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tv   CNN Spotlight  CNN  February 28, 2016 4:30pm-5:01pm PST

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cnn.com/awardsvote. i'll see you after the broadcast, i'm going to go inside and get my oscars on. michaela, i'll see you inside. good night, everybody, thanks for watching. >> thank you. can i had honesty. >> i have no idea what i'm doing here. it feels insane. >> and a wicked separates of humor. >> what are you going to do if you lose? >> i'm going to go, what? >> catapulted jennifer lawrence to the top. >> it's absolutely incredible. i've been incredibly blessed. >> starring in the biggest hits. >> you can't really pigeonhole her into a certain type. >> winning the most prestigious awards. >> it's so unexpected. it just kind of feels like you're like living in this
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dream. >> collecting one of the largest paychecks for an actress under 30. >> she almost has a timeless quality to her, which i do feel. >> never afraid to take chances. >> she's so much fun to work with and so free and uninhibited. >> never afraid to fall down. >> what went through my mind when i fell down? >> a bad word that i can't say. >> dozens of celebrities were exposed this week when their explicit photos were stolen and posted online. >> and through it all, resilient. even in the face of scandal. >> she's got a voice. she's got thick skin. >> tonight, we focus or cnn spotlight on jennifer lawrence. ♪ ♪ the look. the laugh. and that confident walk. it's an attitude jennifer lawrence has had her whole life.
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>> see how she's walking across. >> that's her right there. >> you got to make a strong start when you're talking about auditions. >> charlie sexton remember it is well. he was her eighth grade acting coach. >> she sort of had that sort of nonchalant, nothing's going to bother me air about her. >> what? what is happening? >> what is happening is happening. >> she always said, i'm doing this, i'm going to make it. >> years before the red carpet, hollywood's it girl was strutting her stuff across this stage. far from the spotlight. >> this is it. >> when jennifer was here this would have been a classroom space. >> in this very space. >> in this very space. >> in louisville, kentucky, where jennifer lawrence calls home. >> she grew up in indian hills. which is a nice suburban neighborhood in louisville. >> local reporter josh moss landed a rare interview with jennifer in her family in 2010. >> growing up here was easy for
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her to be sort of grounded in her family. and family is really important to her. >> the youngest of three, jennifer was the first girl on her dad's side in 50 years. >> her brother, ben, told me that her nickname was nitro growing up. she just probably had so much energy and just being around them sort of trying to follow in their footsteps. >> she can be rough and rowdy. she had two older brothers, she can hold her own. >> amanda cornish knew the lawrences well. especially jennifer. >> they're tight. they're supportive of each each other. they work together. i mean you look at them working on the campaign together. >> jennifer and her brothers spent their summers at the family's camp just outside of louisville. amanda was a counselor there. >> how important was the camp to the lawrence family? >> i think very important. because they got out of louisville and they got to go to the country. >> it was where jennifer loved
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horseback riding and eventually graduated from camper to assistant nurse. >> i was going to be a doctor, but i basically i was always putting on shows. >> early on, a different dream started to stick. >> i would put on an outfit and knock on somebody's door and say my name is judy and my car just broke down. >> jennifer's passion for acting even upstaged her passion for sports. >> she wanted to put on a a costume. the catcher, the goalie. her mom said jennifer would turn cartwheels down the field as opposed to playing. jennifer was hooked. >> even at that young age she knew that's what she wanted to pursue. >> knowing the fact that her family is such a sports-oriented family. did that recognize that early on? >> her mother said had jennifer been able to throw a pitch, we would have recognized the talent. but with acting they didn't know what a good actor was or a good actress was. >> so it was like i was always an actress, we didn't really realize it until i became an
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actress. and they were like oh, that makes sense the. >> her first official performance came at the age of nine. >> she played a role at church. >> her mother said they were doing a play about the book of jonah and her quote was she played a prostitute from ninevah and she said she played the best little prostitute. >> she stood out as somebody who absolutely wanted to do this. >> jennifer enrolled if her first acting class right after her 14th birthday. >> do you remember her saying charl charlie, put me in. >> she was precocious and she was energetic. >> few months in and jennifer was tackling the role of desdemona in shakespeare's "owe they willo." captured in this never before seen video. >> make me go to bed and beg me to -- to dismiss you. >> so did the 14-year-old version of jennifer lawyers pull off shakespeare? >> i think so she sings in that
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scene, too. ♪ ♪ >> she had to sing a cappella and that's not easy to do. >> that's brave. >> it doesn't surprise me she had the courage to do that. she was determined and unflappable. >> when she wasn't performing, she was just a normal student at cammerer middle school. >> one and two and ready and go. ♪ >> where amanda cornish was also her band teacher. >> what was she like in class playing the owno. >> quick wit and sarcasm. >> she could have a punchline in at the end of something and she created that little moment where it's like -- it's no surprise jennifer was voted most talkative in class. >> she talked quite a bit. i remember one of her other teachers, how do you get her to
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be quiet. and i'm like, you put something in her mouth, like an oboe. >> but none of that distracted this young woman from her goal, to be an actor. >> one of the reasons she stood out is that she verbally expressed to me and anyone around her, that this is what she was going to do for her career. >> and jennifer knew that meant leaving kentucky for new york city. >> when i was 14 my parents weren't going to let me do it my brothers called and said -- you know you guys, you guys followed us to the world series, you guys have been all over the country for us, you would do it for us if it was sports and this is her baseball diamond and you have to let her do it. >> and her mother said, hopefully this will just get it out of her system. we'll try this once and then it's over. >> in the spring of 2005, jennifer and her mom flew to new york. coming up, lawrence fights for the role that could put her on the map. >> i had to chase them down.
