Cause I feel like everybody always treats actors like, as they probably should, emotional, like, landmines, everybody is like tiptoeing around because you never know what’s going to set them off, and it’s just a job, like any other.
You look how you look, and be comfortable. Like what are you going to do, be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.
My childhood in my mind seems so lovely, and just picturesque, and then I talk back about it, I’m like, “Oh my God.”
Evan: She’s the highest paid actress in the world and her films have grossed over five billion dollars.
She had her breakthrough in 2010 playing a poverty-stricken teenager in the independent film “Winter’s Bone.” In 2013, she was listed in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
She’s Jennifer Lawrence, and here’s my take on her top 10 rules for success. Rule number one is my personal favorite, and make sure to stick around all the way to the end for some special bonus clips. Also, as Jennifer’s talking, if she says something that really resonates with you, please leave it in the comments below and put quotes around it so other people can be inspired as well. Enjoy.
Rule #1: Don’t Consider Failing
Hi, I’m Jennifer Lawrence. Have you been hiding under a rock? How would you not know that.
I’ve always had this really gross, dangerous mentality of, no consideration of failure.
“Just never even considering the thought of failing, like, if I want something I just go until I get it.” – Jennifer Lawrence
And that doesn’t always work, but.
Rule #2: Work Hard
Charlie: The interesting thing for me to talk to you, and what makes you so fascinating is just the talent that you see on the screen, but at the same time, there is a certain innocence and yet a certain power, and it seems to me it’s both artist and also business.
Well thank you.
Charlie: Do you believe that?
Charlie: Am I right?
I’ve worked very hard to make that to make that true, so thank you.
Charlie: That it’s both that.
Thank you, because without gaining some sort of control over the business I lose some control over the creative, which is most important.
Charlie: The more you control the business, the more you can give flower to the creative.
Charlie: Or give wings to the creative.
Yeah, so I used to stay out of it. “I don’t care. “I’m an artist. “I don’t need it.” But this is my business now, and it is important. My agent always says I’m his only client that ever calls him back as soon as he, because it’s my business, and I respect my business.
Charlie: Your agent says you’re his only client that calls him back to say–
If I have a missed call, I’m probably the only, I return emails, I return phone calls because–
Charlie: Because you want to know what options there are.
Yes, I’ve worked really hard to build this, and I want to continue building it, and it’s my business, my personal business, so I don’t understand how people do slack. – Jennifer Lawrence
Rule #3: Connect Emotionally
I’m really annoying with how I choose things, ’cause it’s really like a feeling, which just sounds stupid, but sometimes I’ve read scripts before that have… I just recently have read a script that I was sobbing.
I’ve never been so moved by a story, and I thought it was the most beautiful, amazing story. And I just couldn’t wait for this movie to get made so that the world could see it, but I just wasn’t her, I wasn’t the character, and I couldn’t.
And I also had an experience once where I read the script and I loved it, but I couldn’t stop picturing Amanda Seyfried, and so I emailed the people and I was like, “You got to hire Amanda Seyfried for this.” I couldn’t stop picturing it.
So a lot of it is the things that he said, you want to be part of a good film and you want to make a good movie, but there’s also a huge emotional component for me that I don’t know how to describe it.
It’s just kind of sometimes something clicks and I feel like that person does in a weird way exist in me, and it sounds like a stupid thing to say, and sometimes it just doesn’t, and sometimes I can read a character and absolutely love her, but I know that I could never, I’m not her or something, I don’t know.
Rule #4: Keep Things Real
Interviewer: So how was the experience of being directed by David finally?
Oh, a dream come true, ’cause when you’re such a huge fan of somebody you build it up so much and you’re always prepared to be let down, but he was just the nicest, warmest, sweetest person in the entire world, just has such a warm, good energy, and then he just directs in this, I’ve never worked that way, and that’s such an incredible thing to do is to kind of realize that there’s no one or right way to make a movie or direct an actor.
Interviewer: So did he do something that you particularly liked that you haven’t done?
Yeah, he would interrupt like any monologue, no matter what it was, no matter how serious, he would go, “Oh, it’s such bullshit. “It’s so bad, it’s so bad.” I’d be like, “Alright, let’s do it again.” It’s just like so funny to be able to like, because you can be honest like on this whole new level.
That’s why Bradley and I don’t want to stop working together, because we can just be like, “Don’t say that. “Don’t wear that. “What are you doing?” Just boss each other around.
Yeah, I like him not wasting time and just like cutting the bullshit, and just getting real, ’cause I feel like everybody always treats actors like, as they probably should, emotional like landmines, everybody is like tip toeing around ’cause you never know what’s going to set them off. It’s just a job like any other.
