Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Jennifer Lawrence

The Hunger Games star talks about blockbusters vs. indies and adventures in free-running.

by | March 22, 2012 | Comments

A little over two years ago, Jennifer Lawrence was a talented yet relatively unknown young actress with a handful of television roles (including the TBS sitcom The Bill Engvall Show) and a few small indie films to her credit. All of that changed when, at age 20, she turned in a powerhouse performance in Debra Granik’s bleak 2010 drama Winter’s Bone and earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination (the second youngest ever to get the nod) for it. Her star then rose rapidly the following year, as she proved equally adept in big budget blockbusters like X-Men: First Class and indie fare like Jodie Foster’s The Beaver and the acclaimed romance Like Crazy.

This week, Lawrence takes the next big leap forward, starring in the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ sci-fi novel, The Hunger Games. All eyes will be on her as she takes on the role of Katniss Everdeen, the central figure of a wildly popular epic trilogy set in a dystopian future, but her previous success playing strong, young women should indicate the character is in good hands. RT was fortunate enough to speak with Lawrence about her career thus far, her training regimen for The Hunger Games, and whether she approaches all films, both big and small, the same way, but first, here are her Five Favorite Films:


Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, 2011; 93% Tomatometer)

Midnight in Paris, I saw this year, and I was just blown away. I think it might be my favorite movie now. I loved it. It was funny, it was inventive, imagination and dresses and all of our favorite writers. Owen Wilson was hilarious. It was just perfection.

Are you a Woody Allen fan?

Yes, yeah. But I think Midnight in Paris… I know he always gets skeptical when his movies go mainstream, but I love that one.

I Heart Huckabees (David O. Russell, 2004; 62% Tomatometer)

And then, I love I Heart Huckabees. I think that might be my favorite comedy. And I know it’s weird, because every time I tell people that, they’re like, “Oh, I’ll have to see it.” And I say, “You know, you might not like it,” because it’s just so weird. But I loved it. I was obsessed with it when I first saw it; I watched it four times in one week.

Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971; 85% Tomatometer)

Harold and Maude is a classic that I love.

The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1998; 80% Tomatometer)

The Big Lebowski. I love anything by the Coen brothers, so having to choose one movie is hard, but I think The Big Lebowski.

Old School (Todd Phillips, 2003; 60% Tomatometer)

So, for #5, I can either choose The Last Picture Show, Old School, or A Woman Under the Influence. Probably Old School, with Will Ferrell, when he goes “Hi honey, do you think KFC’s still open?” [laughs]

Next, Lawrence talks about her extensive training to play Katniss in The Hunger Games, as well as the difference between making blockbusters and smaller independent films.


You aren’t what they call “classically trained” in acting; you discovered a natural talent and desire for it, and you’ve stated that you rely more on your instincts. Now, it’s been a long time since I vanquished my first rival, so what did you draw from to portray a teen killing machine so effectively?

Jennifer Lawrence: Well, I’m a method actor, so I went on a killing rampage. [laughs] No, I don’t really know, because I haven’t really gone through anything that any of my characters I’ve ever played have been through. I think that’s just something that all actors have to deal with. It’s just kind of like, “Well I think this person would react kind of like this.” But you never know. Yeah, instinct is big for me; it’s mostly like when you read it, like when you read a book and you kind of imagine how the person is saying things, and what they kind of look like when they do it. You just kind of go with it.

So you have a knack for empathizing with characters’ plights and their situations, getting through to what they’re feeling.

Yeah, well, I don’t know if it’s a knack. It’s more like I don’t really know what I’m doing — it might just be out of sheer desperation of showing up on set and not knowing exactly what to do. [laughs]

I assume you had to have some training in archery for the role.

I did. I mean, I had training in every aspect. I had many weeks of archery, then free-running training, then track running, hand-to-hand combat, climbing… Just everything.

Did you say free-running? As in parkour?

Yeah. Yeah, I can wall jump! And one time, I had to do ten in a row, and on the tenth one, you know, you have to run as hard as you can to the wall, and I ran, jumped, and then something happened with my legs where they just went “meh” and they just stayed down, and I hit my stomach on the wall so hard and landed. All the stunt guys were like, “Oh my God, I haven’t seen somebody hit the wall that hard in so long!” I was like [breathless voice] “That’s great.”

Did you do that without safety wires?

Yeah, this was during training.

