Jennifer Lawrence fires up "The Hunger Games"

Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:43pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jennifer Lawrence earned an Oscar nomination for playing a tough young woman in a gritty drug drama, but as she becomes a role model to young girls in her latest film "The Hunger Games," the actress wants to clean up her act.

Lawrence, 21, is no stranger to Hollywood after being thrust into the spotlight with a breakout performance in 2010 indie hit "Winter's Bone," which yielded the young star rave reviews and an Oscar nod for best actress.

She went on to play Mystique in 2011's "X-Men: First Class," expanding her fan base into a mainstream comic book film, and her latest role as Katniss Everdeen, the lead in "The Hunger Games," will likely send her fame skyrocketing even more. In fact, as the movie heads to theaters on Friday, it already has.

"I'm now a role model for young girls, so my language has to change a lot," Lawrence joked with reporters recently.

"I know that would change a lot of decisions work-wise personally ... as far as my next roles, because there would be young girls watching what I'm doing and emulating."

"The Hunger Games," based on the first book of a best-selling science-fiction series from author Suzanne Collins, sees 24 children sent to fight to the death in an annual televised event watched by the nation of Panem, a futuristic America.

When Katniss' younger sister is picked to participate, which would lead to certain death, Katniss volunteers in her place, thus beginning a series of events in which she rebels against Panem officials and becomes a beacon of hope for the oppressed.

Coming to the role of lead heroine Katniss Everdeen as a fan of the books herself, Lawrence knew her performance would be scrutinized, and her challenge was finding a fine balance in making the role her own while staying true to Collins' creation.   Continued...

Actress Jennifer Lawrence poses for photographers as she arrives for the European premiere of "The Hunger Games" at the O2 Arena in London March 14, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor