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Why did and does Jennifer Lawrence play such mature roles?

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    filmfanatic
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    #1203504343

    After the first Hunger Games movie came out, it seems like she has played roles older than herself and it’s odd because when I think of someone like Saorsie Ronan or Emma Watson, who are roughly her peers, they play roles their own age or younger than themselves. In Silver Linings, Joy, American Hustle, Passengers, Red Sparrow, Serena, Mother!, Lawrence is not only paired with love interest older than herself but her characters also read as being older and it’s always been odd when you consider how old she was while filming these movies. The first few movies listed before are especially egregious. What do you guys think?

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    Heptapod
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    #1203504410

    She just looks and acts a lot older than Ronan and Watson. Saoirse and JLaw were roughly the same age when they did Brooklyn and SLP (respectively), but it’s obvious that Lawrence just seems more mature. Her voice is deeper, and she physically holds herself a much different way than most actresses her age. Despite the quirky/relatable girl image she (however unintentionally) developed for a while, she’s always presented as much more “adult” if that makes sense. Probably helped that she’s extremely private with no social media and has skated past a lot more of the typical “scandals” that plague women her age.

    And this might be strange, but I think it’s cause she didn’t start off playing young roles. Even though Ronan and Watson are much older now, they can get away with playing much younger characters because even if they look older, people still mentally see them as their young iconic characters like Hermione and Briony. Yeah, Lawrence had her breakout role as the teen in Winter’s Bone, but despite that character’s age, it was obviously not the same type of teen role as Lady Bird or Emma’s character in Perks.

    It’s one of those weird “chicken before the egg” things, but her looks combined with how she started off playing more mature roles gave her this weird ageless quality. Most people not heavily involved in pop culture would probably be shocked to find out Lawrence is still in her 20s because she started off with that untouchable old-Hollywood-esque “I don’t know much about this woman outside of her talent and work” vibe. Which allowed her to run the gamut of roles that other actresses may have been deemed too young for because no one had a real sense about her age.

    Very similar to Scarlett Johansson and Brie Larson. Both are a LOT younger than you would expect (Larson was only 23 in Short Term 12 and Johansson was a teenager in Lost in Translation), but the way they’ve presented from the very start of their careers had set them on such a different path.

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    M: The Original
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    #1203504419

    David O Russell. Once he cast her in one mature part he continued to do so subsequently.

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    RobertPius
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    #1203504423

    I posted this before in another thread but…..her casting makes Silver Linings Playbook a little odd for me. I had read the book. In the book the guy is like late 20s early 30s and the woman is around 40 so when she starts kind of stalking him and following him as he jogs the guy thinks who is this odd older woman. Then he gets to know her and falls for her. Having Jennifer Lawrence play it always made it seem like the guy who is jilted and lonely would probably have a different reaction if a young beautiful woman started following him.

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    Brayden Fitzsimmons
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    #1203504473

    I posted this before in another thread but…..her casting makes Silver Linings Playbook a little odd for me. I had read the book.

    If she wasn’t retired Cameron Diaz would’ve slayed all of the J-Law parts in O’Russell’s projects.

    In the book the guy is like late 20s early 30s and the woman is around 40 so when she starts kind of stalking him and following him as he jogs the guy thinks who is this odd older woman.

    O’Russell wanted Emma Thompson to play Cooper’s mother (Jackie Weaver’s part), is she did then they’re would’ve more age between Cooper & Lawrence (16.9 years) than Cooper & Thompson (16.1 years).

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    CateNicole
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    #1203505790

    She just looks and acts a lot older than Ronan and Watson. Saoirse and JLaw were roughly the same age when they did Brooklyn and SLP (respectively), but it’s obvious that Lawrence just seems more mature. Her voice is deeper, and she physically holds herself a much different way than most actresses her age. Despite the quirky/relatable girl image she (however unintentionally) developed for a while, she’s always presented as much more “adult” if that makes sense. Probably helped that she’s extremely private with no social media and has skated past a lot more of the typical “scandals” that plague women her age. And this might be strange, but I think it’s cause she didn’t start off playing young roles. Even though Ronan and Watson are much older now, they can get away with playing much younger characters because even if they look older, people still mentally see them as their young iconic characters like Hermione and Briony. Yeah, Lawrence had her breakout role as the teen in Winter’s Bone, but despite that character’s age, it was obviously not the same type of teen role as Lady Bird or Emma’s character in Perks. It’s one of those weird “chicken before the egg” things, but her looks combined with how she started off playing more mature roles gave her this weird ageless quality. Most people not heavily involved in pop culture would probably be shocked to find out Lawrence is still in her 20s because she started off with that untouchable old-Hollywood-esque “I don’t know much about this woman outside of her talent and work” vibe. Which allowed her to run the gamut of roles that other actresses may have been deemed too young for because no one had a real sense about her age. Very similar to Scarlett Johansson and Brie Larson. Both are a LOT younger than you would expect (Larson was only 23 in Short Term 12 and Johansson was a teenager in Lost in Translation), but the way they’ve presented from the very start of their careers had set them on such a different path.

    I think you nailed it in this comment, and it’s something I was touching on regarding Kidman’s career and the reason why she had a long “break”… the roles she played earlier in her career were very much defined by her age. Ronan is too good to not cast, but I do wonder if all these bildungsroman films will lead to a bit of a gap in her career.

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