This Moment Officially Made Jennifer Lawrence a Professional Actor

Jennifer Lawrence got her start in 2006 playing a mascot in the iconic TV series, Monk. Now she’s a Hollywood A-lister with the on-again, off-again title of America’s sweetheart. Despite being on the scene for several years, Lawrence didn’t get her big break until 2010 when she played Ree in Winter’s Bone. The role landed her not just Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations but boosted her Chinese fans, upping her following.

While fans can look forward to her reprising her role as Mystique in the upcoming Marvel movie, Dark Phoenix, how did the American Hustle actress get her start?

A look at Jennifer Lawrence’s Career

The Girl on Fire is best known for playing Katniss Everdeen in the top-rated Hunger Games franchise. She was brought on board in the lead spot back in 2012, just six years after her first acting role. The year prior Lawrence was cast in the X-Men: First Class as the tantalizing Mystique, another part that would net her several big screen appearances. While the franchises have served her well, the one-offs have been even better.

Lawrence’s performance as Ree in the gritty indie-film Winter’s Bone showed a side of her that is rarely seen. In the film, she plays your “run-of-the-mill” girl from the boonies on the hunt for her meth-dealing dad. The film is a far cry from the other flashy films that have landed her critical appraise which is what makes it so unique. Her performances in Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and Joy have also resulted in several awards.

Other notable roles include her assassin persona Dominika Egorova brought to life in last year’s Red Sparrow and Aurora Lane in Passengers from 2016. Her presence is undeniable, Lawrence surprisingly only has 31 acting credit to her name. She’s clearly extremely talented and particular about her the movies she stars in. While she’s world renown now, you won’t believe where she got her start.

MTV gives Jennifer Lawrence a chance

When Lawrence was 14-years-old, she got the chance to be at the center of an MTV Promo for the show My Sweet 16. She played a girl named Lisa in the promo who was excited about her birthday. Her cake gets smashed resulting in an ensemble of messy teens in adorable dresses. Lisa screams a shriek that was probably heard around the world.

While the promo may not seem like much, it was a pivotal point in Lawrence’s career.

The Screen Actors Guild welcomes Lawrence

Receiving a SAG card is a rite of passage for actors, broadcasters, and recording artists. To become eligible, the performer needs to fall under one of these categories: being a principal performer in a SAG-AFTRA, SAG, or AFTRA production; three days as a background actor for SAG-AFTRA, SAG, or AFTRA; or employment with an affiliated performers’ union.

After completing her MTV promo, the Screen Actor’s Guild sent Lawrence her card. The young actress reflected on that day during the 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards. At the time, the 23-year-old was delivering her acceptance speech for her performance in the Silver Linings Playbook. According to her, it was the best day of her life. It was the day that she officially became a professional actor.

Jennifer Lawrence’s notable achievements

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Lawrence’s short career as a professional actress has been extremely fruitful. Throughout her 12-years on-screen, Lawrence has racked up 178 nominations and 115 wins. More importantly, she won an Oscar in 2013 for her acting in Silver Linings Playbook. The win made her the only 90’s baby to receive the prestigious award.   

Lawrence was also the highest paid actress in the world in 2015 and 2016, making $46 million in the latter year thanks to the success of The Hunger Games franchise. She also happened to be the youngest actress on the list showing just her successful her short stint in Hollywood has been. Fun fact — Lawrence and bestie Emma Stone are always at odds when it comes to being crowned top earner of the year.

America’s sweetheart’s success doesn’t end with awards and high earnings. She’s also received recognition from several magazines over the years. In 2011 People named her one of the Most Beautiful People in the World.  In 2012 Entertainment Weekly dubbed her Entertainer of the Year. In 2013 Ask Men’s ranked her number one in their Top 99 Most Desirable Famous Women list; she was #49 the year prior. In 2016 she graced the cover on Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue alongside several other elites.

While Lawrence may have come from humble beginnings, she’s certainly made huge waves in the industry. A testament to her acting chops, easy to love personality, and commanding stage presence. To think it all started with a small MTV promo, one that Lawrence still cherishes to this day, is awe inspiring.