Jennifer Lawrence Says She Learned to Act in Her Principal’s Office After She Was Nearly Suspended

Jennifer Lawrence is one of the world’s most popular actors, a star known for her roles in movies like Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games franchise, and Passengers. An award-winning performer who is also well known for her outrageous personality and goofy sense of humor, Lawrence originally rose to fame as a child star.

Over the years, has managed to define her career on her own terms, regardless of what Hollywood might have to say. Lawrence developed her uncanny acting ability early on. And, as she revealed in a 2011 interview, her time in school had a lot to do with helping her to enhance her skills. 

How did Jennifer Lawrence get into acting?

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Lawrence was born in Kentucky in 1990. Raised in a working-class family, Lawrence was athletic in school, and was involved in everything from softball to basketball.

Lawrence started acting when she was nine years old, appearing in school plays. She discovered that she had a natural flair for acting, and over the next few years, she continued to hone her craft — although not always in school-sanctioned ways. 

Jennifer Lawrence detailed the first time she really nailed an acting challenge

Jennifer Lawrence holding her Oscar
Jennifer Lawrence | Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

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As Lawrence revealed in a 2011 interview, her penchant for risk-taking paid off in a big way. Lawrence was still in school when she decided to test the boundaries of her acting skills, and, as she described it: “It was really dramatic. I actually got myself out of being suspended by acting in the principal’s office. I jumped out the back of a bus because everyone told me that I wouldn’t, and I have a very disgusting, competitive, horrible disease. So I went to school the next day because they left a message saying obviously I’ve been suspended because that’s against the rules.”

Lawrence went on to describe: “I showed up to the principal’s office and I was like, ‘I was afraid for my life. I thought my friends were going to die, so I jumped out of the bus to save my life.’ Not only did I not get suspended, but I got two weeks off homework for post-traumatic stress.”

Jennifer Lawrence went on to nail her first audition

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Lawrence’s penchant for dramatics paid off when she went to her first professional audition, around the same time as her big stunt in school. As she revealed in the same 2011 interview: “I auditioned for one of those videos for vets..where my horse was sick and I was really upset about it…and I got a callback on it, and I didn’t work for a long time, but I still walked around saying ‘well, I got a callback on it.'”

‘Winter’s Bone’ helped to make Jennifer Lawrence a star

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When Lawrence was 14, she was spotted by a talent scout, who helped to advance her career by getting the young girl auditions for television shows and movies. Her first big role was in the sitcom The Bill Engvall Show, in which she appeared from 2007 until 2009.

Her feature film career really kicked off in 2010, when she appeared as a teenage girl in search of a missing family member in the independent drama Winter’s Bone. Lawrence’s ability to take professional risks and play tough characters helped her make the film a sweeping success, and she went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

In the years since Lawrence’s big debut, she has continued to make surprising choices, proving that her early acting demonstrations were anything but a fluke.