Jennifer Lawrence reveals she was asked to lose weight before starring on The Hunger Games

Shocking fans, Jennifer Lawrence reveals that she was advised to go on a diet for her role on The Hunger Games but refused to do so

Jennifer Lawrence
(Image credit: THOMAS SAMSON / Contributor)

While chatting with fellow actor Viola Davis for Variety's Actors on Actors series, Jennifer Lawrence revealed that, when trying to land the part of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games franchise, "the biggest conversation was, 'How much weight are you going to lose?'"

The disclosure was a pretty surprising one as Jennifer went on to star in the series and actually gained incredible levels of fame through it, a fact that she once said contributed to her 'losing control' of her career.

"Along with me being young and growing and not able to be on a diet, I don't know if I want all of the girls who are going to dress up as Katniss to feel like they can't because they’re not a certain weight. And I can't let that seep into my brain either," Jennifer, who was only 20 when she starred in the first Hunger Games movie, said to Viola during their conversation (opens in new tab) - effectively noting that she was able to push back on the request and refused to diet. "And I can't let that seep into my brain either."

Jennifer Lawrence

(Image credit: KYLE GRILLOT / Contributor)

Now 32 years old and mother to baby Cy, Jennifer also reflected on how the film franchise changed her life and perspective on the movie industry.

"In Hunger Games, it was an awesome responsibility," she noted candidly. "I mean, those books were huge, and I knew that the audience was children. And there were so many different opinions on what is this action figure for children going to look like."

Viola pressed on that point, specifically asking Jennifer how much of Hollywood "infiltrated" and affected her passion for acting throughout her years in the business.

"I've been doing this since I was so young," responded the actor. "When Hunger Games was out, I couldn't really be an observer of life because everybody was observing me. I could feel my antenna for the business side suffering. And I didn't know how to fix it."

"I was scrambling, trying to fix it by saying yes to this movie and then trying to counteract it with that movie," she specifically recalled. "And not realizing that what I had to do was no movies until something spoke to me."

The result of that realization was her meeting and eventual marriage to gallerist Cooke Maroney in 2019, followed by the birth of their son. 

Jennifer Lawrence

(Image credit: David M. Benett / Contributor / Getty Images)

Jennifer's candid nature is the stuff of legend both within Hollywood circles and among her fans. Back in 2021, Jennifer went on the record to urge fans to fight back against Republican party's 'radical wing' in passion call to action, for example.

In the powerful video message posted by anti-corruption organization RepresentUs, Jennifer explained how the Republican Party's so-called "radical wing" undermines US democracy, before educating viewers on how they can reclaim their power. 

"Whatever side of the aisle you find yourself on, you need to know that your vote matters," she said. "And the outcome of our elections are not maneuvered and manipulated." 

As always, we find the actor's point of view refreshing and important to speak about. 

Anna Rahmanan

Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.