In Union Square, she had a brush with destiny. Or more accurately, a talent scout.
“It wasn’t creepy, he didn’t ask to take me anywhere, he just wanted to take a picture,” Lawrence, now 21, told the Daily News. “And then all these agencies started calling and then we just kind of went (to do cold readings) out of boredom.
“And then my poor mother, it was all I talked about, my obsession.”
Nobody was bored watching her in those auditions; she was a natural. Commercial work followed, including a spot for MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16.”
In 2010, she notched her breakthrough role, a riveting performance in “Winter’s Bone” that netted her an Academy Award nomination.
And with “The Hunger Games,” opening Friday, her career is really set to explode.
It’s like having discovered the next Derek Jeter by seeing how a prospect walks by in a baseball cap.
“She obviously had some kind of ‘It’ factor that the scout recognized, and the fact she turned out to be an incredible actress on top of it was just luck,” said Scott Lipps, owner of One Management, which represents a bevy supermodels including Claudia Schiffer and Bar Rafaeli.
Luck for Lawrence, he said, but like winning the lottery for the scout in New York City, where girls walking the street that look like models are usually already modeling for another agency.
“I think the scouts that have been doing this for years,” said Lipps — who also stars in the E! reality series, “Scouted!” — “they have that vision and they have that uncanny ability to see a girl with no makeup who’s working in a fast food restaurant and know that with the right haircut … or the right presence in front of a camera, she could potentially be a star.”
Lawrence spent five years in New York, traveling the subway to modeling and acting jobs. She misses those days, she told the News.
“I was 14 when I went there. I loved it and I will always love New York,” said Lawrence. “Going back there and living there as a teenager, it was just a very surreal, kind of amazing experience for a Kentucky girl.”