Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t going to starve herself for “The Hunger Games.”
Lawrence has spoken about being asked to lose 10 pounds for the YA novel adaptation franchise she starred in from 2012 to 2015. She went further during Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series, telling Viola Davis about how she was asked to lose weight for the role of Katniss Everdeen.
“In ‘Hunger Games,’ it was an awesome responsibility,” Lawrence explained. “Those books were huge, and I knew that the audience was children. I remember the biggest conversation was, ‘How much weight are you going to lose?’”
Lawrence continued, “Along with me being young and growing and not able to be on a diet, I don’t know if I want all of the girls who are going to dress up as Katniss to feel like they can’t because they’re not a certain weight. And I can’t let that seep into my brain either.”
The “Winter’s Bone” star landed an Academy Award nomination for her indie breakout role before being cast in “The Hunger Games,” which skyrocketed her career and marked a turning point in tween sci-fi action representation.
“I remember when I was doing ‘Hunger Games,’ nobody had ever put a woman in the lead of an action movie because it wouldn’t work — because we were told girls and boys can both identify with a male lead, but boys cannot identify with a female lead,” Lawrence said. “And it just makes me so happy every single time I see a movie come out that just blows through every one of those beliefs, and proves that it is just a lie to keep certain people out of the movies. To keep certain people in the same positions that they’ve always been in.”
Lawrence told Elle (via Reuters) at the time of “The Hunger Games” that she would never diet for a role.
“I’m never going to starve myself for a part,” Lawrence said. “I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner.’ That’s something I was really conscious of during training…I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.”
Even before “The Hunger Games,” Lawrence’s appearance was a factor in landing roles. One producer told her to drop 15 pounds in two weeks for a part, while also inappropriately telling her she could star in adult films because of her beauty.
“The director of that film asked if he could have me star in a porno as the character among many other things that are too inappropriate to repeat here,” Lawrence said during Elle’s 24th annual Women in Hollywood Awards in 2017 (via Fashionista). “I asked to speak to a producer about the unrealistic diet regime and he responded by telling me he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat; he thought I was perfectly fuckable.”
Lawrence added, “I look back at this time and I see that I was trapped, like so many young actors and actresses starting out. I couldn’t have gotten a producer or a director or a studio head fired. I let myself be treated a certain way because I felt like I had to for my career. I was young and walking that fine line of sticking up for myself without being called ‘difficult,’ which they did call me, but I believe the word they used was, ‘nightmare.’”
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