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How Jennifer Lawrence Became One Of The Highest-Paid Actresses In The World

Sian Broderick

| Last updated 

How Jennifer Lawrence Became One Of The Highest-Paid Actresses In The World

At just 26 years old, Jennifer Lawrence is one of the highest-paid and most-successful actresses in the world.

The Hollywood star became the youngest female in the business to accrue four Academy Award nominations and, last year, she banked a cool $52million, according to Forbes.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, she was spotted by a talent scout in New York City at the age of 14 and moved to LA shortly afterwards to begin her acting career.

After landing a few small roles in several different American TV shows, she bagged her first major role as a main cast member on The Bill Engvall Show.

However, she had her eyes firmly on Hollywood and began auditioning for movie roles. Then, in 2008, she made her film debut in Garden Party (which, FYI, is a terrible film that you should most definitely never watch).

Her breakthrough came in 2010 when she took on the role of Ree in the independent drama, Winter's Bone.

Lawrence then went on to achieve huge exposure for playing the mutant Mystique in X-Men: First Class back in 2011 and, according to Time, her leading role as Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games series established her as the highest-grossing heroine of all time.

She beat off stiff competition for that huge role, after the likes of Chloe Moretz, Emma Roberts and Elizabeth Olsen also auditioned for the part. However, director Gary Ross revealed in an interview back in 2012 that Lawrence blew all her rivals out of the water with her audition.

"I'd never seen an audition that good. Ever," he told MTV.

"I saw someone who I knew I was going to be watching for decades. Literally, I had the kind of moment where I stepped out and thought, 'OK, this is the beginning of a great acting career'. That's honestly how I felt.

"She stunned me with the emotional depth of the audition."

And this is when the absolutely ridiculous, humongous paychecks started rolling in.

For the first Hunger Games film, which released in 2012, Lawrence reportedly earned $500,000 upfront. Which is absolutely insane. She also pocketed bonuses due to the incredible box office performance. Jheez.

For the second movie, she reportedly negotiated a whopping $10million deal.

I can't even begin to imagine spending that amount of money, but I'd give it a fucking good try. Lend us a tenner, eh, Jen?

However, in October 2015 she wrote an open letter addressing gender pay inequality in Hollywood. Following a hack on Sony, the 26-year-old was made aware she actually earned considerably less than her male co-stars in the 2014 film, American Hustle.

"When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn't get mad at Sony," she wrote. "I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn't want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don't need.

She added: "I'm over trying to find the 'adorable' way to state my opinion and still be likeable. Fuck that."

Fair words.

Words by Sian Broderick

Sian Broderick
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