fresh no ads
Everybody loves JLaw |


Everybody loves JLaw

Shinji Manlangit - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Jennifer Lawrence — or as we like to call her, JLaw — tripped on her dress as she walked up the Oscar stage to accept her Best Actress trophy. And in the three seconds that she spent lying down en route to what would eventually be her defining moment as an actress, all she could think of was the word “f*ck.”

This she admitted at the pressroom of the Academy Awards, in her usual self-effacing manner. (She went on, jokingly, to hold her Oscar in one hand and give reporters the middle finger with the other). Now this is a girl who, at 22 and in her first five years in Hollywood, has already been nominated for an Oscar twice and has a billion-dollar franchise to her name (The Hunger Games). It seems that while Hollywood is dazzled by glamour and beauty, Jennifer Lawrence signals a change in the way celebrity personalities are cultivated and perceived.

Before Rolling Stone magazine hailed her as “the most talented young actress in America,” Jennifer was a Kentucky native with a contractor dad and a mom who owns a children’s camp. At 14, she was randomly photographed by a scout while on vacation in New York and was pestered into entering the biz by phone calls from various agencies. She took no acting lessons, but managed to finish high school two years early to fast-track her career.

Winter’s bone

Lawrence's TV debut was for an episode of Monk where she played an overenthusiastic high school mascot. She stayed on TV for the next four years, three of which were spent on The Bill Engvall Show. In 2008, she made a string of dark indie teen affairs before landing her breakthrough role as Ree Dolly in Debra Granik’s visceral film adaptation of Winter’s Bone.

Hailed as “one of the best feminist works in film” by the New Yorker, Lawrence’s 2010 performance sparked a lot of Hollywood interest and merited her first Oscar nod. The following year, while Meryl Streep reigned supreme with her third Oscar win, Jennifer was diving deeper into Hollywood by signing on two blockbuster franchises: a pre-boot of Marvel’s X-Men and the film adaptation of a successful young adult novel called The Hunger Games.

Lawrence’s year

2012 might as well be considered Jennifer Lawrence’s year. Her Oscar win cements that idea; the balance between playing a 16-year-old girl who has to fight for her life in a post-apocalyptic dystopian nightmare and the shift towards a repulsive nymphomaniac with a heart that yearns to dance might appear as a daunting task, but JLaw appears to have breezed through it.

Then The Hunger Games grossed more than $650 million worldwide, making Katniss Everdeen the only action heroine in the history to actually kick ass in the box office. In an era where falling in love with a supernatural creature and breathing heavily down each other’s necks qualifies for female empowerment, having a movie centering on a young woman hacking through her peers for perpetual fortune seemed more ideal.

At this point, Jennifer Lawrence’s strong performances were lauded by critics. While other artists are busy tweeting their thoughts or filming their reality shows, Jennifer casually hangs out at home with her family. During her Oscar campaign for Silver Linings Playbook, her nonchalance about her celebrity status and humor left Hollywood smitten. Jennifer just doesn’t care that she’s a celebrity, thereby making her more famous in the public eye.

‘Silver linings playbook’

For Silver Linings Playbook she had to wise up and act beyond her own age, but in doing so, she also had to possess the vulnerability of a hurt child on a playground. While the film acts like a romantic comedy on the surface, the writing delves deeper into the workings of the characters in bold but not overly dramatic ways typical of David O. Russell.

A good part of the naughties was littered with versions of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, a Hollywood stock character who exists to push lifeless protagonists into the unknown and the infinite. By pushing the stock character to the edge as Lawrence did with Tiffany Maxwell in Silver Linings Playbook, she managed to create a postscript to an otherwise cruel Hollywood joke and even took home an Oscar for the performance.

There is the fear that Jennifer might have peaked too early in her career. Past Oscar winners have suffered a cursed fate much akin to Halle Berry. Although she still makes appearances at awards shows, Berry’s work in Monster’s Ball was really all there is to it. Julia Roberts is America’s sweetheart no more. Angelina Jolie is too busy breeding for Brad Pitt, and Charlize Theron is too busy cracking the box office.

Jennifer Lawrence is franchise-bound with the next two Hunger Games movies and probably even more X-Men: First Class installments after Days of the Future Past. While poised for box-office success, America’s newest darling is still present in dramatic affairs like the adaptation for Jeannette Wall’s best-selling memoir The Glass Castle, as well as taking what was slated for Angeline Jolie in Susan Bier’s Serena. Hell hath no fury for the girl on fire.

* * *

Tweet the author @JunellHernando.


vuukle comment










Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with