Jennifer Lawrence talks love, fame and The Hunger Games

First she was the girl on fire, now she's the girl on every movie maker's wish list. In case you needed another reason to heart Jennifer Lawrence, here it is...

First she was the girl on fire, now she's the girl on every movie maker's wish list. In case you needed another reason to heart Jennifer Lawrence, here it is...

We don't know about you guys, but here at DOLLY we're hanging (VERY impatiently!) for the second instalment of the THG franchise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, to wrap filming and hit our big screens at the tail end of 2013. In the meantime, we thought we'd catch up with its star, Jennifer Lawrence, who plays one of the most kick-ass heroines the movie world has ever seen, to find out how life has changed for the 22-year-old since becoming Hollywood's Next. Big. Thing.

First things first, what happened to your blonde hair?!
"[Laughs] I know! I'm getting ready to shoot the next Hunger Games movie, so my hair needs to be dark again. People get a little shocked when they see me with dark hair because I've always been blonde. And no matter how many times I dye my hair black for the movies, my family still can't get used to it. Every time they see me, they're like 'Whoa!' Even I think I look very different with dark hair. Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night to pee I get scared when I see myself in the mirror!"

The Hunger Games has shot you to super-stardom. How does it feel?
"It feels good. This is what I've always wanted and I've been doing this for a long time already so I've been prepared for it. But you don't expect to become famous when it actually happens to you. It's happened very fast to me and I'm still wondering whether I should feel different in some way."

How's your life different now?
"I don't feel anything has really changed in my life except for meeting a lot of famous people and staying in great hotels! I think it's simply that once you've actually worked on big movies that's when you feel you've accomplished something and everything else is just kind of secondary. I've also had the advantage of knowing what I wanted to do with my life since I was 14 so that when your career actually does take off there's a delayed reaction in a way. It hasn't really hit me yet. Some of my friends have just graduated university and they don't really know what they want to do with their lives, whereas I always knew that acting was my destiny."

Has your fame made it harder to go out in public?
"I really don't go out to clubs very much. I don't like staying out late and I hate dancing because I'm so hopeless at it. So I'd rather go to a nice restaurant or have friends come over and watch TV with me. Shopping is more of a problem. The other day I went to Whole Foods like I do every morning to get my coffee and smoothies and there were 15 paparazzi waiting for me. I couldn't believe it! So that's one of the things I'm having a bit of trouble getting used to. It's not that much fun realising you don't have the same kind of anonymity you had before. Even when I go to the gas station sometimes there will be paparazzi who have followed me taking my picture while I'm pumping gas. I don't know how other actors get used to that."

Is it true you nearly turned down The Hunger Games because you were worried about the impact it might have on your life?
"Yes. I loved the books and the screenplay but I was worried about how being part of a big film franchise might not just change the way I live but also how it might overwhelm the rest of my career and the other kinds of characters I wanted to play. But in the end I made the right decision and I'm proud to play Katniss and I feel very lucky to have had the chance to play in so many interesting movies even though I'm still pretty young."

And you've never had any formal training as an actress!
"I never did theatre or took classes, which I think has helped me. I just have good instincts when it comes to playing characters and acting is something I have a natural feel for. I loved watching movies on TV but it was only when I started doing some modelling that people began telling me I should also try acting."

What's one thing that’s helped you play the roles that you have?
"Imagination. I've never been through anything that my characters have been through... My imagination is the most crucial part of what I do. I can't look for roles that are identical to me in any way. I want the creative flexibility to imagine a life outside of my own. And I can't go around looking for roles that are exactly like my life. So I just use my imagination. If it ever came down to the point where, to make a part better, I had to lose a little bit of my sanity, I wouldn't do it. I would just do comedies."

Do you think the pressures of being a movie star might catch up with you one day?
"I suppose I could still have a meltdown!"

*The Hunger Games: Catching Fire* hits cinemas November 21.