Oscar winner Lawrence is driven to keep working

Jennifer Lawrence, Mahershala Ali and Liam Hemsworth in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2." (Photo courtesy Lionsgate/TNS)

LOS ANGELES - Jennifer Lawrence could have taken it easy the past five years and just spent her time working on the four Hunger Games movies.

That's not Lawrence.

As soon as "The Hunger Ganes" franchise started production, the spunky, straight-talking actor was looking at other acting possibilities. She has spent every free weekend away from filming the movies meeting with directors about future projects.

"I love working. I love being busy. I love reading and writing and doing anything to keep myself busy," Lawrence says.

That's one reason you will see the Oscar winner in two movies this holiday season, starting with "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" in time for the Thanksgiving movie rush and then in "Joy" around Christmas.

The release of "Mockingjay - Part 2" ends a long run for Lawrence. She's been with the character of Katniss Everdeen for so many years, it's hard for her to figure out just how she feels about the role coming to an end.

"I don't really feel like I said goodbye to her," Lawrence says. "What we do on every movie is we play these characters and then two months later we never see them again. I guess I'm used to that, so I did feel it so much character wise.

Lawrence has had a series of ends with Katniss. The end of the press tour is only the most recent farewell. The first was in Berlin when principle photography wrapped. A year later, she had to return to the role for an additional scene that has a special place in her heart because she got to work with her two nephews.

Lawrence says "The Hunger Games" role has been completely different because the books - and especially Katniss - mean so much to so many fans. She said it's "such a huge movie that does so much for so many people."

She's particularly proud of playing such a strong female.

Lawrence may feel sentimental about Katniss, but she's not slowing her never-ending search to secure her next job.

She had just finished shooting the first Hunger Games movie when she auditioned for director David O. Russell. She's convinced the timing was right and he cast her in "Silver Linings Playbook" before all the hoopla that came when the "The Hunger Games" launched.

In "Joy," Lawrence reunites with Russell for a story of a woman who rises to power in a family business. The film also features her "Silver Lining Playbook" co-stars Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.

Lawrence is more determined than ever to fight for the roles she wants and plans to make sure she gets the best deal possible. After Sony Pictures was hacked, it was revealed that Lawrence made less than what Cooper made for starring in "Silver Linings Playbook."

Lawrence wrote an essay for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter - an online site for discussing politics, style, feminism, etc. - that revealed how mad the actress was at herself for allowing such an imbalance of pay to happen.

"It was about how did I get in my own way and not fight just as hard as the men to get a better deal. Is that because I'm a woman? That's the only point of view I have," Lawrence says. "There was definitely no foul play on Sony's part because they are not going to give someone more money if they don't ask for it."

Through the letter, Lawrence did a self-evaluation of how her own fears of asking for more money would make her look. She now understands that was what kept her from fighting harder.

After Lawrence wrote the opinion piece, there was a backlash from some who called it "Jennifer's bratty display." To her, those kinds of comments just helped make her point.

"If a woman speaks up and is assertive and has a voice, she's going to be called a brat," she says. "I don't see a man being called a brat."

 

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