Jennifer Lawrence Says Her Movies After Hunger Games Were A Loss

Jennifer Lawrence says her role in The Hunger Games franchise turned her into a "commodity" in Hollywood.

By Joshua Jones | Published

Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence really made a splash in Hollywood when she portrayed the bow and arrow-wielding heroine Katniss Everdeen in the adaptation of author Suzanne Collins’ book series, The Hunger Games. When Lawrence starred in the series, she juggled being an awards-friendly actress and a mega blockbuster star tasked with being the face of a billion-dollar franchise for the studio. While The Hunger Games may’ve pushed the actress into mega-stardom, she admits it also caused her to lose a part of her independence as a performer.

Speaking with Deadline at the BFI London Film Festival, Jennifer Lawrence discussed her time working on Hunger Games and why she “lost a sense of control” after her Academy Award win in 2012.

“[Between] Hunger Games coming out and winning the Oscar, I think that I became such kind of a commodity that I felt like every decision was a big, big group decision; because I had no idea what a huge movie star does next or what Katniss Everdeen should do after this… When I reflect now, I think of those following years as just kind of a loss of control and then a reaction to try to get back. I’m so happy that I eventually, finally, in my late 20s kind of just stopped and made some major changes, and I got the voice in my head back.”

Following her work on Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence continued her role as Mystique in the X-Men franchise for 20th Century Fox. Like most comic book roles, fans have a preconceived expectation of how the character should be portrayed and who should play them. While Hugh Jackman managed to win longtime comic-book fans over with his portrayal as Wolverine, Lawrence had difficulty convincing fans of his performance as the blue shapeshifter.

jennifer lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)

Jennifer Lawrence even admitted to disliking the process of turning into Mystique. In a 2015 interview with EW, Lawrence stated that while she adored working with the creatives behind the X-Men films, she ultimately became tired of wearing the blue body paint and was bothered by the paint’s “fumes and toxins.” Lawrence’s aversion to being blue showed as the character hardly ever transformed into her mutant form.

While Hunger Games is an entirely different franchise, many of the same issues probably arose for the actress. Not only was there a preconceived expectation from fans of the books which had already formed an idea of how Katniss Everdeen should be played, but there was also the grueling visual effects work, the workouts, the action scenes, the constant interviews, and course the studio managing the entire thing. It’s no wonder Jennifer Lawrence decided to return to her indie roots.

Jennifer Lawrence also recently discussed her reasoning for stepping away from the industry following her role in the X-Men franchise. While speaking with Vanity Fair, the Oscar-winning actress admitted that she was “pumping out the quality that [she] should have” after a while and noted how fans just became “sick of [her].” Lawrence decided to step away after the disappointing box-office numbers of her last four films and the mixed critical response to those projects.

Everything seems to be turning back around for Jennifer Lawrence. She’s set to appear in the new film Causeway with newcomer Lila Neugebauer in the director’s chair. Lawrence plays a military engineer who returns to the United States from Afghanistan after suffering a severe brain injury from an IED explosion. A first look at the film was released online on October 6th.

Jennifer Lawrence appears to have completely moved on from her time as Katniss Everdeen. When asked whether she could see herself in another franchise, the 32-year-old laughed and said she couldn’t now because she’s “too old and brittle.” As for the Hunger Games, the franchise is continuing with the upcoming prequel focused on the villainous President Snow.