Why Producers Wanted Jennifer Lawrence to Lose Weight for “Hunger Games,” but She Vehemently Refused
Gaining or losing weight is one of the biggest celebrity conversations in the media. But it all starts on set, and Jennifer Lawrence is one of the many actresses who was pressured to slim down for her breakout role. Thankfully, she is one of the first celebs who started to share and speak against it openly, saving many kids from this toxic diet culture.
The biggest concern of producers was how much weight she was going to lose for the role.
As we know, the franchise was based on novels of the same name. And the main character there was a starving young girl who tried to make it through a survival game. So the film executives wanted Lawrence to slim down enough to match this image.
Such a huge role was a great responsibility for the actress. And yet, the biggest conversation back then was not about acting itself or any other issues concerning the shooting. The biggest one, says the actress, was “How much weight are you going to lose?”
She knew that her character may “inspire” many young fans to focus on their weight too much.
But despite the pressure, Lawrence understood that those books were very popular, and the audience was primarily children. So she stayed firm in her choice not to diet for the role, both because she cared about herself and her young fans.
In an interview for Variety, she said: “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.”
After shooting the movies, Lawrence started to speak out openly against dieting.
The actress remembers that before Hunger Games, nobody ever put a woman in the lead of an action movie because they thought it wouldn’t work. It was believed that girls and boys were more prone to identify themselves with a male rather than a female lead. Nevertheless, Lawrence still didn’t want to take a risk.
She says that she’s never going to starve herself for a part, and speaks openly about being against any dieting. “I don’t diet. I do exercise! But I don’t diet. You can’t work when you’re hungry, you know?” she said.
It wasn’t the first time the actress refused to lose weight for a role.
Her attitude toward dieting is mainly because of her unpleasant experience while playing a former ballerina in Red Sparrow. And it was the first time she was really hungry. She tried hard to get into character by matching the ballerina’s diet, but eventually couldn’t stick to it.
All in all, it turned out to be a real struggle to work hungry and often ended up in “freaking out,” for instance, after eating just 5 banana chips. No wonder she refused to lose 15 pounds in 2 weeks for a role prior to Hunger Games.
Some other actors have quite a different approach when losing or gaining whatever weight is necessary for a single role. Which one do you like the most? What would you do in the same situation?