Jennifer Lawrence is quite a success story. At the age of 26 she’s already been nominated for four Oscars, taking home one for her performance in Silver Lining’s Playbook; the star’s films have grossed over $5.5 billion dollars worldwide; her role as The Hunger Games‘ Katniss Everdeen has earned her the title of the highest grossing action heroine with the Guinness World Records; she’s appeared in Time’s 100 most influential people in the world; and her charitable organization, the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation has donated millions of dollars to numerous organizations helping children.
This Top 10 Rules for Success video is a compilation of interviews from over the years in which Lawrence speaks about some of her personal philosophies that guide her in life. Here are three of the philosophies mentioned.
Don’t consider failure
“I’ve always had this really gross, dangerous mentality of no consideration of failure,” she starts off. “If I want something I just go until I get it.” Growing up, Jennifer was “tough” like her two older brothers in Kentucky, she wouldn’t hesitate to ride untamed horses without a saddle, and was always active in sports. She suffered from social anxiety, but found that it melted away when she performed in church plays and school musicals. By the time she was 14 years old, she felt certain she wanted to pursue acting and convinced her reluctant mom to allow her to move to New York. “I knew, I felt so strongly. It feels insane to be a teenager and know. I knew [pursuing acting] was the right thing to do, that it was going to work out,” she reflected. “It was like this fire and also this like–I just knew it, so I eventually saved up babysitting money and went and did it.” She also graduated from high school two years early to begin acting.
Work very hard at the business aspect of acting
“Without gaining some sort of control over the business, I lose some control over the creative–which is most important. So, I used to stay out of it, ‘I don’t care. I’m an artist. I don’t need it.’ But this is my business now….And I respect my business,” Lawrence asserts. “I’ve worked really hard to build this, and I want to continue building it. And it’s my business–my personal business. So I don’t understand how people do slack.” Whether it means to be readily available to her agent or cutting members of her team to make sure she’s the one making decisions for her career path, she’s on top of the business end of acting.
Talk, Watch, and Listen
Lawrence’s propensity to talk was acknowledged in seventh grade when her class voted her “Most Talkative.” And talking appears to be instrumental in her acting approach as well. Indeed, she did not study the craft acting. Instead, she describes her thespian roots this way: “When I just started and I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know how to act. I just knew how to talk. And I think once I started understanding, I was like well I don’t want to learn how to act. I just want to keep learning how to talk.” Also, like most actors, she places a strong emphasis on observing people around her and incorporating what interests her into her characters. Elaborating on her acting method she once said, “To you it looks emotionally straining, but I don’t get emotionally drained, because I don’t invest any of my real emotions. I don’t take any of my characters’ pain home with me, I don’t even take it to craft services. I’ve never been through anything that my characters have been through. 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.”