Jennifer Shrader Lawrence was born August 15, 1990, in Louisville, Kentucky, to Karen (Koch), who manages a children’s camp, and Gary Lawrence, who works in construction. She has two older brothers, Ben and Blaine, and has English, German, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.
Her career began when she traveled to Manhattan at the age of fourteen after dropping out of the 8th grade. After conducting her first cold read, agents told her mother that “it was the best cold read by a 14- year-old they had ever heard”, and tried to convince her stage mother that she needed to spend the summer in Manhattan. After leaving the agency, Jennifer was spotted by an agent in the midst of shooting an H&M ad and asked to take her picture. The next day, that agent followed up with her and invited her to the studio for a cold-read audition. Again, the agents were highly impressed and strongly urged her mother to allow her to spend the summer in New York City. As fate would have it, she did and subsequently appeared in commercials such as MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” and played a role in the movie The Devil You Know (2013).
Lawrence played Serena Pemberton in Susanne Bier’s depression-era drama Serena (2014), based on the novel of the same name by Ron Rash. In the film, she and her husband George (played by Bradley Cooper) become involved in criminal activities after realizing that they cannot bear children.
The project was filmed in 2012, and was released in 2014 to poor reviews.
Lawrence then reprised the role of Mystique in X-Men: Days of Future Past, which served as a sequel to both X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and X-Men: First Class (2011). The film received positive reviews and grossed $748.1 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film in the X-Men series to that point.
Justin Chang of Variety praised her look in the film but thought she had little to do but “glower, snarl and let the f/x artists do their thing”. Lawrence’s next two releases were the final installments of The Hunger Games film series, Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and Part 2 (2015). For the soundtrack of the former film, she recorded the song “The Hanging Tree”,which charted on multiple international singles charts.
In a review of the final installment in the series, Manohla Dargis of The New York Times drew similarities between Everdeen’s journey as a rebel leader and Lawrence’s rise to stardom, stating that the actress “now inhabits the role as effortlessly as breathing, partly because, like all great stars, she seems to be playing a version of her ‘real’ self.” Both films grossed over $650 million worldwide.
Lawrence worked with David O. Russell for the third time on the biopic Joy (2015), in which she played the eponymous character, a troubled single mother who becomes a successful businesswoman after inventing the Miracle Mop.
During filming in Boston, the press reported on a disagreement between Lawrence and Russell that resulted in a “screaming match”. She claimed that their friendship made it easier for them to disagree, because people fight when they really love each other.
The film was not as well-received as their previous collaborations, but Lawrence’s performance was unanimously praised; critic Richard Roeper thought it was her best work since Winter’s Bone, describing it as “a wonderfully layered performance that carries the film through its rough spots and sometime dubious detours.” She won her third Golden Globe for it, and was nominated for another Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming the youngest actor in history to accrue four Oscar nominations.