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Jennifer Lawrence Admits To Struggling After The Hunger Games. Here's What Fixed It

While stars like Hailee Steinfeld almost played Katniss in the "Hunger Games" movies, it's tough to imagine anyone besides Jennifer Lawrence in the role at this point. By the time she debuted in "The Hunger Games," Lawrence was perhaps best known for her starring role in the gritty Ozark drama "Winter's Bone," as well as her turn as a young Mystique in "X-Men: First Class." Since then, Lawrence has added leading parts in a number of marquee films by well-known directors to her resume, including Darren Aronofsky's controversial "Mother!" and Adam McKay's similarly divisive "Don't Look Up."

While her work in these and other films may be notable, Lawrence has proven to be a substantially less prolific actor than many stars of equivalent fame. This is because Lawrence effectively took a break from the public sphere for an extended period of time following a string of substantial negative attention, much of which can be traced back to her rocket to stardom through "The Hunger Games." In a filmed conversation with Viola Davis, Lawrence detailed how she felt like she struggled with her career and her personal intuition in the wake of the franchise, before revealing how some self-imposed limitations helped her get back on track.

Lawrence's career intuition was thrown off (then restored)

For an episode of a Variety's Actors on Actors video series, Jennifer Lawrence sat down for a discussion with "The Woman King" star and fellow actress Viola Davis. At one point in their conversation, Davis asked Lawrence how business has affected her personal affection for the craft of acting. The star replied that her relationship with acting was most impacted at the height of her career, brought on by her lead role in "The Hunger Games." "I couldn't really be an observer of life because everybody was observing me," she explained. "And I could feel my craft suffering. I could feel my antenna for the business side suffering. And I didn't know how to fix it."

Lawrence went on to reveal that she tends to rely on her intuition to guide her through big career decisions, and the widespread attention she was getting altered her intuition to the extent that she began accepting roles haphazardly. "What I had to do was no movies until something spoke to me," she continued, describing how she read the script for Apple TV+'s drama film "Causeway" during an ensuing years-long break. Lawrence told Davis that she credits taking that lengthy acting break before appearing as Lynsey in "Causeway" with helping her get back in touch with her intuition for the first time since her struggles began with "The Hunger Games."

Lawrence's time as a Hunger Games star was physically challenging

Jennifer Lawrence's time after "The Hunger Games" may have been emotionally taxing, but the actress also faced plenty of physical issues due to the franchise's strenuous shooting process. In fact, the star once revealed that she suffered from an extended period of hearing loss after filming wrapped on 2013's "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." "I went deaf in one ear for months," Lawrence told Vanity Fair. "But that wasn't actually physically challenging. It was just ear challenging because I got all of these ear infections from the diving and the water and all of that stuff. And then a jet from one of the cornucopia scenes punctured my eardrum."

Fortunately, Lawrence made a full recovery from her ear-related injuries, but she soon faced yet another worrying issue. Around the time of the Los Angeles premiere of "Catching Fire," the actress fell ill. "I was getting these really bad abdominal pains for three weeks," she said on Good Morning America. "I did that thing where I'm like, 'I'm not going to go the doctor.' Then, I finally had a day where I was like, 'No, I need to get this looked at.'" The source of the illness was never publicly confirmed, but Lawrence once again recovered.

It's clear that Lawrence's time both during and after "The Hunger Games" was challenging in multiple regards. Thankfully, the actress made it through and is back to making plenty of great Jennifer Lawrence movies.