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Jennifer Lawrence Then and Now: Cheerleading, her MTV debut and more

Posted on January 28, 2013 by
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My Hollywood crush on Jennifer Lawrence isn’t your average let’s-ride-horses-into-the-sunset crush. She’s just so down to Earth that I’d love to grab pizza with her as we dish on life and quote Mean Girls. As JLaw continues to sweep awards season, let’s find out how The Hunger Games star went from Southern kid to easy-going it girl.

She was a tomboy

Jennifer Shrader Lawrence was born on August 15, 1990 in Louisville, Kentucky. Don’t let nine-year-old JLaw’s cute fourth grade yearbook shot fool you. She had the nickname “Nitro” for playing so many sports: hockey, softball, horseback riding and even an all-boys basketball team.

She was discovered in NYC

Even as a middle school cheerleader in 2004, 14-year-old Jennifer didn’t think she’d make a living with her talent and good looks until a model scout spotted her on a NYC family vacation. ‘‘He took my mom’s number, and all of a sudden all these agencies are calling,” Jennifer said. “That’s when it all started.”

Her super sweet break on MTV

At the Screen Actors Guild Awards last night, Jennifer said the best day of her life was when MTV offered her the starring role in this promo for My Super Sweet 16  in 2004, the first step towards her Hollywood career. Sweet Jennifer playing a spoiled debutante? Now that’s good acting.

Justin Timberlake’s secret sister?


Thanks to The Huffington Post, the only thing I can think of when I see this shot of Jennifer before she started high school in 2005 is “OMG, N*SYNC Justin Timberlake?!” To be fair, I kind of wish I looked like a ’90s pop star on my bad hair days.

Her theatre coach knew she’d make it

In-between auditions, Jennifer brushed up her acting skills in local theatre. Her acting coach Charlie Sexton was blown away by her performance as Desdemona in Shakespeare’s Othello when she was 15 in 2005. “I knew she was going to go places. I didn’t realize it would be so quick but she said, ‘I’m going to do this.’”

Rolling in the roles

Jennifer’s cheerleading background came in handy when she played this hyper cougar mascot on the TV show Monk in 2006. The 16-year-old started scoring role after role on other major shows including Cold Case, Medium, and The Bill Engvall Show.

And every award ever goes to…

From becoming the second youngest Academy Award nominee for Best Actress for Winter’s Bone to making me laugh, cry, and laugh-cry during Silver Linings Playbook, I have a feeling Jennifer, now 22, will need a separate house to keep all her future awards. I know she’ll get her Oscar this year!

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