Well, at least now you can tell people you know parkour.

Yeah, now I can walk by stairways outside and say, “Yeah, I can jump that.”


You’ve obviously proven your solid acting chops, particularly with Winter’s Bone, but now you’ve added X-Men: First Class and The Hunger Games, which are two big action blockbusters, to your resume. Did you ever picture yourself as an action star?

No, never. I like it. It’s definitely exciting. They’re fun scripts to read, and they make you think, “Well, that’ll be fun to make.” And then it’s fun to watch, too. Honestly, it’s script by script. I’ve never been like, “Well, I want to do this kind of movie, this genre, or that genre.” I really loved the X-Men: First Class script; I thought it was really cool and great, I loved that it was set in the ’60s, and I really enjoyed reading it. And then, the same with The Hunger Games; I had read the books, and I was a huge fan of them — I loved them — and it was kind of by coincidence that they were both action movies.

Being that X-Men had a lot more CGI effects and that sort of thing, how different was the training you had to go through for that, compared to The Hunger Games?

X-Men training was very different to The Hunger Games. Hunger Games was more outside, running, running, running. X-Men was more, “I can do ten pull-ups.” I was kind of on the Hugh Jackman diet: lots of protein and a lot of pull-ups. [laughs]

How would you compare working on those big films to working on something smaller, like The Beaver or Like Crazy?

I mean, it’s all filmmaking. It’s just, your trailer’s different, the food is different, the amount of takes you do is different. But it’s always the same principle: you show up with your lines memorized, if that one’s not good, you do another one, and sometimes with independents you can’t do another one, and you move on.

Assuming The Hunger Games does well — and let’s be realistic here: it will — are you already looking forward to doing the sequels?

Oh, absolutely! I had a blast doing this.

The Hunger Games opens in theaters this week.

