of my life, it's fine. I love this character.
YourTango: Do you ever rest? You have two movies coming out this holiday season, including American Hustle with Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams.
Jennifer Lawrence: Everyone told me I should take a rest, but forget it. Doing American Hustle was amazing and the role was unlike anything I've ever done in the past. I'd rather do a role like that any day as opposed to resting.
YourTango: What was it like to win a Best Actress Oscar last year for Silver Linings Playbook?
Jennifer Lawrence: Winning the Oscar was a wonderful gift. I'm still confused by it slightly. I'm okay with it. It's a huge honor. The truth is I'm still pinching myself. I still haven't fully digested it and maybe I shouldn't ever digest it.
YourTango: When you came back to the set of Catching Fire with your Oscar, what happened?
Jennifer Lawrence: After I won, I brought the Oscar to the Catching Fire set and thought, "Things will be seriously different now. I have an Oscar." I saw everybody the next day and people were like, "Hey, good for you." And Oscar actually made me a target. Every single time I would mess up my line, I would hear, "Hey, you better give that Oscar back."
YourTango: What's the best part of this stardom?
Jennifer Lawrence: There are so many wonderful things that can come when you have a voice. It's so easy to raise money for charity. It takes me ten minutes to sign 100 posters that raise a lot of money for charity.
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