5 Reasons Everyone Loves Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence6 5 Reasons Everyone Loves Jennifer Lawrence

It seems safe to declare Jennifer Lawrence Queen of the Internet, for the past few weeks at least. By far the most linked-to moments of last month’s Academy Awards revolved around Lawrence and her propensity for turning mundane star obligations into unpredictable exchanges, usually leading to her saying something inappropriate.

She won her first Oscar that night for playing a character probably most similar to what she seems to be like in real life, if that’s to be believed. She’s best known previously for inhabiting Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games and before that one, a small independent movie that earned her her first Oscar nomination, Winter’s Bone. Both characters she plays in those two films are very quiet, cerebral, anti-social, self-determined. They think carefully before they say anything. And they kick ass.

The Jennifer Lawrence the public has come to know and love is far from these things, at least the parts about being generally reticent and strong but silent. In her short career she already has too many memorable quotes to enumerate. I found a blog that tried to do this and stopped at 55 lines she’s given in interviews that were far more bizarre than you’d expect a movie star to trot out. Every talk show she appears on has to get huge ratings, or at least you would think so from the YouTube clips that get passed around the next day. This was the case with the Oscars, after which she answered questions from the press about whether she was worried about peaking too early. Her response was, “…well I am now!” Perfect.

Like most others, I’ve become a fan. There seems to be at least 5 reasons that people find Jennifer Lawrence to be a new kind of movie star, and love her for it, and we’re here to tell you them.

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1) She’s self-deprecating

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This isn’t exactly new to a lot of movie stars, who by and large tend to be (the serious ones anyway) a little reserved and held back and extremely sensitive, but are good at presenting themselves positively before a camera, even while admitting their perceived shortcomings. J-Law though, she does this a little differently. When she talks about how easily she pees from fear or laughter, it doesn’t seem like something she made up. She refers to herself as
looking like a troll, and unlike some other people, it doesn’t seem like she’s doing it with the expectation that anyone will correct her. And if they do, she lets them have it.

There’s a way to be self-deprecating that people can tell is a kind of humblebrag. You can sum the attitude up like “Oh, well everyone is always telling me how beautiful I look all the time, but I don’t think of myself that way!” Gross. Like with anything else Lawrence seems to say, the self-criticism just pours out without calculation or filtering.

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2) She takes criticism in stride

Jennifer Lawrence3 5 Reasons Everyone Loves Jennifer Lawrence

According to the apparent rules of public relations, to maintain a positive image as a celebrity you should be ready to apologize for just about anything you say that people find distasteful. What the PR gurus don’t seem to realize is that this comes off as completely phony and desperate.

Here’s the Jennifer Lawrence model: if people criticize you for being rude to Meryl Streep in your Golden Globes acceptance speech, just basically tell them they’re stupid. This is essentially what she did when responding to the complaints about her use of the line “I beat Meryl!” after winning her Golden Globe for Best Actress.

This was obviously meant completely in jest, and was a quote from The First Wives Club, but many on the interwebs were still outraged, as is often the case. Instead of apologizing for something that deserved absolutely no apology, Jennifer Lawrence laughed it off as just yet another awkward mishap in her bizarre roller coaster ride of fame.

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3) She’s really hilarious, both intentionally and unintentionally

Jennifer Lawrence4 5 Reasons Everyone Loves Jennifer Lawrence

Can you imagine if Anne Hathaway or Channing Tatum had tripped and fallen on stage at the Oscars? Something tells me the response, both from them and from the audience, would have been remarkably different. It’s doubtful the overwhelming response from the public would have been “s/he’s awesome.”

With Tatum it would have been like oh, I guess he is mortal, and with Hathaway it would have probably been disturbingly celebratory. Not to mention the awkwardness of trying to save face at the microphone. Even the limp Kristen Stewart walked with was weird to behold, and the online response was savage.

But Lawrence? She gets up to the mic, to a standing ovation, and both downplays her own achievement and addresses her fall, by pointing out they wouldn’t have stood for her if she hadn’t made a fool out of herself on the way up. This is masterful, man.

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4) She is a tremendous, badass actress

Winters Bone 5 Reasons Everyone Loves Jennifer Lawrence

Yeah, she’s got chops. She’d be fun to listen to in interviews even if she was a mediocre actor, but she brings it when she gets the opportunity in movies like Winter’s Bone and The Hunger Games. She kicks ass in both of those, in the fantasy world of Panem and the frighteningly real meth-riddled world of the Ozarks. In the former, she’s totally believable in outfoxing and surviving against male tributes twice her size. In the latter, she stands up for herself and her family in the face of violent meth-heads without even blinking.

She’s just as fearless in Silver Linings Playbook, though she puts much more of the character on the table through loud vocal outbursts and expression. There’s no delicacy to Tiffany. At the same time, there’s something refreshing about a character who has neither the patience nor the sense to deal with social cues. Lawrence herself seems to embody the same sort of charm.

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5) She generally just rarely seems to give a single f—k

Jennifer Lawrence5 5 Reasons Everyone Loves Jennifer Lawrence

I don’t know of another star with this big a profile who is constantly saying, rightly, that their publicist has to constantly be holding their head in their hands at the things their client says on a daily basis. Why can Jennifer Lawrence get away with it? Part of it is that the things she says aren’t that bad. So she had a shot before answering questions from the press at the Oscars. Who wouldn’t? She talks about peeing herself and saying inappropriate things to famous people she meets. Nobody’s hurt by this.

There’s just something refreshing about people who are this candid. One of the great appeals of podcasts like WTF with Marc Maron or Nerdist is that you get a chance to listen to people who typically are carefully thinking through things they say in order to avoid scandal just being themselves for an hour. I think people are getting sick of the obvious falseness with which most public figures currently continue to conduct themselves.

If you want to understand the different in perceptions between someone like Jennifer Lawrence and someone like Anne Hathaway, this is it. J-Law just seems like she couldn’t care less what people think of her. She’s just going to be herself. And she probably hasn’t even put that much thought into it. Or at least that’s the air she gives off. It’s impossible not to love someone that honest and open, especially in an environment that normally breeds absolute artifice.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Lack/100000619690152 Jonathan Lack

    Great article! I completely agree – Ms. Lawrence is the complete package. A great actress who also an all-around awesome human being.

  • Grace

    It seems odd to me that a lot of the same reason people give for hating Kristen Stewart are also the reasons they give for loving Jennifer. I love both ladies, and think they’re both supremely talented, and such a double standard is ridiculous.

  • HurricaneJulia

    Finally, someone not enamored by the googly-eyed Anne Hathaway. She’s so fiercely apologetic and manic. Jennifer Lawrence is my ultimate celebrity crush.

  • Lily

    Haha, this picture on #5 of her flipping off the paparazzi is actually quite charming as she ended up doing this by accident! Search up pictures of her response afterwards, her face is hilarious :)
    These are all great reasons to love her as she’s very humble and a burst of positive energy. She’s starting to be my celebrity crush as well.