Sometimes you’re going to be good, and sometimes you’re going to be bad. I like it when somebody is like, “That was bad. “Do it again.”
Interviewer: So when he’s saying that he’s saying it mostly about you guys, not about his script?
No, it’s never about a script. It’s always about our performance.
Interviewer: You just missed the mark.
Yeah no, it’ll just be like, “You were really bad.”
Rule #5: Trust Your Gut
The scariest part of my job is the gamble of reading a script. Which one do you do? Who makes it? You never know. You can read an amazing script and hire a director who seems fantastic, and have an amazing co star, and you can be on set and be completely out of control and watch it either fall apart, or you can love it and then audiences don’t respond, and then there is planning of a year.
You know, if you’re going to have this movie come out, what follows that, and then what? And that’s the most stressful part of my job, ’cause it is a gamble, but it’s important to me that I do make those decisions.
I don’t want an agent’s career or a lawyer’s career. I need advice. I have an amazing agent and I really respect his opinion, but I would never do… My entire career is dictated by a feeling, and I’ve gone through great lengths to try and make sure that it stays that way. I’ve shed big parts of my team, ’cause I don’t want more people to say no to.
Charlie: You trust your gut?
I do, and sometimes I’m wrong.
Charlie: And when you’re wrong, what do you think happens?
“Everything is fine, it happens. In business there’s ups and downs. I would much rather blame myself though than go, “I shouldn’t have listened to that person.” At least I go, “Well, you learned.'” – Jennifer Lawrence
Charlie: You know why you made the choice even if it turned out to be the wrong choice.
Rule #6: Watch & Learn
But when I just started and I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t what else to do, I didn’t know how to act, I just knew how to talk, and I think once I started understanding I was like, “Well, I don’t really want to learn how to act. “I just want to keep learning how to talk.”
And I’ve always just been such a people studier that I think that for me the best schooling I could have ever gotten was watching and listening to the world.
“For me the best schooling I could have ever gotten was watching and listening to the world.” – Jennifer Lawrence
I mean just watching people talk, watching people do different things. So many of the things that I do on screen are things that I’ve seen other people do that I thought were interesting. you know, like funny things with people’s mouths, or when they’re upset the things they do with their hands.
Like this one time my friend was crying and she was so upset. She put her hands up and she didn’t know what to do with them and they were just shaking. And I was comforting her, but at the same time I was like, “That’s kind of cool.”
Interviewer: Do it again, do it again, yeah.
Yes, yeah, I know. It was like, “What did you do right there?” So I had an emotional scene in The Poker House and almost every time I cried I did that with my hands, and I don’t know, I just pick up from people.
Rule #7: Stand For Something
Interviewer: Having experienced the body image criticism in Hollywood, what is your advice to young girls dealing with the same treatment from their peers, and response to those who judge others based on appearances?
Well screw those people.
No, and it–Oh, thanks. Yeah, I mean it’s something that everybody experiences. I experienced it in school before I was famous. The world has a certain idea of, you know, we see this airbrushed perfect model, and then if you don’t look like that, you’re.. And it’s just too easy for people.
I’ve got a million ideas coming at the same time, but you just have to look past it. You look how you look, and be comfortable. Like what are you going to do, be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.
And the shows like the Fashion Police and things like that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on things, they put values on all the things that are wrong, and that it’s okay to just point at people and call them ugly and call them fat, and they call it fun, and welcome to the real world, and it’s like that shouldn’t be the real world.
It’s going to keep being the real world if we keep it that way. It’s not until we stop treating each other like that, and just stop calling each other fat, and stop with these unrealistic expectations for women.
It’s disappointing that the media keeps it alive and fuels that fire. It’s something that really bothers me, because I love to eat.
Rule #8: Be Authentic
Interviewer: What does it take to be a great actress? ‘Cause that performance in your movie is a really great performance I think by any yardstick. What does she have, Jennifer, that takes it to that kind of level?
David Russel: I think there’s a soulfulness that’s immediately there. It’s right there in her eyes and in her face and in her, the way she talks.
I don’t know how to express it except just to point to her performance. I mean, she has a soulfulness that comes from her, and there’s… I don’t want to embarrass her or sound, I just think people… We were concerned she was too young for the role, and I said she almost has a timeless quality to her, which I do feel.
I feel like sometimes she seems like she’s 18, sometimes she seems like she’s 40. And not only that, a realness. There’s a lack of preciousness. There’s not a frame around what she’s doing. It’s raw and it’s real, and it comes from part of her soul, and she just channels it right out there.
She’s not afraid to jump in and do it any number of different ways, and she has very good instincts. She’ll tell you when she feels something is false and when she’d like to find another way to do it.
