One of Hollywood's biggest stars is stepping away from the big screen to focus on a cause near to her heart. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Jennifer Lawrence announced she's taking a year off from acting to focus on political activism. The 27-year-old revealed that she will be working with the organization Represent.Us to help get out the vote among young people and encourage congress to back anti-corruption laws to prevent citizens from dealing with unfair laws as they head to the polls. It's not surprising that Lawrence's break from acting isn't a "break" in the traditional sense, because since she arrived on the Hollywood scene, the Mother! (casting: Mary Vernieu) star has been vocal about her passion to create a positive change in the world.
UPDATE: A rep for Lawrence clarified to Entertainment Weekly that the actor will return to work when one of the projects she's attached to that are currently in development is ready to start production.
EARLIER: In her interview with ET, Lawrence explained her motivation to press pause on her career in order to use her status to raise voter awareness among the next generation. The actor said,
"I'm going to take the next year off. I'm going to be working with this organization as a part of Represent.Us ... trying to get young people engaged politically on a local level. It doesn't have anything to do with partisan [politics]. It's just anti-corruption and stuff trying to pass state by state laws that can help prevent corruption, fix our democracy."
Lawrence's decision is one that could ultimately make a real difference. There's no denying that her name carries clout with many of the people in the demographic she's trying to reach. After years of playing Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games (co-producer: Diana Alvarez) trilogy and Mystique in the X-Men (special effects makeup artist: Liz Briseno) franchise, she's already seen as a superhero to many — and she's never taken that fact lightly.
In December, Lawrence received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment event, and her acceptance speech highlighted her desire to use her celebrity in a productive way. Lawrence told the crowd,
"It's not easy to speak out. It's not easy to face criticism on a global scale. But the fact is I have been given a platform, and if I don't use it, then I don't deserve it. This last year has been a trying and challenging time in our world and our industry specifically. Every day, we wake up to a myriad of headlines that deeply impact us, from around the globe."
While it's not entirely clear at what point Lawrence decided to use her break from acting to focus on activism, it seems that recent events impacted her choice. Lawrence has been planning her break since at least September. She first broke the news during an interview with Savannah Guthrie on an episode of NBC News' Today Show. However, at the time, she didn't appear to know exactly what she wanted to do with her time off. In fact, when Guthrie asked Lawrence what she planned to do during her acting hiatus, the Hunger Games actor joked, "Start making pots?"
Thanks to the launch of the Time's Up movement, a lot has changed in Hollywood since September. In January, Lawrence signed the Time's Up pledge along with many other women in her industry. Later that month, she attended the Women's March in Las Angeles alongside Cameron Diaz and Adele, according to Entertainment Tonight. In the past, Lawrence has spoken out against everything from the gender wage gap to fat-shaming. Her activism has always been a part of her, but for the next year, Lawrence's plan appears to be all about focusing her energy on giving back in a major way.
When you take into consideration the fact that Lawrence has been working virtually nonstop since she was 17, no one could fault her for taking a year off to simply relax. That simply doesn't appear to be Lawrence's style though. Instead, the gifted actor is proving once again that whether she's onscreen or off, she's a total hero.