by Lash

Once a child with social anxiety, Jennifer Lawrence has risen rapidly in the Hollywood ranks to become the highest-paid actress in the world today, all at just a quarter of a century old. From her convincing performance as a teenager struggling to keep the family afloat in Winter’s Bone (2010) to her most recent film, Passengers (2017), her films have collectively grossed USD 5.5 billion worldwide and have shown Lawrence’s breadth and depth as an actress. At just 22, she won the Best Actress award at the 84th Academy Awards for Silver Linings Playbook, making her the second youngest actress to walk away with that award (Marlee Matlin was 21 when she won for Children of a Lesser God).

Although her Oscar-nominated performance in Winter’s Bone gained her critical acclaim, it was her role as Mystique in the high-profile X-Men: First Class (2011) that first got her noticed by fans, and her headlining turn as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games series sealed her super stardom status. At 26 today, Lawrence is at the top of the world, with a newly minted boyfriend (director Darren Aronofsky) and highly anticipated movie, Mother!, lined up for 2017. To celebrate her birthday, let’s look at 9 things about Jennifer Lawrence you might not know.

The Hunger Games

1.      She was almost the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the role of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but eventually lost out to Rooney Mara. She loved the character so much that she kept a picture of herself in character for the audition, in complete Goth get-up right down to the piercings, on her phone.

2.       Right back at you, Rooney Mara

For her Oscar-winning turn as Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook, she auditioned and beat out more established actresses like Kirsten Dunst, Blake Lively, Anne Hathaway, and Rooney Mara, whom she lost out to for the role of Lisbeth Salander. Hathaway was originally cast, but dropped out, making room for Lawrence.

3.       There nearly wasn’t a House at the End of the Street

Lawrence filmed House at the End of the Street before she went on to The Hunger Games, and the movie had a delayed release date to avoid clashing with The Hunger Games, leading to it almost slated for a straight-to-video release. But with her Oscar nomination for Winter’s Bone, it was put back on track for release, and became a surprise hit with a $42-million taking.

4.       She could have been one half of the world’s hottest vampires

Lawrence actually auditioned for the role of Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga, along with Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Lily Collins (The Mortal Instruments) and of course, Kristen Stewart. Lawrence is a huge fan of the series, and was unabashed about it, "I love the 'Twilight' books. I'm not even ashamed to say it, they are like methamphetamine to me. So when I heard Kristen Stewart say, "I only read the first one," I was like, "Oh man," because she wasn't a huge fan of the books." She added, “I remember when the first movie came out, seeing Kristen Stewart on the red carpet and getting papped wherever she went. I had no idea Twilight would be such a big deal. For me, and assuming for her, it was just another audition. Then it turned into this whole other thing.”

5.       She curses like a sailor

According to director Gary Ross on the set of the first Hunger Games movie, there was a swear jar on set and Lawrence contributed “at least half” because she cusses like a sailor.

6.       She’s related to Jeremy Renner

Lawrence and Renner are actually cousins. They share a common relative in farmer Robert Tague from Kentucky, who is Lawrence’s fifth great-grandfather and Renner’s fourth grandfather. This makes them fifth cousins, once removed.

7.       Straight As all the way

Lawrence was discovered at aged 14 in New York by a photographer while on family vacation. She was eager to act, but her family made a pact with her to only enter acting after she finished school. She ended up graduating two years early from high school, with straight As all the way and a 3.9 GPA.

8.       She’s not afraid to get down and dirty

For her role in Winter’s Bone, as an impoverished teenager desperate to feed her family, Lawrence’s character, Ree, had to hunt for food in the wild. To prepare for the role, Lawrence learnt to chop wood, fight and skin a squirrel. In fact, she had to kill a squirrel during filming. To prepare for her role as Katniss Everdeen, Lawrence took up archery, and trained under an Olympic archer to finesse her skills.

9.       She almost didn’t appear in Winter’s Bone

Lawrence was told she was too pretty to be in Winter’s Bone, so to prepare for her audition, she took a red-eye to New York, where the audition was held, walked for 13 blocks in the snow, with hair that she had not washed for a week, and auditioned. She landed the part. This shows the amount of grit and commitment Jennifer Lawrence puts into her craft, which shows in each character she embodies.