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they said you didn't have the right look and i was just kind of flew there to tell them, that didn't matter.
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♪ the busy streets of new york city. far from the rolling hills of louisville, kentucky. it was spring break 2005. and a 14-year-old jennifer lawrence was chasing her dream. >> they're in union square watching these street dancers and a guy comes out with a camera, which both in hindsight jennifer and her mother said was kind of creepy. but he was with h & m, he takes her photo and from then on, different offers came in for different ads. >> she landed modeling jobs and acting gigs like this commercial for mtv show, "my super sweet 16." >> for lawrence there was no turning back.
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>> she called one night and jennifer said -- dad, i saw a rat as big as shadow. i asked her dad, what's shadow. and he said, that's our big black cat. but the cool thing about that was, they knew that she loved what she was doing and where she was living, even though it was this crummy apartment in new york because she didn't complain about that at all. >> her parents weren't so sure, but let jennifer stay through the summer. amanda cornish was working with jennifer's mother then. >> she was nervous, but very supportive. >> as the summer came toe an end, her father flew to new york to bring jennifer home for the beginning of the school year. but when he arrived, an agent called to bring jennifer to los angeles instead. >> i just remember when it was like she's not coming back. like -- this is where this is going to go. >> her career took off and jennifer moved to los angeles.
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>> i got scared. >> bit parts in several series like "cold case" "monk" and "medium." and then in july of 2007, a starring role in a new tv series. "the bill engval show." >> using the word "hip" means you're not. >> word. >> no. >> hound dog. >> please stop. >> i think it prepared her. it creates a certain discipline in a lot of these actresses. >> tatiana siegel is a film reporter for "the hollywood reporter." >> i'm still really mad at you. >> i think she always wanted roles that would challenge her. there aren't a lot of great tv role force women in their teens and 20s. >> lawrence's goal was the big screen. she auditioned for bella swan in the "twilight" series, but it won't be long before she got
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another chance. that would come from this man. >> she has the greatest talent i have seen in my life. raw talent. >> in 2007, gee area mo garriaga was casting a small independent film called "the burning plain" starring charlese theron and kim basinger. >> he saw lawrence's audition tape on the very first day of casting and he knew she was the one. >> my family was happy. too. >> the publishers were not sure of having her. >> and he got her. lawrence transformed from a fun-loving 17-year-old into serious actor. >> my sets are really relaxed. we have a lot of fun. but we're doing this really serious and intense film. and i said jennifer, you need to concentrate. and she would say no, we can shoot it right now. i'm going to do it perfectly.
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we began filming and i turned to this big guys, the crew, big strong guys, crying. and i was like -- wow. she was, i told you -- >> once the film wrapped, arriaga, who has worked with hollywood's biggest stars, knew this was just the beginning for jennifer lawrence. >> when we finished the film, i spoke to her and said, you're going to win many oscars. you're going to be extremely famous and you're going to be the most important actress of your generation. ♪ way down in missouri ♪ where i heard this melody >> and that prediction would come true almost immediately with her next film "winter's bone." >> i got a real bad need to talk
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with them. >> lawrence played the daughter of a meth dealer in the rural ozarks. it was a role she almost lost because film makers thought she was too pretty. >> i had to chase them down. they said i didn't have the right look and i was just kind of flew there to tell them that that didn't matter. >> it was a part that took her far from her louisville roots. but lawrence was determined. >> dad's your only brother. >> you think i forgot that? >> john hawks plays her uncle who is a real scary character. there's a scene where he grabs her hair and pulls her down. and she kept telling him, bring it. just bring it and they would do take after take and he kept saying am i hurting you? and she would say, no, do it again. >> a performance that brought critical acclaim. >> it's just so unexpected. it just kind of feels like you're like living in this dream. >> jennifer lawrence in "winter's bone." >> a dream that led to a best
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actress nod for lawrence making her one of the youngest oscar nominees ever. >> she probably never thought that she'd be talking about an oscar with her name. >> and probably never thought that 'sheed be meeting some of hollywood's biggest names. >> one meeting she had was at dreamworks with steven spielberg. i was like what did you do after you met steven spielberg. and she said, i went to my car and cried, what else do you do after you meet steven spielberg. >> you look for your next role. and this time, it was "the hunger games" a big picture, big-budget adaptation of the hit book series. >> i have to say that is the single biggest young female role of probably the last decade. >> big movie for an actress who had so far stuck to small films. coming up. >> dozens of celebrities were exposed this week.
