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Jennifer Lawrence is the girl next door America was waiting for

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2013 has been a standout year for films and actors alike. The year has seen more than its fair share of action and fantasy films, including major adaptations of some of the most popular book series of the past decade. The year also boasts a slew of Hollywood actors and actresses who filled the main character roles in those big-budget films. Although the competition is fierce, one young actress clearly stands out from the rest when it comes to poise, charm, and acting ability, and that actress is Jennifer Lawrence.

Jennifer Lawrence is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. This Southern girl got her start with minor roles as an extra on shows like "Monk" and finally landed a major role as the daughter in "The Bill Engvall Show." Her appearance on the relatively short series was enough to catapult her into the limelight and earn her a starring role in films such as "House at the End of the Street" and "Winter's Bone." In 2011, Lawrence was chosen to portray Mystique in "X-Men: First Class," and in 2012, she landed the role of a lifetime as Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of "The Hunger Games." "The Hunger Games" is based on the young adult novel of the same name, one of the best-selling young adult series of all time. Lawrence received accolades from fans and critics alike for her portrayal of the headstrong young huntress turned warrior.

In just a few short years, Jennifer Lawrence has managed to become the most talked-about name in Hollywood. Amazingly enough, all that talk is incredibly positive—Lawrence has managed to stay free of scandal and the negative critical attention that so often comes with the limelight. It's hard to find anything not to like about this down-to-earth, bubbly actress whose humility and self-assured charm open doors for her wherever she goes. Lawrence's fame is in large part due to her savvy as a businesswoman and self-marketer, not to mention her considerable acting talents. Undoubtedly, her success is also due to her affable personality. Few actresses embody the girl-next-door persona better than Jennifer Lawrence. In the face of Hollywood's exacting standards when it comes to female body image, the healthy and curvaceous actress has managed to withstand considerable pressure to slim down for certain roles.

Although Lawrence originally made waves with her decision to tone up rather than slim down for her role in "The Hunger Games," she turned any criticism into admiration with her insistence on promoting a healthy and attainable body image for her young fans to look up to. This year, Lawrence has reprised her role as Katniss in the sequel, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." The first film was even more wildly successful than the novel it was based on, and the sequel is one of the most anticipated films of the year. From fan fiction to promotional wear, there is no shortage of buzz about "The Hunger Games" and its beloved star this year. Whether you happen to be looking up at a billboard or browsing the Internet, chances are you've seen this actress' face, and she shows no signs of fading into the woodwork any time soon.

Lawrencemay have gotten her start playing the girl next door and taking on roles that led to teen pop culture obsessions, but the 23-year-old actress is determined to have her roles grow with her. She took on a much edgier role as Roslyn Rosenfeld in the upcoming film "American Hustle." "American Hustle" takes place in the glamorous era of gangsters and speakeasy clubs, focusing on one particular conman named Irving Rosenfeld. Lawrence portrays the millionaire and conman's young and beautiful wife, Roslyn. Roslyn proves to be more than just a pretty face, threatening the very core of the FBI investigation that Irving and his associates are drawn into against their will. This undoubtedly grown-up role will allow Lawrence to showcase the more mature side of her character range.

The fact that Jennifer Lawrence has managed to rocket to viral levels of popularity and still avoid the trap of being typecast in the very young adult films she rose to fame for is proof of her versatility and shrewdness as an actor. Hollywood may be known for glitz and glamour, but the sparkly façade often covers a rigid framework with little room to compromise or do things in an individual way. Jennifer Lawrence has managed to maintain her integrity as an actress and stay true to herself while rising to the top of the A-list, earning her the well-deserved title of the most influential actress of the year.


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