When Jennifer Lawrence—beloved by millions upon millions of fans as 16-year-old warrior-leader Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games—got married, it triggered a “feminist meltdown about changing my name because it’s my identity, it’s the first thing I’m given.”
Thanks to Lawrence’s lead role in the four-film mega-franchise, the first of which hit theaters in 2012, when Lawrence was 21, you may have wondered where she’s been since the final installment of her Hunger Games run, 2015’s Mockingjay Part 2. The actress, now 32, tells the New York Times in a wide-ranging interview to promote her new indie film, Causeway, how her sense of name and identity was influenced by her sudden and blinding Hollywood fame.
“I was born with the name Jennifer Lawrence, but that got taken from me when I was 21 and I never got it back,” she told the Times, referring to the Hunger Games debut. In 2019, when Lawrence was 29, she married the art dealer Cooke Maroney, legally taking his name. “So it didn’t feel like I was giving up anything,” she said. “That name already belongs to them.”
When asked to “visualize Jennifer Lawrence,” the actress responded: “Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss Everdeen, I guess. Is that weird?”
Despite the potentially toxic level of fame her dystopian YA franchise brought with it, she has no regrets about the quartet of films, calling them “fantastic.” However, Lawrence adds, she sensed even before the first movie was released that this particular project might prove too much for her. “The only thing that gave me pause was just how famous it would make me,” she said.
Lawrence also described raucous, overwhelming press events for The Hunger Games, endured along with co-stars Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, picturing the long days as scenes from the music video for Britney Spear’s “Lucky,” a song about a lonely star.
After a grueling day of press, she said, “the boys and I would always go back to our hotel and just drink whiskey and get stoned.”
One of the best curatives for being the talk of the town, of course, is a little bit of time spent away from the current culture. And, indeed, Lawrence feels the her old megawatt fame ebbing.
“I’m not scared of 13-year-olds anymore,” she said. “They have no idea who I am.”
Otherwise, she told the Times, “I can tell things are different by my interactions in the real world, just by the way that I can move about life. There’s an occasional article about me walking out in Ugg boots, but other than that, the interest has lessened, God bless it.”