Jennifer Lawrence ‘Lost a Sense of Control’ Because Early Success Made Her Feel Like a ‘Commodity’

With films like Lila Neugebauer's "Causeway," Lawrence is trying to take more control over her creative identity.
Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f

Few movie stars have ascended to Hollywood’s highest heights as fast as Jennifer Lawrence did. After earning an Oscar nomination for her first major film role in “Winter’s Bone,” Lawrence was cast in two of Hollywood’s biggest franchises, playing Mystique in “X-Men: First Class” and Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games.” The latter role turned her into a bona fide superstar and she quickly followed that by winning an Oscar for her performance in David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook.” From that point on, she was one of Hollywood’s most coveted (and highly compensated) actresses. But according to Lawrence, the success wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

In a conversation at the London Film Festival (via Variety), the actress revealed that her early success and the entertainment industry’s enthusiastic response to it took a serious toll on her. Seeing the value of her personal brand skyrocket so quickly caused her to lose touch with the artistry of acting.

“I think I lost a sense of control,” Lawrence said. “Between ‘The Hunger Games’ coming out and winning the Oscar, I became such a commodity that I felt like every decision was a big, big group decision. When I reflect now, I can’t think of those following years [because there was] just a loss of control.”

She eventually began to take less work and tried to seize control of her creative identity. She gives a dramatic performance in this fall’s “Causeway” and will soon reteam with Adam McKay for the upcoming Elizabeth Holmes movie “Bad Blood.”

Lawrence’s attempts to personalize her acting career are off to a strong start with “Causeway.” In his review of the film, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote that “it’s so good to see Jennifer Lawrence play a real person again. Despite the quiet strength she brought to the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise, and the outlandish joy she mined from the likes of ‘mother!’ and ‘Red Sparrow,’ a long run of dreadful ‘X-Men’ sequels and over-cranked David O. Russell fiascos have dulled one of America’s brightest young movie stars to the point where it’s become easy to forget how good she can be.”

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