Tag Cloud

Holidays scene in color series USA Network The Academy mission: impossible RT History 73rd Emmy Awards australia Western comedies nfl rom-coms mob jamie lee curtis remakes MGM Binge Guide CBS A&E WarnerMedia suspense interviews Infographic target scene in color Stephen King Awards Tour Britbox Amazon Prime Video spinoff nature Election boxing Biopics finale news comic Marvel Nat Geo Brie Larson Schedule Paramount Pictures all-time DirecTV Year in Review Horror posters stop motion Best Director political drama TV renewals latino mutant psychological thriller superman Country Spectrum Originals comic book movies rotten movies we love TCA 2017 Television Academy Bravo Crackle asian-american children's TV CNN Endgame HFPA italian dark zero dark thirty Mystery universal monsters green book Toys anthology Set visit Comic Book docudrama werewolf new york South by Southwest Film Festival Opinion art house 71st Emmy Awards Mary Tyler Moore new zealand harry potter Comics on TV History TCM razzies Ghostbusters Musicals AMC Cosplay cancelled TV series Oscars criterion screen actors guild Chernobyl Star Wars Celebration politics Grammys Box Office feel good HBO Go National Geographic Image Comics series 007 independent Vudu cults Freeform ESPN action-comedy crime nbcuniversal vs. Masterpiece batman Tags: Comedy Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Character Guide Quiz GoT slasher boxoffice lord of the rings APB Universal Pictures Warner Bros. parents CW Seed monster movies Superheroe Extras book Sony Pictures Netflix Christmas movies canceled die hard HBO 2020 Wes Anderson target laika Film Festival hidden camera black comedy 2019 Emmy Nominations Turner slashers Neflix Certified Fresh binge OWN rt archives Spring TV dragons teaser Rocketman Comedy period drama The CW toy story Black Mirror Teen golden globe awards transformers Nickelodeon The Witch canceled TV shows dramedy Geeked Week DC Comics heist movie The Walking Dead Pirates Amazon Studios french worst hispanic olympics NBC Travel Channel Reality 4/20 mockumentary dogs IFC VH1 scary Music Hulu sag awards Pride Month natural history summer TV New York Comic Con christmas movies based on movie First Look Animation crime drama women high school Fall TV Ovation comiccon kids zombie medical drama romance kaiju best composers miniseries Creative Arts Emmys 1990s james bond Disney Channel crime thriller gangster Awards 99% zombies chucky worst movies serial killer festival scene in color film series Disney Plus Baby Yoda Action hollywood Mary poppins robots royal family TruTV SDCC quibi Acorn TV Classic Film comic books Star Trek new star wars movies adventure TLC adenture discovery Fox News Prime Video cartoon SXSW saw ID live action Arrowverse Watching Series VOD Podcast Film Legendary Hallmark Christmas movies crossover true crime stand-up comedy emmy awards travel 2016 IFC Films TNT satire Star Wars FX spanish language TCA Winter 2020 Nominations Photos sopranos Thanksgiving tv talk unscripted documentaries Ellie Kemper Disney DC Universe DGA superhero fresh BET Awards award winner summer TV preview E3 Dark Horse Comics Cartoon Network TV One Sneak Peek Rom-Com Broadway child's play ABC Rock Apple debate Marvel Television Writers Guild of America Lionsgate streamig Sundance Now sequel Fox Searchlight pirates of the caribbean 90s Apple TV Plus Starz Holiday adaptation prank Alien E! Captain marvel animated streaming movies comic book movie YouTube 79th Golden Globes Awards disaster Disney streaming service Calendar BAFTA witnail Instagram Live psycho Pixar 2017 supernatural FOX CBS All Access aliens archives cancelled OneApp films festivals See It Skip It Columbia Pictures Countdown Avengers Amazon SundanceTV renewed TV shows LGBT obi wan Paramount Plus PlayStation TBS television casting BET PaleyFest The Purge spanish Mudbound japan First Reviews Super Bowl Tumblr 72 Emmy Awards Food Network TCA Awards RT21 screenings VICE indiana jones directors movies Tubi critic resources FX on Hulu Disney+ Disney Plus breaking bad Christmas war Netflix versus Tarantino japanese south america BBC One Best Actor President DC streaming service cinemax leaderboard broadcast doctor who sports thriller Mary Poppins Returns cancelled TV shows ratings reviews live event Emmys Winter TV 2018 ghosts The Arrangement Red Carpet mcc dceu Superheroes franchise Women's History Month name the review toronto black Indigenous Lifetime Christmas movies romantic comedy telelvision Academy Awards Interview aapi Hollywood Foreign Press Association ITV Song of Ice and Fire Hallmark basketball TIFF biography Polls and Games Anna Paquin Black History Month Hear Us Out Peacock Amazon Prime 93rd Oscars Paramount Network NYCC classics vampires Trophy Talk Paramount spider-verse scorecard space Funimation GIFs elevated horror video on demand comics biopic Pacific Islander Fargo justice league scene in color BBC America Pop TV historical drama Exclusive Video cats Best and Worst Lifetime Pet Sematary genre Trailer revenge documentary golden globes Tokyo Olympics Shondaland fast and furious rt labs critics edition docuseries Syfy Comic-Con@Home 2021 YA summer preview FXX San Diego Comic-Con streaming halloween tv Oscar SXSW 2022 Kids & Family jurassic park cops indie Martial Arts MCU stoner LGBTQ anime game of thrones Spike 45 MTV spy thriller 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Tomatazos cars science fiction PBS game show Marvel Studios American Society of Cinematographers trailers hispanic heritage month Pop Heroines social media diversity spain book adaptation NBA venice Sony cancelled television Television Critics Association marvel cinematic universe strong female leads theme song popular spider-man Adult Swim GLAAD blockbusters king kong HBO Max Premiere Dates Walt Disney Pictures YouTube Premium ABC Signature TV movies technology Winners Elton John Focus Features foreign dc joker Discovery Channel Drama rt labs deadpool halloween Shudder obituary El Rey international Sundance TV Cannes sequels Valentine's Day Family CMT MSNBC Marathons 21st Century Fox scary movies dexter ABC Family ViacomCBS Apple TV+ Crunchyroll Fantasy Sci-Fi 94th Oscars free movies Comedy Central 2021 Sundance X-Men godzilla sitcom TV facebook critics concert A24 rotten young adult king arthur video police drama hist 24 frames what to watch 2015 movie blockbuster trophy Summer Turner Classic Movies richard e. Grant Mindy Kaling Showtime Reality Competition cooking AMC Plus Lucasfilm The Walt Disney Company Epix Logo kong a nightmare on elm street Universal twilight Native Musical 20th Century Fox YouTube Red football legend WGN talk show TV Land singing competition Trivia blaxploitation BBC Best Actress reboot know your critic wonder woman IMDb TV TCA Esquire dreamworks Rocky Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt marvel comics Best Picture Video Games USA