Jennifer Lawrence bids farewell to The Hunger Games, the series that made her a star
The world’s best-paid actress, Lawrence has had a little time to adjust to the megastardom the hugely successful franchise brought her way
Jennifer Lawrence is bidding farewell to The Hunger Games, the wildly popular fantasy franchise that made her a megastar and a rare Hollywood action heroine.
Lawrence is back as bow-wielding protagonist Katniss Everdeen, leading her rebels deeper into the fight against injustice in their dystopian world in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, opening around the globe next week.
But the movie marks the final chapter in the hugely successful saga that saw Lawrence – at 25 already an Oscar winner and the world’s highest-paid actress – catapulted to fame.
“I think it will be pretty bizarre when the movie is finally out and … everything is officially done,” Lawrence says. “This movie has been my life for so many years.”
The series, adapted from the teen novels of Suzanne Collins, tells the story of Katniss’ battle to survive in a reality TV life-and-death game in a post-apocalyptic future state.
In last year’s Mockingjay – Part 1 she didn’t just battle for her life, but became the symbol of a revolution. In the finale, she tries to lead the rebellion against the totalitarian government of District 13.
“I didn’t really feel that I said goodbye to her,” Lawrence notes of Katniss.
In the final instalment, Katniss must cope with the emotional instability of her lovelorn admirer Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson, while still enjoying the support of the other man in her life, best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth).
Lawrence says it took her a while to adapt to her new life in the spotlight amid the massive Hunger Games success – and the pressure that accompanied it.
“There were a few years of getting used to it, your entire world changes,” she says.
Fans the world over have embraced The Hunger Games since the first film came out in 2012, with the franchise passing the US$1 billion mark at the box office.
“I have a new normal now, I feel very stable and normal and happy,” Lawrence says. “But the pressure … you just can’t think about it.”
The blockbusters may have a female heroine leading the fight, but “it’s probably too soon to be able to look back and reflect” on the impact the films have had on the public, Lawrence says.
As for herself? “I hope I’ve grown up,” adds the star, who won an Oscar for her role in Silver Linings Playbook in 2012.
Lawrence also addresses a recent blunt essay she wrote for an online feminist newsletter in which she blasted pay inequality between the sexes.
“I would love to straighten up that I wasn’t writing about not making as much as my male co-stars, as complaining that I wasn’t getting paid more because I’m a woman,” she says.
In her post for Lenny, a newsletter co-founded by fellow actress Lena Dunham, Lawrence said when she found out from Sony emails leaked last year that she was paid less than her male co-stars in the hit movie American Hustle, she didn’t get mad at Sony but at herself.
She went on to admit she had failed to tackle the issue out of fear of being branded “difficult” or “spoiled”.
Lawrence, who topped Forbes magazine’s 2015 list of best-paid actresses at US$52 million, says she loves what she does for a living and hates “waking up without a goal”.
“Honestly, it’s a job,” she says, acknowledging that “people are going to have opinions”.
“I really love acting, so I really just think of myself as a working woman,” she adds.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 opens on November 19