Whether lighting up an indie or fronting a blockbuster franchise, Jennifer Lawrence is the most electric talent to hit Hollywood in a generation. Jonathan Van Meter meets America’s favorite heroine.
Leave it to J.Law to choose the Odeon, a restaurant she plucked from a list because she liked the sound of its name. It opened on a corner in Tribeca long before Lawrence was even born and defined a genre: Execute everything perfectly, but don’t take it all so seriously—an apt description of Lawrence herself. Indeed, Odeon has lasted for 30 years because, while it cares about great service and good food, it is committed above all else to being fun. In fact, I myself had so much early-nineties fun there that when I walked in at 1:00 p.m. on a Friday and sat down, I had a reaction that can only be described as Pavlovian: I ordered a vodka.
Jennifer Lawrence—unlike, say, Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Lopez or Jennifer Garner—never looks the same. It’s one of the reasons writers struggle to find words to describe her, and often resort to unfortunate ones, like chameleon. David O. Russell, the man who directed Lawrence to an Oscar in Silver Linings Playbook, remembers bumping into her during awards season, 2011. “I would see this tall blonde at events, and I never understood who she was,” he says. “She looked like an Orange County girl—or Malibu Barbie. And I was like, ‘Who is that?’ And someone would say, ‘That’s Jennifer Lawrence,’ and I would say, ‘The girl cooking a squirrel on a stick in Winter’s Bone?’ I never recognized her! She always looks different.”
So different, in fact, that even after one of her two bodyguards comes into the restaurant to tell me that her arrival is imminent, when she finally walks in the door, I still don’t recognize her. To be fair, she has on pitch-black Tom Ford sunglasses, and her hair is wet; she recently had it cut off into a Karlie chop, one that is half blonde and half brown. (“Too skunky?” she will ask me later. “I think I need to make a decision.”). But before she even reaches the table, I can hear that raspy voice—the deep rumble of so much nervous energy. Yup, that’s her.
Lawrence, who is wearing a blush-colored sleeveless top (purchased an hour ago at Topshop), slouchy black pants, and a pair of slip-on mules, immediately notices that I have a cast on my foot and a cocktail in front of me. After sheepishly explaining how I broke it (fiftieth-birthday party, dance floor, 3:00 a.m.), she fixes her blue-gray eyes on me with a face that is adorably sympathetic, sure, but is also contorted from trying to hold back a laugh. My foot is the reason all of the outdoorsy stuff we were going to do together—horseback riding, walking around Central Park—got nixed. My suggestion of going to an arcade in the West Village to shoot pool or play video games was rejected because, Lawrence says, “That’s my exact demographic.” So here we are. “Should we just get drunk?” she asks as the waiter sets a beer down in front of her. Perhaps it’s the specter of Odeon’s past—a place made famous by Jay McInerney’s novel of eighties excess, Bright Lights, Big City (which she has never heard of)—that launches us into a seven-hour bender. In any case, you could do worse as the setting for such decadence.
Josh hosted another ‘Straight But Not Narrow’ Basketball Tournament this year. I added some pics. Enjoy!
- Public Appearances in 2013 > 2013-08-09: 5th Annual Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament Presented By NBC4 Southern California – Game
First off, let Catching Fire director Frances Lawrence assure the ardent fans of Suzanne Collins Hunger Games series that their sacred text will always be honored: “The movie is very, very true to the book,” he says. But when he first met Collins last spring, the two hunkered down and hammered out a new beat sheet for the sequel. And together they were merciless about what wouldn’t serve the screenplay adaptation. Here’s three changes readers should expect in the film (in theaters November 22):
1) “We made some changes to Peeta’s narrative,” says Lawrence. “We manned him up a little. And by the way it didn’t take a lot, just little choices to make here and there. The story doesn’t really change, his relationship with Katniss doesn’t change, he’s just a different kind of character.” For instance, in the book, the Hunger Games kicks off and Peeta is paralyzed when the other all-star tributes dive into the water. “The option is for either me drowning or sitting there like a cat batting my paw into the water,” says Josh Hutcherson with a laugh. “Either way the visual is horrible.” Easy fix: Let Peeta swim.
2) Goodbye Bonnie and Twill. In the book, Katniss stumbles upon the District 8 refugees in her father’s hunting cabin. There they reveal to a stunned Katniss the existence of District 13 and news of the spreading revolution our hero unintentionally sparked with her act of rebellion at the end of The Hunger Games. So the movie had to find a new way to introduce the news of District 13. “That’s fun,” says Lawrence, “figuring out new ways around things and new ways of doing things.”
3) Darius, we hardly know ye. District 12?s youngest peacekeeper, who pays dearly for intervening during that terrible scene of Gale’s public whipping, didn’t make the jump from page to screen. It’s another instance of storytellers having to drown one of their kittens. “It’s as agonizing for us to lose things from the book as it is for a fan,” says producer Nina Jacobson. “I want every single thing in there. But you know what? If you have to give up something in order to give more time to Katniss and Gale or to Effie as she starts to feel a conscience, you make the sacrifices in order to serve the characters and themes that are more essential.”
I just wanted to wait with the caps til the HD version of the trailer was released. The screencaptures of the ‘American Hustle’ trailer are now up in the gallery.
- 2013: American Hustle > Theatrical Trailer #01