Jennifer Lawrence is the real deal.
A living parable of her big-screen alter ego Katniss Everdeen. There are so many parallels we can make between the two women.
Both are modern heroines in a world where male action heroes dominate. Both are champions for ordinary people who are placed in extraordinary circumstances.
Both are It girls of the moment, with the release of the penultimate film of the wildly lucrative franchise based on Suzanne Collins’ young adult novels The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, opening here tomorrow.
At this point, both can do no wrong — at least in our eyes.
Here’s why Lawrence is a worthy real-life superhero.
While every starlet seems to come out of a Hollywood factory mould, Lawrence, 24, is a genuine article.
She is famously known to not succumb to Hollywood’s image standard, once telling Harper’s Bazaar UK that she’s proud of her “fat” figure, and will not bow to the pressure of being skinny for skinny’s sake.
We’ve seen how Katniss can’t deliver any scripted lines even if her life depended on it, and in Mockingjay, it becomes clear how inadequate she is without Peeta’s (Josh Hutcherson) assistance.
But when Katniss is thrust into the heat of the action, she delivers — fire and brimstone-style.
Ditto for Lawrence. She never gives cookie-cutter answers at press events and isn’t afraid to make fun of herself on TV interviews, and you know you’ll get something original whenever she delivers a thank-you speech.
Katniss may be the people’s favourite, but she isn’t perfect in many ways and is often selfish and contradictory.
Lawrence is equally flawed. For instance, her words of wisdom once to fellow rising US actress Shailene Woodley was “don’t make a sex tape, don’t do drugs”.
While Lawrence didn’t make a sex tape — or at least one that hasn’t surfaced yet — she did take a lot of nude photos of herself, as we learnt from the recent photo hacking scandal.
Hardly role model material for her many young fans, but it also goes to show that she makes mistakes like any other young woman and that, ironically, makes her even more relatable.
Katniss doesn’t do what she’s told and often defies rules and gets into trouble. Yet, it’s like water off a duck’s back.
Likewise, the nude photos might have cast a dark shadow over Lawrence’s otherwise untarnished reputation, but it shockingly hasn’t produced any chink in her armour.
She admitted to Vanity Fair about being “so afraid” that the scandal would affect her career and that she considered writing a public apology, but later changed her mind as she didn’t think she did anything wrong.
Her honesty and her way of dealing with the negative publicity — particularly how she went after celebrity blogger Perez Hilton who publicised her nude photos — won her even more fans and sympathy.
SHE’S A MANEATER
Lawrence has a way with men, much like how Katniss has both Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta professing their undying love for her.
After breaking up with her long-term on-off boyfriend and X-Men co-star Nicholas Hoult — to whom Lawrence sent her nude photos to — she hooked up with Gwyneth Paltrow’s estranged husband, Coldplay singer Chris Martin.
It was reported that the unlikely couple’s relationship got rather serious, with several sightings of their intimate dates and her attending Martin’s gigs. Yet, after four months of dating, she dumped Martin for reportedly being too intense for her. She also wasn’t comfortable with Martin’s ongoing closeness with Paltrow.
Now there’s word that Hoult wants to get back with Lawrence.
Perhaps the truth will be out when the duo start filming X-Men: Apocalypse next year.
Famous as she is, Lawrence is no material girl. Like Katniss, she hasn’t succumbed to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood a la the Capitol.
The Oscar winner and Dior spokesmodel may have splurged on a new US$7 million (S$9 million) five-bedroom house in Beverly Hills, but don’t expect her to spend her wealth unnecessarily.
She told The Telegraph that she went shopping to furnish her new home and was appalled at the cost of couches at upmarket furniture stores.
“So I bought one from Ikea,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how much money I make, unfairness in prices really fires me up. Like shopping in LA and a T-shirt costs $150.”
Lawrence added that her Southern upbringing in Louisiana, Kentucky and coming to fame late has made her aware of the “real world” and “how much a couch costs”.