2011 May 31

Jennifer talks “X-Men”, fame and “Hunger Games”

“I’m at the Jimmy Fallon dressing room. I was just saying good-bye to my entourage.”

Jennifer Lawrence is on the phone, explaining why there is so much commotion in the background as we attempt to begin a brief interview. She says the word entourage in a way that implies air quotes; Lawrence, 20, doesn’t seem like the type to take the concept of Hollywood posses seriously. But at the least, she should probably get used to the commotion.

That’s because in the past year, this Louisville, Ky. native, has quickly rocketed from under-the-radar indie actress to movie industry It Girl.

First she earned an Academy Award nomination for her turn as a steely teen in “Winter’s Bone.” Then she took on the role of young shape-shifter Mystique (non-mutant name: Raven Darkholme) in “X-Men: First Class,”her first attempt at blockbuster fare, which arrives in theaters Friday. And now Lawrence is playing her buzziest role to date: the teen warrior Katniss Everdeen in the adaptation of the popular post-apocalyptic young-adult book series “The Hunger Games,” which is currently shooting in Wilmington, N.C.

“The Hunger Games” fan fervor has made her the subject of intense Internet chatter and also recently landed her on the cover of Entertainment Weekly (see below). So how is Lawrence handling all of the sudden attention?

During a conversation briefly interrupted by the lack of cell reception in a parking garage, we talked about that, as well as her transformation into Mystique and how she and “X-Men” co-star James McAvoy bonded on-set. (Apparently that involved making fart noises.)

Was it strange to go from doing movies like “Winter’s Bone” to an “X-Men” flick? Or is there ultimately little difference between making an indie vs. a comic-book film?
Jennifer Lawrence: It’s all filmmaking. The behind the scenes is always different: you have a bigger trailer, there’s better food. Things like that. I still do the movies for the same reasons. I still love the script, I love the director, I love the character and the other actors involved. So all of the reasons why I was there, they were all the same.

It’s kind of like camping versus going to a resort. They’re both fun, they’re just different kinds of fun.

How long did you have to sit in the chair to get the Mystique make-up done?.
: I had to either stand or sit on a bicycle seat for about eight hours when it was full body.

A bicycle seat?
Yeah, you can’t sit in a chair because then they can’t get to all your good parts.