Jennifer Lawrence won the female actor in a leading role honor at Sunday night’s 19th Screen Actors Guild Awards for playing a headstrong but mentally unstable young widow in “Silver Linings Playbook.”
The 22-year-old Lawrence, who burst on the scene with 2010’s Sundance Film Festival sensation “Winter’s Bone,” for which she was nominated for the lead actress Oscar, beat out a cadre of more experienced performers for the SAG honor: “The Impossible’s” Naomi Watts, “Rust and Bone’s” Marion Cotillard, “Hitchcock’s” Helen Mirren and the presumed favorite, “Zero Dark Thirty’s” Jessica Chastain.
She was considered a bit of a longshot to play Tiffany, Bradley Cooper’s love interest in the film, as she is 15 years younger than the “Hangover” star. (Lawrence tried to fudge her youth during her Skype audition for “Silver Linings Playbook” by loading up on black eyeliner and mascara.)
“She seems ageless to me,” said David O. Russell, who wrote and directed “Silver Linings Playbook.” “She’s not neurotic. She’s very comfortable in her own skin and has such a presence about her.”
Lawrence has described the making of the film as her best professional experience, and said her character should be inspiring to moviegoers.
“Tiffany’s learned that there’s always going to be parts of her that are off, that aren’t normal, that aren’t like everyone else, but you have to accept and forgive yourself," Lawrence said. “That’s the most important thing she could have learned and, hopefully, our audience could learn too.”
In addition to starring in “Silver Linings Playbook,” Lawrence played the lead role of Katniss Everdeen in 2012’s box-office blockbuster “The Hunger Games.” She is set to star in three “Hunger Games” sequels, including November’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
Chastain’s loss for “Zero Dark Thirty,” a category in which her winning looked all but certain several weeks ago, is further evidence that sentiment is turning against the drama about the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden.