Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
Mystique in X-Men: First Class
Currently Known For:
August 15, 1990
Mystique in X-Men: First Class
“You don't have to order me around!” Seemingly coming out of nowhere in 2010 when she made her silver screen debut as a poverty-stricken teenager in the indie drama Winter’s Bone, Jennifer Lawrence truly became a household name in 2011 when she was cast as Mystique in X-Men: First Class. But, before we get too carried away with her incredible success, career earnings and accolades, let’s take a look at how the 26-year-old star got her start in Hollywood and her journey to becoming one of the most successful actresses of her generation.
Born in the suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky where she was raised by a construction worker and a children’s camp manager, Lawrence’s childhood was fairly normal as her family wasn’t rich by any means but there was always food on the table. However, not even a full stomach or loving parents could make up for what Lawrence refers to as an unhappy childhood caused by her extreme hyperactivity and severe social anxiety.
Despite feeling like a misfit, Lawrence diligently worked to overcome her anxiety and was involved in several extracurricular activities as well as a number of sports including cheerleading, softball, basketball and hockey. During her younger years, she dreamed of becoming a doctor and a mom but ultimately knew she would one day become famous and, by the age of 14, her prophecy came true. Spotted by a talent scout and invited to an audition, Lawrence first had to convince her mother it was a good idea.
With her mother eventually agreeing, Lawrence briefly moved to New York City to read for a few roles where, believe it or not, she impressed an entire room of agents after one cold read. Immediately offered a contract with the CESD Talent Agency, the budding actress finally had her chance and, despite her family’s opposition, accepted the offer in a decision that would pay off greatly in the years to come.
Eventually making her way to Los Angeles where she landed one-off roles on television series like Monk, Cold Case and Medium, Lawrence turned heads when she stole the show as the rebellious teenage daughter in The Bill Engvall Show from 2007 to 2009. Taking home a Young Artist Award in 2009 for her performance, the Kentucky native’s career was pushing full speed ahead when she landed her breakthrough role in Winter’s Bone. The rest is history.
Now an international sensation known for her critically acclaimed performances in films like American Hustle, Lawrence is also the youngest actor in Hollywood to earn four Academy Award nominations—all before her 26th birthday! Aside from taking home one of those coveted Oscars in 2012 for Silver-Linings Playbook, she’s won more than 100 awards over the last decade and is the highest earning actress in the industry. According to Forbes, she earned $52 million between 2014 and 2015 bringing her net worth to a jaw-dropping $110 million.
Currently working on five new projects including the highly anticipated Passengers, a sci-fi film starring Chris Pratt that’s set to release in December 2016, Lawrence has several non-Hollywood related ventures on her plate as well. In addition to co-writing the screenplay for a comedy film with Amy Schumer, she’ll also star in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War.
Only adding to her mega-millionaire status, Lawrence is known for both her talent and for speaking her mind in Hollywood but she isn’t known for her extravagant spending. Although she’s often spotted rocking designer brands from head to toe, she has a much more modest car collection that includes a Chevrolet Volt and a Volkswagen Eos, a far cry from typical celebrity luxury cars like Range Rovers and Mercedes.
The same frugality can be seen in Lawrence’s choice of housing because, despite being more than 100 times richer since she first moved to Los Angeles, she still lives in the same apartment. No, we aren’t kidding! During an interview, she even admitted that she still looks for great bargains and shops the clearance aisles while doing her best to avoid valet parking and frivolous spending.
While Lawrence might be frugal when it comes to her personal spending, she definitely holds nothing back when it’s time to help others. Since becoming a mainstream success, the 26-year-old has supported numerous charitable causes including Feeding America, The Thirst Project, the World Food Program and DoSomething.org. Never forgetting her roots, she’s also made huge strides in giving back to her hometown in Kentucky after making a $2 million donation to a local children’s hospital.
While we doubt she’ll lose the title of highest paid actress in Hollywood anytime soon, it’s safe to say that this A-lister hasn’t let her fortune and fame go to her head. Judging by her actions, Lawrence not only speaks her mind, she puts her money where her mouth is.
On the heels of her massive success with Winter’s Bone (2010) after becoming the second youngest person nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence was ready for something a little less serious when X-Men: First Class landed in her lap. Invited to audition for the part of the shapeshifting Mystique in Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 film, Lawrence stunned Vaughn with her audition despite her unfamiliarity with the X-Men franchise.
“I am ashamed to say I auditioned three times before I even watched any of the movies,” Lawrence later admitted. “And then after I watched the movies, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve been doing it all wrong, why are they calling me back?’ I was doing her all sweet and naïve. I saw Rebecca Romijn who played Raven/Mystique in the X-Men trilogy and she’s sultry and mean. I know this is an origin story, but I was definitely doing it wrong.”
Lawrence certainly did something right in her auditions since Vaughn believed she was perfect to embody both Mystique’s strength and weakness. For Lawrence, part of saying yes to the project was the chance to work with James McAvoy (Professor Xavier) and Michael Fassbender (Magneto). “Getting to know them was the best experience of my life,” Lawrence said of her costars. “They are just the nicest, funniest, down-to-earth guys.” As for filming itself, Lawrence said it didn’t feel like work at all. “It was mostly just fun. I don’t remember us working. I just remember us cracking up on set,” she recalled.
X-Men: First Class was a massive success at the box office and earned over $350 million worldwide, marking Lawrence’s highest grossing film at that point in her career. It was an easy decision then to reprise her role in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), which garnered over $748.1 million worldwide, and again in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). By then, her X-Men deal with Fox had ended but she’d already made a promise to her costars—Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy—not to come back without them. “Fox should be terrified because the deal we made was like if one of us doesn't come back, none of us are,” Lawrence said.
Fortunately for Fox, Lawrence and her costars all agreed to reprise their roles in the fourth X-Men film, Dark Phoenix, which is set to release in February 2019. “It’s just a very cool thing to be a part of,” Lawrence says of her time with the franchise. As for what’s next, Lawrence joined Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt in Passengers in 2016 and has hinted that she’d like to see Mystique take on Star Lord in a Guardians of the Galaxy film. “I would choose that over doing another X-Men movie,” Lawrence joked. “I won’t be Mystique in the X-Men movies, but I would love to be Mystique in Guardians of the Galaxy. I wonder if they can do that.” While they certainly could, it’s safe to say that Lawrence has settled in for at least another X-Men film!