Jennifer Lawrence Reveals She Suffered From Social Anxiety, Used Acting to Cope

"My nickname was ‘Nitro' as nitroglycerin. I was hyperactive, curious about everything," the Hunger Games star tells Madame Figaro magazine

By Alyssa Toomey Nov 18, 2013 6:37 PMTags
Jennifer Lawrence, Madame FigaroMadame Figaro

Jennifer Lawrence may seemingly breeze through life in the Hollywood biz, but things haven't always been so easy for the Oscar-winning actress.

"My nickname was ‘Nitro' as nitroglycerin. I was hyperactive, curious about everything," the Hunger Games: Catching Fire star tells French magazine Madame Figaro in a new interview, looking stunning on the cover in a high-fashion Christian Dior ensemble. "When my mother told me about my childhood, she always told me there was like a light in me, a spark that inspired me constantly. When I entered school, the light went out."

"We never knew what it was, a kind of social anxiety," she reveals. "I went to see a shrink. Nothing worked."

VIDEO: Jennifer Lawrence fashion flashback!

But that all changed once Lawrence discovered her true passion at an early age.

"One day, I begged my parents to take me to a casting, we went to New York and that's where I started acting," she shares. "Just on stage, my mother saw the change that was taking place in me. She saw my anxieties disappear. She found her daughter, the one who had this light and joy before school." 

The Silver Linings star adds that acting made her feel like found her place in the world: 

"I finally found a way to open the door to a universe that I understood, that was good for me and made ​​me happy, because I felt capable, whereas before I felt worthless," she says. "This is why mom fought for me to be an actress."

In addition to sharing her early struggles with social anxiety, J.Law, who is famous for her down-to-Earth demeanor, also opens up about her desire to have a normal life, and, despite being one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, the A-list beauty admits she doesn't even have an assistant (!).

"I want my life is as normal as possible," she says. "One of the dangers in the film industry is that things are too fast...I want to keep it simple."

"I do not have an assistant," the 23-year-old star adds. "One [thing] that helps me is my best friend. At the end of a day of shooting, I can go home and hang out with her, do what we do…and not share time with someone who works for me."

Watch: Jennifer Lawrence's Fashion Flashback