Jennifer Lawrence is the queen of real talk. When she’s not choosing roles that make every woman raise her cheap bottle of prosecco in solidarity – see Silver Linings Playbook and the upcoming cleaning utensil inventor biopic Joy – she’s getting a pay rise, hanging with Amy Schumer, working on a screenplay and being a Real Person in interviews. Between her hilarious honesty on red carpets and her blistering response to Vanity Fair after her private files were hacked and shared with the internet, she is her own inspiring self.
Recently the actress spoke to The New York Times about her eventful early twenties and Mockingjay Part 2, the final installment in the phenomenally successful The Hunger Games franchise. Lawrence is only 25-years-old but has seen her career explode and private life privy to unwarranted scrutiny ever since she took on the role of dystopian heroine Katniss Everdeen.
When asked about how she has changed since her first movie as Katniss, she said, “I don’t feel like I’m being dragged by anything anymore. I feel more in control. I’m calmer. I know that there’s no point to feeling anxious all day, so I try not to. I’m still scared, but it’s about different things.” Ever since that tsunami of fame, Lawrence said she has undergone changes. Which isn’t at all surprising considering she was 20-years-old when she shot the first movie. However she did come of age in an era of intense media attention. She said this affected how she now behaves in public. “I’m so scared to say anything now,” she admitted. “I can see every negative way that people can take it, and I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining. ‘Oh, she’s so conceited now. Oh, she’s so jaded now.’ It probably comes from Googling myself. If it were up to me, I would not talk. I would just act.”
Yes, Jennifer Lawrence has googled herself. (“You try being 22, having a period and staying away from Google. I once Googled ‘Jennifer Lawrence Ugly.’”) The actress was upfront on what being famous can do to a person, “I just can’t pretend I don’t care. I get really insecure about it. The world makes an opinion of you without ever meeting you. That worry should not bother me, but it does. It bothers me.”
However, it was her words on anxiety that are speaking to a lot of women, young and old. When asked about how she deals it, she replied, “I have a prescription.” She also went into detail about how all this pressure actually feels. “I picture myself drowning,” she said. “Outwardly, I look like I’m having a blast, and I am, at least on some levels. There I was — burp, burp, burp — just a little gal from Kentucky getting discovered by big ol’ Hollywood. But inside I’m terrified. In an instant — boom — everyone’s listening, everyone’s looking,” she said of her career, vivid sentences which sound a lot like how some people describe imposter syndrome.
It’s a pretty impressive interview overall, and we have to applaud Jennifer for her honesty. It’s refreshing, human and will probably help other people feel less alone, knowing that one of the most impressive women of her generation also feels a little bit anxious every now and again.