Jennifer Lawrence opens up about social anxiety, childhood therapy, and trying to stay un-Hollywood in a new cover interview with French magazine Madame Figaro.
The star explains that she had serious adjustment issues while growing up, before acting turned everything around.
“My nickname was ‘Nitro,’ as in nitroglycerin,” she tells the magazine (as translated from the French).
She says, “I was hyperactive, curious about everything. When my mother [talks] 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.”
Lawrence continues, “We never knew what it was, a kind of social anxiety. But I had friends.”
Her struggle led her to therapy.
“I went to see a shrink, nothing worked,” recalls the Catching Fire star.
But she was saved by what eventually became her career.
“One day, I begged my parents to take me to a casting, we went to New York and that’s where I started acting,” Lawrence tells the magazine. “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 actress adds, “I finally found a way [to] open the door to a universe that I understood, that was good for me and made me happy. I felt capable, whereas before I felt worthless.”
Even though she’s become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, Lawrence is determined to stay grounded.
“I want my life [to be] as normal as possible,” she says. “One of the dangers in [show business] is that things [move] too fast… I do not want to burn the stages of my life. I want to keep it simple.”
As an example, Lawrence explains, “I do not have an assistant. [Someone] that helps me is my best friend. At the end of a day of shooting, I can go home and hang out with her… and not share time with someone who works for me.”