Born on Aug. 15, 1990, in Louisville, Ky. Nicknamed ”Nitro” by her family. ”I was very hyper.”
Heads to NYC to pursue acting. Shows parents article about future Hunger Games costar Josh Hutcherson. ”I was like, ‘He’s from Kentucky and made it. I can do it too!”’
Moves to L.A., where she works as a nanny; soon lands first major role on TBS’ The Bill Engvall Show.
Auditions for Twilight’s Bella. ”I don’t think I had even read the books. When it came out I was like, ‘Whoa, okay, that’s what that was.”’
Stars in Winter’s Bone at Sundance; follows her unglam turn with a sexy Esquire shoot. ”I was like, ‘I am a girl and I can be a girl.’ Esquire helped me get X-Men. It was a great move professionally.”
Scores a Best Actress nod for Winter’s Bone; makes headlines with her red-hot Calvin Klein.
Cracks an incest joke about her brother in Rolling Stone, introducing us to her lack of filter. ”My mom was like, ‘Jen! This is not funny!”’
Offered the role of Katniss in The Hunger Games. ”I walked around thinking, ‘It’s not too late, I could still go back and do indies.’ My mom told me I was being a hypocrite because I always said, ‘I don’t care about budget. I care about story.”’
Becomes highest-grossing action heroine ever when Games earns $408 million; her salary for the sequel jumps to $10 million. ”Fame changes you. I always imagined I would stay the exact same…and I’m not.”
Wins Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook. Trips on gown, gets standing ovation, wins legions of fans with her speech: ”Thank you. You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell, and that’s really embarrassing.”
Reteams with Playbook director David O. Russell and costar Bradley Cooper on the ’70s-set American Hustle (out Dec. 13).
While shooting X-Men: Days of Future Past, announces her first producing project, The Rules of Inheritance. ”I love producing because it’s way easier than acting. I’m kidding!”