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Jennifer Lawrence has included a wide array of movies in her prolific filmography. But when her career was first ramping up, she confided there was one film she starred in that briefly had her seek help.

Jennifer Lawrence once revealed that acting worked better than therapy for her social anxiety

Jennifer Lawrence at 'Don't Look Up' premiere.
Jennifer Lawrence | Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Movie star Jennifer Lawrence’s passion for acting has helped her in more ways than one. Apart from setting her up for life financially, there was an emotional and mental benefit to dealing with her problems. Growing up, Lawrence asserted she had a very energetic and engaging personality. But that seemed to change after attending school.

“I was hyperactive, curious about everything. When my mother told me about my childhood, she always told me there was like a light in me, a spark that inspired me constantly. When I entered school, the light went out. We never knew what it was, a kind of social anxiety. But I had friends,” she once told French magazine Madame Figaro (via Us Weekly).

She tried getting her light back with traditional therapy.

“Nothing worked,” she explained.

But what did work was acting, which she tried out on a whim.

“One day, I begged my parents to take me to a casting,” she said. “We went to New York, and that’s where I started acting. Just on stage, my mother saw the change that was taking place in me. She saw my anxieties disappear. She found her daughter, the one who had this light and joy before school.”

The movie that sent Jennifer Lawrence to therapy

The Poker House was a 2008 independent feature that saw Lawrence starring alongside Selma Blair and Chloe Grace Moretz. The film told the story of a young girl watching over her two younger sisters in a dangerous environment. Directed by Lori Petty, Lawrence confided that the movie’s darkness lingered even after the film wrapped.

With The Poker House I was 16 and it was my first movie. Now fortunately I know how to leave the character when I leave work. In fact, it leaves me after [the director] calls cut. But with that [film] I just felt I had to take all of it on, and it did take a toll on me,” Lawrence once said in an interview with Filmmaker.

Lawrence found it hard to shake off a character that she’d spent months living with. Despite the impression the film left on her, however, she asserted it wasn’t too big of an issue.

“My friend knows a therapist and I just talked to her for a little while. I just needed someone to talk to,” she said.

Jennifer Lawrence once shared she lost control after ‘The Hunger Games’


Jennifer Lawrence Faced Her Ex and Extreme Fame In 1 Intense Moment

The Poker House wasn’t the only movie that took a brief mental toll on the Oscar-winner. Lawrence was cast in The Hunger Games in 2012, becoming the face of the four-film popular franchise. But with her star-power reaching new heights at the time, there was a moment Lawrence wasn’t sure she’d be able to handle it.

“I think I lost a sense of control. Between The Hunger Games coming out and winning the Oscar [for 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook], I became such a commodity that I felt like every decision was a big, big group decision. When I reflect now, I can’t think of those following years, [because there was] just a loss of control,” she once said on London Film Festival’s Screen Talk (via Variety).