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games premiere, excitement, even hyster hysteria. for the film's star, jennifer lawrence. >> it's unbelievable. and very humbling. it's amazing. >> amazing, for a 21-year-old actress who had been in the film business just four years. >> i volunteer as tribute. >> "the hunger games" was her biggest budget, highest profile movie to date. >> this is the time to show them everything. make sure they remember you. >> every young actress wanted this role. jennifer lawrence just you know really fought harder for it. >> time for the tour. >> lawrence had done action before. >> should we have to hide? >> playing the mutant mystique in the 2011 kpgs x-men" sequel. but "hunger games" was different. the physical demands were intense. months of training turned her
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into a warrior. >> she is somebody who sort of had muscle tone and you looked at her and she's not like this 90-pound person with a crossbow. she looks like she could actually -- >> she's a tough cookie. >> she looks like she can climb a tree. >> something her former director and friend says was close to home for jennifer. >> in a certain way it resembles her life in kentucky. she knows the woods. she knows how to fish. her mom used to have a campground for kids. in the woods. >> the film was a box office record-breaker and jennifer lawrence was now a household name. >> think that jennifer's performance in "the hunger games" deserves an oscar nomination. >> but the second nomination would have to wait until lawrence's next film. "silver linings playbook." >> i'm a crazy slut with a dead husband. >> lawrence played a promiscuous
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widow. battling her demons, a role initially intended for an older actress. >> this is a role that angelina jolie was slated to play. if you think of the age range between angelina jolie and jennifer lawrence, you're talking like 15 years or so. >> we were concerned she was too young for the role. >> "silver linings playbook" director, david o. russell. >> she almost has a timeless quality to her. sometimes she seems like she's 18, sometimes she seems like she's 40. >> that's right. >> i'm the reason why today happened. >> i think so. >> let's talk about that. >> be my guest. >> not afraid to go head to head with screen legend robert de niro. >> i did my research. >> wow, i got to say i'm impressed. >> thank you. >> he's very calm and nice and gets it done. >> it's a performance that won lawrence nearly every award. including her first oscar. >> it's absolutely incredible.
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yeah. i've been incredibly blessed. >> blessed, not just by her talent. but by a sense of humor. >> like when she fell in front of millions when accepting her academy award in 2013. >> what went through my mind when i fell down? >> a, a bad word that i can't say. >> it's those kinds of real moments that you see often with lawrence. >> you got a fan here. >> like when hollywood legend jack nicholson fawned all over her at "good morning america" after she won the oscar. >> oh, my god. >> or. on late night television. >> i get hyperand so then i go on interviews and i'm like a chihuahua and i'm shaking and peeing and afterwards i'm like, i just talked about peeing on the red carpet. >> old friends like amanda
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cornish say, it's not an act. >> as soon as they ask a question, she's got something to come back with something funny. whatever she fills it in with. >> no filter? >> no filter. >> you saw that back in the day? >> that was there in eighth grade. >> an unguarded, uncensored spirit that has all of hollywood lining up to work with her. >> she's so much fun to work with and just so free and just uninhibited. >> amy adams starred opposite lawrence in "american hustle." >> i got a ring on my finger. we have a child together. >> roles that landed them both academy award nominations. >> you know sometimes life all you have are [ bleep ]ed up poisonous choices. >> i remember thinking, there's nothing this girl can't do. >> yet, she's unfazed by the fame and the celebrity that has been the downfall of so many young stars. >> i don't see her going any
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other direction. >> i think she'll stay pretty rooted to ak country girl but knowing where she came from, knowing how she was raised. >> she's got the little bit of kentucky in her forever? >> yup. >> something she's needed throughout her career. especially in the summer of 2014. hackers stole her personal pictures, naked photos and posted them online. >> i think she handled it great you know. she sort of very rightly so, said like i'm a victim here and like anyone who looks at these, is you know sort of like really creepy. like you're feeding into something that's a crime. >> she's got thick skin. she's got a voice. >> a voice lawrence has used to climb to the top. a voice in the same league as one of hollywood's all-time greats. >> i think that she deserves to be in the same sentence as meryl streep. even at her young age.
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and a voice certain to resonate for years to come. ♪ ♪ >> i need a french coach.

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