Jennifer Lawrence, Esquire Magazine, Tom Cruise, Esquire Cover

If you don't know who Jennifer Lawrence is yet, you really should.

Why? Because come awards season you will be seeing a lot of her.

Not only is she super hot (check out her bathing suit spread in the new issue of Esquire magazine), but…

She's also getting major buzz (hello, Oscar!) for her breakout performance in the riveting new drama, Winter's Bone. Lawrence, 19, stars as Ree, a tough poor-as-dirt chick in the Ozarks on the hunt for her deadbeat crystal-meth dealing dad.

Lawrence almost didn't get the part because director Debra Granik worried she was too pretty.

But Lawrence changed all that. She took a red-eye flight straight to New York City for her second audition. "I don't think I washed anything, probably had horrible breath and I think I had snow hanging off my hair because it was in the middle of winter in Manhattan," the Kentucky native tells me. "I guess I was ugly enough to pull it off."

Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone

Roadside Attractions

That ugly turned into a beautiful performance. Not only are critics loving the film, but Winter's Bone walked away with two awards from this year's Sundance Film Festival, including the Grand Jury Prize for drama.

They filmed on location in southwestern Missouri, and yes, Lawrence did actually skin a squirrel during a scene in which Ree shows her little brother how to do the gruesome task. Lawrence learned how to do it from one of her brother's friends. "He cut it open and then I went and cried in the house and let him finish," she said.

Up next? We'll see her in The Beaver opposite Mel Gibson and directed by Jodie Foster. "I've never met somebody that I want be more like," Lawrence said of Foster. "She's so normal. It's like somebody forgot to tell her that she's famous."

She's also hoping to score a starring role in director Scott Cooper's followup to his Oscar-winning Crazy Heart.

As for her body-baring Esquire spread, Lawrence said her family is proud, even if it did cause some awkwardness. "One of my brothers thought they could have Photoshopped the crotch shot out," she said. "And then he was like, ‘You look very pretty as a girl and I thought it was lovely.' We were just like, ‘OK, this is really weird. We don't have to talk abut it anymore.'"

Her other older brother didn't admit he had even seen the magazine until she saw it on his coffee table. "We didn't talk about it but then I went over his house and he and his fiancé had a copy of it with an orange Post-It in the middle of it," Lawrence said. "I was like, ‘Aww, you did buy it.'"

Follow Marc Malkin on Twitter and Facebook!

For more big screen goodies, check out our Movie Premiere Pandemonium photo gallery.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share