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Jennifer Lawrence (born August 15, 1990) is an American film and television actress. She has had lead roles in TBS’s The Bill Engvall Show and in the independent films The Burning Plain and Winter’s Bone.

Early life

Jennifer Lawrence was born in Louisville, Kentucky. She has 2 older brothers, Ben and Blaine, a sister in law, Meredith, and her parents are Gary and Karen Lawrence.

Jennifer, known to her friends and family as “Jen,” was discovered in New York City at the age of 14. Before Jennifer became an actor, she was a involved in cheerleading, field hockey, softball, and modeling, none of which she held a passion for.

In the spring of 2004, she traveled to New York and set up a few auditions with talent and modeling agencies. After conducting her first cold read, the 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 mother that she needed to spend the summer in Manhattan. After leaving the agency, Jen 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.

Career

Lawrence starred in Guillermo Arriaga’s directorial debut The Burning Plain, opposite Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger. Her performance in the film earned her the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young emerging actor/actress during the Venice Film Festival in 2008.

She was part of the main cast of the TBS comedy The Bill Engvall Show as Lauren Pearson. Written and created by Bill Engvall and Michael Leeson, the show is set in a Denver suburb and follows the life of ‘Bill Pearson’ (played by Engvall), a family counselor whose own family could use a little dose of counseling. The series was canceled in 2009 after having aired three seasons.

Lawrence’s other film credits include a lead role in Lori Petty’s The Poker House opposite Selma Blair and Bokeem Woodbine as well as roles in Devil You Know and Garden Party. Her television credits include roles on Cold Case, Medium, and Monk. She auditioned for the roles of Bella Swan and Rosalie Hale in the Twilight film series but was not offered either part.

Lawrence has the lead role, frequently cited as a “breakout performance” for her, in Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone (which won best picture at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010). She portrays a seventeen-year-old girl in the rural Ozarks, caring for her mentally-ill mother and her younger brother and sister, when she discovers that her father put their house and land up as a bond for a court appearance.

She is featured in the music video for the song “The Mess I Made”, from the album Losing Sleep by Parachute. Lawrence is set to star in Mark Tonderai thriller film House at the End of the Street. She will also co-star with Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson in The Beaver, a dark comedy, and will play the role of Mystique in X-Men: First Class.

Lawrence states that she has never taken drama classes or acting lessons, simply relying on her instincts when playing a role. She lived in New York City for the first few years of her career but currently resides in Santa Monica, California.