A Brand-New Superstar

6:00 AM PST 01/31/2012 by Steven Galloway
Murray Close/Lionsgate

Jennifer Lawrence turned to her mom, who runs a summer camp, for advice on whether to play Katniss Everdeen.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: You hesitated when offered the part. What finally made you say yes?

Jennifer Lawrence: I called my mom, and she called me a hypocrite because when I was doing indie movies and everyone was asking why I didn't do studio movies, I said, "The size of the movie doesn't matter." And she said, "Here's a movie you love, and you were thinking of turning it down because of its size." I thought: "I don't want to miss out because I'm scared. Me being scared, I never want that to stop me from doing something." But I knew in my heart that I wanted it -- it was about working out all the fears.

THR: How did you prepare?

Lawrence:I did a lot of running because that's all she does -- track running and free running -- then hand-to-hand combat and yoga. We trained to be able to do every stunt in the movie, and the ones that didn't work out, my stunt double would do. I trained about four hours a day. Trying to find what Katniss' body should look like put a lot of pressure on my shoulders. And it was stressful because I didn't want to disappoint anybody -- there was a lot of pressure to get your body to a place where an entire franchise is based [on it].

THR: Did you spend time with author Suzanne Collins?

Lawrence:I met her on set, and we also had a lot of very long conversations when I was still in England [visiting friends]. When we met, I asked her about how she had come up with the book. She said she was flipping between reality TV and the war in Iraq, flipping back and forth, and came up with the concept.

THR: How has your life changed compared with a year ago?

Lawrence:It hasn't really, I'm happy to say. I have my family, my friends, my dog -- he's a Yorkie, but he's been taken by my parents because they just lost their dog -- and I'm leaving the country a little. But I haven't changed my personal life.

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