Promoting a movie can be a grueling endeavor for any actor but before her current press tour for “Red Sparrow” ends, Jennifer Lawrence made a stop at the Stern Show to talk to Howard. At just 27, Jennifer has already accomplished as much as any Hollywood hopeful could dream up. She’s won one Academy Award and scored four total Oscar nominations — the youngest person to ever earn that many nods.
Aside from the accolades, Lawrence has consistently been one of the highest-paid actresses in the business for years, earning top-dollar for her starring roles in blockbuster franchises like “The Hunger Games” and “X-Men.”
Howard got to ask Jennifer about all of her career milestones as well as her personal life, both before and after finding fame. Check out all of the highlights from Wednesday’s interview (below).
If an Oscar Winner Falls and Everyone Sees It …
At the 2013 Academy Awards, Jennifer was awarded the Best Actress Oscar for her unforgettable performance in “Silver Linings Playbook.” But on her walk up to accept her trophy, Lawrence provided a different unforgettable moment, tripping on the stage’s steps.
“Ugh. I would give anything to be able to go back and redo that moment,” she said on Wednesday. Though she had a speech prepared in case she won, she told Howard the fall startled her and she forgot to thank several people, including David O. Russell who directed her in “Silver Linings Playbook.” And that wouldn’t be the last time she’d slip at the Academy Awards.
“The next year, I fell on a fucking traffic cone,” Jennifer told Howard, saying she soon gained a reputation for being clumsy. “Everything would have been fine if I didn’t fall on that goddamn traffic cone because then it immediately looked like it was my shit. My heel snapped in England. I mean, on the ‘Hunger Games’ press tour I fell in every goddamn city.”
Childhood Lies and Her Big Break
Before she was falling as an adult, Jennifer told Howard she was lying about getting hurt as a kid. Growing up in Kentucky, Lawrence told Howard she convinced her classmates that she had a wooden leg, committing to the lie so much that she even walked around school with a limp. She also acted out on the school bus, one time causing a scene by convincing other motorists that she and her fellow students were being kidnapped before jumping out of the back of the bus and running away.
Her penchant for coming up with characters continued at home where she would often ring the door of her own house and pretend to be a stranger. “Normally her name was Judy and my car broke down,” Jennifer told Howard. Her parents were only keen on playing along some of the time while her two older brothers found Jennifer’s performances downright annoying.
No one in her family could deny her desire to act, though, and at age 14, Jennifer convinced her parents to let her drop out of school and move to New York to try and make it in show business. “I certainly don’t want to go on a campaign where I tell kids to drop out of school,” she told Howard. But the move paid off for Jennifer who found work quickly. Her time in the Big Apple was only supposed to last a summer but on the day her dad came to pick her up and take her back to Kentucky, she received a phone call about an acting job in Los Angeles. That opportunity, coupled with seeing how dedicated his daughter was to acting despite how squalid her New York City apartment was, made Jennifer’s father realize they should go all in on this as a family. The entire Lawrence clan relocated to California soon after.
At 16, Jennifer landed her first big role on TV sitcom “The Bill Engvall Show” starring stand-up comedian Bill Engvall. “I was fine with doing sitcoms for the rest of my life,” she told Howard. “I wanted a steady paycheck and I wanted to act.”
She was somewhat selective with other acting gigs, though. She recalled a meeting she took when she was a teenager at Disney with one of their casting executives. “She like goes into this big thing and I just go, ‘Can I just say, I’m gonna be honest, I don’t think I’m a Disney kid.’ And I left,” Lawrence remembered. Her parents were none too pleased when she later told them about turning Disney down before they even had the chance to offer her a job.
What It Took to Win ‘Winter’s Bone’
One role Jennifer definitely did want was the lead in 2010’s “Winter’s Bone.” She showed up to the L.A. casting calls twice which didn’t go unnoticed by the movie’s casting directors. “And then they moved casting to New York and then I flew there,” Jennifer admitted. “I think I scared them.”
Scared or not, Jennifer won the part and received critical acclaim for her performance, earning her her first Academy Award nomination. That same year, Jennifer auditioned for another role she really wanted but didn’t end up getting in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
“That one devastated me,” Jennifer said.
The part of Alice eventually went to Mia Wasikowska and after seeing the film, Jennifer said she realized the right actress won the role. “She was perfect and amazing and I couldn’t have had a British accent,” Lawrence admitted.
As for her unsuccessful audition for “Twilight,” Jennifer chalks that up to not knowing enough about the vampire flick’s plot. “I didn’t really know what it was,” she said. “When you audition ... you just get like five pages and then they’re like, ‘Act, monkey!’”
The ‘Hunger Games’ Fame
Landing Kristen Stewart’s role in “Twilight” would have undoubtedly made Jennifer an instant star, but soon enough she was starring in her own successful film franchise — 2012’s “The Hunger Games.”
“I knew it was going to be a life changer,” she told Howard.
The films have grossed well over a billion dollars and turned Jennifer into a household name overnight. Howard wondered what the best part of fame like hers is.