But it’s a great gift to a director to have an actor who has so much emotion readily available in their face that’s authentic emotion. It’s from her, and it’s a part of her. I just don’t know how… It’s a blessing to have someone channel that.
Rule #9: #Believe in Yourself
Diane: And she’s already created a kind of legacy to be bold in your life. There was a girl she met on the first Hunger Games, a burn survivor who had scars all over her body.
She’s said, “I love my body, “because I’m the girl on fire.” It made her feel strong and brave, and I just started crying, ’cause she gave me such a gift. And I’m just acting, but it made me feel like if a character or a story could make somebody change a perception on how they feel about themselves, then that is beautiful.
Diane: For a generation of tiny fans, one message, believe in yourself.
Rule #10: Tell Great Stories
I grew up on a horse farm, so I rode a lot of horses, which I hear you like horses.
Interviewer: Yeah, I do, I like horses.
I hear you hate horses.
Interviewer: What, no, are you drunk?
No, it just, it would’ve been a very weird thing to hate horses.
Interviewer: No, I don’t hate–
Interviewer: They’re so likeable.
Interviewer: I like ’em, but you ride them, right?
Yeah, I do.
Interviewer: You ever fallen off or been thrown?
Yeah, ’cause my parents were cheap, so they never bought trained horses. So it was just kind of… I have a deformed tailbone, actually, from being thrown off of a horse.
Interviewer: You know, I’d heard that. Now wait a minute, you’re telling me that your parents bought wild, unbroken stallions because they were cheaper and let the kids loose on ’em?
Yeah, they were busy. They had more things to worry about.
Interviewer: They were busy, of course! So then you had to break your own horse.
Yeah, or my own tailbone.
Interviewer: And were you tossed or kicked?
Everything. At one point the horse was running into a barn, like an abandoned barn, so I had to just jump ship and drop and roll. That was the deformed elbow.
Interviewer: In Kentucky, did they ride Western or English?
I sound like such a redneck. I didn’t really ride with a saddle. We had English and Western saddles, but my mom said that that was for the people who like board their horses there, so I wasn’t allowed to use any of that, so I just kind of hopped on and went for it.
Interviewer: Good idea. Did anybody from the county ever come out to the house? Talk to Mom and Dad about–
I’m going to get my parents arrested. My childhood in my mind seems so lovely and just picturesque, and then I talk back about it I’m like, “Oh my God.”
Interviewer: You did stay away from them saddles. Now get out there and break them broncs!
That’s for the ranch folk.
Yeah, is for rich people.
Interviewer: Oh my goodness, yeah.
Evan: Thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video because MrPlaythroughs101 asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it down in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do.
I’d also love to know what did you take from this video? What did Jennifer say that had the biggest impact on you that you’re going to make an immediate change to your business or your life?
Leave it in the comments. I’m going to join in the conversation. I also want to give a quick shout out to Kemo Tedajo. Thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, and taking that awesome picture with the Eiffel Tower. I really, really, really appreciate it.
So thank you guys again for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever your one word is, much love. I’ll see you soon.
Follow Your Passion
Yeah, I mean I was very fortunate. I started trying to work at 14, and I got on a sitcom when I was 16.
I dealt with a lot of nos, mostly personal nos within my family. It’s hard for a 14 year old to say, “I’m leaving Kentucky. “I’m moving to New York.” But I knew I felt so strongly. It feels insane to be a teenager and know. I knew that it was the right thing to do. I knew that it was going to work out. – Jennifer Lawrence
Interviewer: What did they say?
Well, “No.” I wouldn’t be supportive if my teenager was like, “I’m moving to New York.” They thought I was going to get killed. I’m surprised I didn’t get killed. But it was like this fire, and also I just knew it. So I eventually saved up babysitting money and went and did it.
Interviewer: So what as the first time you felt really challenged to come up with something that was that much harder to do for you?
What do you mean?
Interviewer: Well, I mean it seems like something like The Burning Plain for instance, it’s a really tough role. It’s not a, you know, “I came up. ” found me in the street of New York “and told me to be an actress and here I am.”
Interviewer: Or was it? I mean was it just that natural to you?
It was. I think it actually helped me, ’cause I didn’t really go to any classes or theater schools or anything like that, so I didn’t really know how to act.
I just knew how to talk, and then I just knew… I don’t know. I think I was able to build my instincts better, and I learned from a lot of mistakes. I can look back on things now and be like, “Well, at least you learned from that.”
I don’t know, I think it was… It’s so hard for me to answer ’cause I haven’t thought about it as much as you guys have.
Interviewer: That’s probably true.