year in culture 2012

Celebrity BFF of the Year: Jennifer Lawrence

Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends
Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends “The Place Beyond The Pines” premiere during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 7, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Sonia Recchia/Getty Images

In our idle moments, the staff at Vulture keeps an unofficial Celebrity Brunch League — a (fairly self-explanatory) running list of the famous people we’d like to share pancakes with. It’s a likability index, basically, but more intimate; we don’t just want to have a polite meal with these people, we would like to tell them about our lives. We want to break down last night’s drama and then order a third Bloody Mary and show them the weird text messages that random Dude X sent two weeks ago, because we are sure that they will have valuable insights. (Look, we spend a lot of time reading about celebrities.) Mandy Patinkin and Amy Poehler are on the list; Emma Stone was the commenter favorite for a while. But without question, 2012’s Celebrity Brunch League champion and general Presumed Best Human is the magical Jennifer Lawrence, whose charm is truly unparalleled in the modern interview age.

She complains about her fussy premiere clothes; she crashes into cars while looking for Honey Boo Boo.  There was that time that her entire family went to Sleep No More in search of orgies. My personal J-Law Revelation came during her March interview with David Letterman, right around the time she compared herself to a chihuahua peeing on the red carpet. It was your standard self-deprecating talk-show anecdote — except for the way that Lawrence yelled “peeing,” like she absolutely could not keep the word in, national television be damned. Jennifer Lawrence cannot be contained by your Movie Star Rules of Decorum; Jennifer Lawrence has too much to share.

This openness is what makes Jennifer Lawrence so appealing to the rest of us — the sense that she would come to brunch, and tell you not to text that guy back, and then call him an unprintable name (as opposed to, say, franchise rival Kristen Stewart, who clearly would rather die than say the word “mimosa.”) It helps, of course, that Lawrence’s career was on fire this year: Hunger Games lived up to its gigantic box office and franchise expectations, and Silver Linings Playbook made her the heavy favorite for Best Actress come Oscar-time. But how many times have we seen other well-respected and successful actresses tank on Letterman, or give some cringe-y quote about the consequences of being so beautiful to the men’s magazine of choice? There’s nothing to complain about in Jennifer Lawrence land.

There are no narcissistic quotes to be found, no strenuously false attempts at seeming like “regular” interspersed with talk about her “craft.” No, Lawrence is busy telling stories about the time her brothers tied her up, put peanut butter on her face and left her to bond with the family Dachshunds. If you’re curious about what those brothers look like, you can see them here, in the picture taken just after Jennifer Lawrence learned about her nomination for Winter’s Bone.  She is wearing shiny pajama pants and screaming, like any normal human would. May she stay that way.

Celebrity BFF of the Year: Jennifer Lawrence