"Dude!" says Jennifer Lawrence into her cellphone. "I'm lost as ****! I've been driving around for, like, 10 minutes. Where the hell is this place?"
She's looking for a horse stable. We have plans to go horseback riding in the canyons above Malibu, but neither of us can find the place. I tell her to pull over and I'll come find her.
The most talented young actress in America is idling on a side street in her white Volkswagen, in blue jeans, a gray T-shirt and designer shades. Her naturally blond hair is pulled back in a loose ponytail, and her elbows are sticking out the open window. She's famous for playing vulnerable young women with wills of steel, as with her Oscar-nominated turn in Winter's Bone, or as the bow-and-arrow-toting Katniss Everdeen in the just-released Hunger Games. Right now her face says she means business.
"I have to pee so bad."
We drive a little more and find the stable, which, it turns out, isn't a stable, just a red-dirt parking lot where a horse trailer is parked. Lawrence jumps out of the VW and is off like a flash, running off down the trail in search of a bush. Two twentysomething hiker babes in sunglasses and sports bras, SoCal trail chic, do a double take as she sprints past. Was that...?
Lawrence, 21, has a way of making a first impression. Woody Harrelson, her Hunger Games co-star, still remembers their first meeting. "I was on my bus," he says, "and on my bus I have a yoga swing. Jennifer comes on, and she goes, 'Hi, Woody, I'm J— is that a sex swing?' Her first sentence to me."
Josh Hutcherson, also from The Hunger Games: "When I got cast, she called me up for one of those five-minute 'Excited to work with you, blah, blah, blah' things. The conversation started with her saying, 'Think about a catheter going in – ouch!' and then turns into a 45-minute rant about zombies and the apocalypse."
And here's Zoë Kravitz, who appeared with Lawrence in X-Men: First Class and who is one of her best friends: "I'd met her a few times, and she was like, 'You should come over and we'll hang out.' So I go over to her apartment, and she opens the door in a towel. She's like, 'Come in, sorry, you're early, I was about to shower.' And she drops her towel and gets in the shower, and starts shaving her legs, totally naked. She was like, 'Are we here yet? Is this OK?' And I was like, 'I guess we're there!'"
Lawrence finishes peeing in record time ("I'm the fastest pee-er ever," she says later. "I'm famous for it") and starts heading back down the trail. She's barely had time to button her jeans when the two hikers stop her. "I'm sorry to bother you," one says. "But could I get your autograph? My niece is 15. It would make her year."
Fifteen-year-old nieces are Lawrence's sweet spot right now. The Hunger Games trilogy is the biggest teen juggernaut since Twilight, with 24 million copies of the books in print. And since its post-apocalyptic action-packed love story appeals to boys as much as girls, experts are predicting the movie to make approximately a gajillion dollars, with three sequels already in the works.
Back in the parking lot, we meet up with our guide, Jasmin, who introduces us to our mounts for the day. Lawrence gets a white mare named Nay-Nay, who Jasmin says had a cameo in HBO's Band of Brothers. "Oh!" Lawrence says, petting her on the nose. "You're famous!"
Video of cover shoot:
Source: Rolling Stone