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Jennifer Lawrence: 5 Facts About the 'Hunger Games' Star

Jennifer Lawrence
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The 20-year-old Oscar-nominated actress has been cast as Katniss Everdeen in the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins' young-adult novel.

Jennifer Lawrence has landed the role of plucky protagonist Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games, Lionsgate's film adaptation of the Suzanne Collins young-adult novel that's being directed by Gary Ross. Here are five facts about the 20-year-old actress:

1. She was discovered while visiting New York from her native Louisville, Ky., with her mom six years ago. "A guy asked to take my picture," she told Esquire magazine last year. "We probably should have realized how creepy that was." But it ended up with her landing an agent and moving to Los Angeles with her parents, who at the time thought she'd just end up giving up in frustration. "They never would have let me try this if they'd known I'd be successful," she said.
 
2. She got her big break playing Bill Engvall and Nancy Travis' daughter on on TBS' The Bill Engvall Show. The sitcom aired from 2007-09 on the cable network. Before that, she had guest-starring roles on Cold Case, Monk and Medium.
 
3. She was nominated for an Oscar -- and a slew of other major awards -- this year for her role in Winter's Bone. In the Ozark Mountains-set film, directed and co-written by Debra Granik, Lawrence plays Ree Dolly, a teen struggling to hold her family together and keep their home. She said she knew the role was gritty and uniquely tenacious and so she pursued it with unabashed commitment, even taking a spontaneous red-eye flight to New York to press the producers for the part. "I did go further for Winter’s Bone than I probably would have for other things because I loved the script and because it was the best female role," she told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year.
 
4. She is modest about her success and won't take credit for her current career trajectory. “I’d love to take credit for it," she told THR. "But I was just like every actress in L.A. that auditions for everything, and those were the roles that picked me. I could try to plan everything -- and I have, of course, because I’m controlling -- but I’ve watched my career take shape, and I love what it’s done. I never could have designed that in a million years."
 
5. She next appears on the big screen in Jodie Foster's movie The Beaver opposite Mel Gibson and Anton Yelchin and plays Raven Darkholme/Mystique in X-Men: First Class.