“You can honestly get a reservation at any restaurant,” Jennifer answered. That, and she no longer has to wait until they take off to get a drink on an airplane.
The part of being a celebrity that doesn’t do much for her is meeting other celebrities, though she does have several famous friends. She recently attended Ellen DeGeneres’s 60th birthday party and mingled with quite a few famous faces, including a group of rap stars who were also in attendance. She admitted to Howard she shared a joint with them towards the end of the night.
“Their shit is different and so I entered a different universe,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence was later waiting in line for the bathroom behind another partygoer, who politely let Jennifer cut ahead of her. It took a moment but Jennifer soon realized the woman probably had to poop. Once back outside, Jen walked right up to her to tell her it was okay to do what she had to do.
“I went up to her and I was like, ‘Look, you gotta poop,’” Jen said with a laugh. “All of sudden security is grabbing me because, what I hadn’t realized is, I am grabbing this woman by the shoulders, shaking her, screaming ‘You have to poop!’”
Before long, Lawrence, security, and the unnamed woman were all laughing about the incident, but Jennifer still feels she should track her down and apologize.
Jennifer also confessed to getting a bit sauced on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” this week. Stephen was on the Stern Show Tuesday and admitted to Howard he was “hammered” after ripping two shots of rum with Jennifer during their televised interview. Apparently she was feeling it as well.
“I was so drunk,” Jennifer told Howard. “It was definitely unplanned and what he didn’t know is that I was already a little buzzed.”
Earlier that day, Jennifer said she was on Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” and drinking wine. She tried her hardest to sober up before her “Late Show” appearance, but once Colbert brought the liquor out, she couldn’t say no. She then had to attend the “Red Sparrow” premiere.
“I am hammered on the red carpet of the premiere,” Jennifer joked.
The downside of fame for Jennifer might be the amount of time she’s forced to spend in the public eye, including on her current press tour. She told Howard about two recent controversies that occurred while promoting “Red Sparrow” in the United Kingdom.
The first occurred at the British Academy Film Awards (a.k.a. the BAFTAs) when actress Joanna Lumley introduced Lawrence by calling her “the hottest actress on the planet.” When Jennifer got to the podium, she turned to Lumley and told her “that was a bit much” which got interpreted by many Brits as her being disrespectful towards the English actress.
“England lit up, hated me, thought that I was rude,” Jennifer told Howard. But that was hardly the case. Jennifer explained how the two were talking earlier backstage about how Lumley might introduce her and Lawrence suggested Joanna use as many positive adjectives as possible, setting her up to shoot down the profuse praise — an inside joke that got misconstrued.
Then came backlash for a photo shoot Jennifer did with her “Red Sparrow” co-stars — all male, all wearing jackets while Lawrence was only wearing a glamorous Versace gown.
“I know what I signed up for but fuck this,” Jennifer said. Media outlets wrongfully asserted that the photos were sexist since Lawrence was the only one not wearing a coat.
“Now I have to apologize for what I fucking wear? It’s annoying,” she continued.
The decision to not wear a coat was hers and hers alone, Jennifer asserted. “I saw the cameras for the photo call and I walked my bare ass out there for the photos,” she told Howard. “It was a fabulous dress. I wasn’t going to cover it up in a fucking coat. And also, I shoot in below-freezing weather in record-breaking winters — I can stand outside for 90 seconds in a dress.”
She also warned that covering non-issues like that one leads to actual issues being pushed into the background. As a leading voice in the ongoing Me Too and Time’s Up movement, Jennifer won’t stand for such inaccuracies.
Love and Romance
The press has also long been interested in Jennifer’s love life. She told Howard she is currently single, squashing rumors of her dating Brad Pitt or her “Red Sparrow” co-star Joel Edgerton. In fact, Jennifer said she rarely gets asked out by guys.
“I really, I don’t get hit on,” she said. “My sex life is not lit.”
Jennifer has been romantically linked with some of her co-stars in the past, though, and she told Howard it’s not hard to fall in love while making a movie. “You’re set up to fall in love with each other,” Lawrence said.
“But the same thing goes for, you know, like the fucking camera guys … I’m looking everywhere,” she added. “If you’re falling in love, you’re falling in love. Just be a professional about it.”
Excelling in Sparrow School
Starring in a spy flick isn’t something Jennifer ever thought she’d want to do but her new movie “Red Sparrow” is not like other spy flicks. “It’s about the brutality and the anxiety of this double life. Like, it’s not glamorizing it at all,” Jennifer explained.
In the film, Jennifer plays a Russian ballerina trained in the art of seducing the enemy, a craft she learns while attending Sparrow School. The movie includes a fair amount of nudity, both male and female, which might explain its hard R rating.
“We have dick in this movie,” Jennifer joked.
Howard has already seen “Red Sparrow” and commended Jennifer on her performance. However, he told Lawrence he’s confident he’d never excel at Sparrow School due to his own “size” shortcomings.
“I’ve never had a man just look earnestly into my eyes and tell me his dick is small,” Jennifer said with a laugh.