It's always a joy talking with Jennifer Lawrence. She may be the highest paid, most in-demand actress in the world at the moment but she is also down-to-earth, self-deprecating and appears totally unaffected by her fame.
And she loves to laugh.
She has had high profile romances with some famous men but now, at the age of 27, she is unattached, alone....and loving it.
Since the end of last year when she broke up with writer-director Darren Aronofsky, who directed her in the horrific and mystifying mother!, she has been holed up in her five million pounds French-style home above Beverly Hills where she spends her evenings watching what she calls "terrible TV" and enjoying the single life.
"I am realising there are actually way more advantages to being single," she says. "I am in the single mode where I am like, cool, I can do whatever I want and I can be alone and watch terrible TV." Then she laughs: "And then, of course, in a few months I will be devastatingly lonely and feel like I am on some long waiting list, because that is what comes with single life." Then she adds: "But I am not there yet."
Until a couple of years ago she lived in a small, two-bedroom rented apartment but now her home is on a guard-gated private street above Beverly Hills and secluded behind tall bamboo. Her neighbours include Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, Cameron Diaz and Nicole Kidman.
"People think my life must be different but it's actually pretty normal," she says. "I've always been a homebody and my social life has always been very boring. I sit around outside my house with my friends and drink wine and that hasn't really changed. I don't like to go out. "
She happily describes her life at home with her dog Pippi Lawrence-Stocking, a chihuahua mix whose picture hangs above her mantelpiece.
"When I come home I unlock the door and greet Pippi. I say 'Mommy's home! Mommy's home!' Pippi is so excited and we do the wiggle-wiggle." She stands up and wiggles her hips. "Then I take her outside to do potty and then I feed her and turn on TV and probably pour myself a glass of wine.
"I just watch TV, I don’t do anything interesting. I can’t take Pippi for a walk, because of the coyotes that are around."
She has had to be away a lot recently to promote her new film Red Sparrow, in which she plays a young Russian ballerina forced to become a sexy spy after an accident ends her ballet career. She enrolls in the elite "Sparrow School," where she learns to seduce and deceive and to let herself go so that she can better serve her country.
She is stripped naked, beaten, tortured and abused in a series of brutally graphic scenes which took Jennifer Lawrence further than she has ever been before on screen.
|Super spy: Jennifer with Joel Edgerton in Red Sparrow|
"This movie definitely took me out of my comfort zone and it challenged me in ways that I have never asked myself to be challenged before," she says.
She has shied away from nudity and sexuality on screen ever since the nude pictures she was sending to then-boyfriend Nicholas Hoult were hacked and published on the Internet.
"There was a long period in my life when I didn’t really want to be seen sexually and I didn’t want anybody to see my flesh and there were certain things that made me uncomfortable. I thought 'I'll never do that again. I'll never share that part of myself ever since it got shared against my will.'
"But if I wanted to tell the story, then I was going to have to get over that fear. There’s a lot of dark material in this movie that is going to make a lot of people uncomfortable, but for us to tell the story in a correct and dangerous way and push the envelope to make it as true to form as possible was more important than the fears that I have had for a lot of years.
"It was definitely going out of my comfort zone, but I am happy that I did it."