Jennifer Lawrence Shares The Degrading Act She Had To Perform While Breaking Into Hollywood

Jennifer Lawrence has revealed that she had to perform a degrading act in order to make it as a Hollywood star.
Credit: Alamy

Jennifer Lawrence has opened up about the degrading act she had to perform to get her start in Hollywood.

Lawrence, 33, is one of the biggest actors working today and has starred in multiple major films, including 2012’s Hunger Games, 2013’s American Hustle, and 2015’s Joy.

Her films have reportedly grossed over $6 billion worldwide, and Lawrence was the world’s highest-paid actress in both 2015 and 2016, as per The Guardian.

The Hunger Games (2012).
Jennifer Lawrence’s movies have grossed over $6 billion. Credit: Lionsgate

For her role in the romance Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Lawrence won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and, at 22 years old, became the second-youngest winner in the category!

But now, Lawrence has opened up about her career beginnings, including one degrading act she had to perform to get her foot in the door of the notoriously tricky industry…

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Alongside her prolific and enviable career, Lawrence has achieved similar success in her personal life.

In 2019, the star married art gallery director Cooke Maroney in a ceremony in Rhode Island.

The pair met in 2018, became engaged in February 2019, and tied the knot just eight months later, in October of the same year – speedy stuff.

Since then, the couple has welcomed their first child, Cy, in February 2022, with his unusual name in honour of the American artist Cy Twombly.

But things haven’t always been so rosy in Lawrence’s world.

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence welcomed her first child in 2022. Credit: Alamy

Lawrence’s big break happened when she secured a main cast role in the sitcom The Bill Engvall Show from 2007 to 2009.

She made her film debut in a supporting role in The Garden Party and got her first major role in 2010’s Winter’s Bone.

Following these roles, Lawrence cemented her status as a talented actress, and she also proved her worth as a blockbuster name in huge roles like Mystique in the X-Men film series and the heroine Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence has now cemented herself as a talented actress. Credit: Alamy

Following the successes of the franchises which made Lawrence a household name, she’s had multiple critically acclaimed acting roles.

Credits include her acclaimed performances in films like American Hustle in 2014 and Joy in 2016, both of which earned her Oscar nominations.

Lawrence balanced her career with more artistic and unusual films like Passengers in 2016 and Mother! in 2017.

Most recently, Lawrence surprised fans with a romantic comedy turn in No Hard Feelings in 2023.

Jennifer Lawrence in No Hard Feelings (2023).
Jennifer Lawrence’s latest credit is the comedy No Hard Feelings. Credit: Sony Pictures

But now, Lawrence has revealed a ‘degrading’ casting process that she had to go through in her early days in the showbiz industry.

People have been left absolutely furious over Lawrence’s announcement…

“Wow. Glad these people are finally joining together to speak out against this stuff instead of just putting up with it to get a job. Maybe because for decades people not speaking out made others in that field think it was OK,” one social media user writes.

Another person pens: “No one should ever have to go through that.”

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence has made a brave admission about the early days of her acting career. Credit: Alamy

In a conversation at the London Film Festival (via Variety), Lawrence talked about being commodified in the entertainment industry.

She said: “I think I lost a sense of control.

“Between The Hunger Games coming out and winning the Oscar, I became such a commodity that I felt like every decision was a big, big group decision. When I reflect now, I can’t think of those following years [because there was] just a loss of control.”

And it seems this lack of control was a common feature of the early days of Lawrence’s career, as one ‘humiliating’ memory proves.

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence has opened up about a ‘degrading and humiliating’ act she had to perform in her early career. Credit: Alamy

Speaking at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event, Lawrence says (via “During this time a female producer had me do a nude line-up with about five women who were much, much thinner than me.

“We are stood side by side with only tape on covering our privates.

“After that degrading and humiliating line-up, the female producer told me I should use the n**** photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.”

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence says she ‘let myself be treated a certain way’ because she felt she had to. Credit: Alamy

Lawrence claims she raised concerns about her ‘unrealistic diet regime’.

She reveals that a producer ‘responded by telling me he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was perfectly f***able’.

Lawrence continues: “I couldn’t have gotten a producer or a director or a studio head fired. I let myself be treated a certain way because I felt like I had to for my career.

“I was young and walking that fine line of sticking up for myself without being called difficult, which they did call me, but I believe the word they used was ‘nightmare’.

“I didn’t want to be a whistleblower. I didn’t want these embarrassing stories talked about in a magazine. I just wanted a career.”

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.