Top Speed: 144 mph
Miles to the Gallon: 22/30 city/highway
“Even as far back as when I started acting at 14, I know I’ve never considered failure.”
With a net worth somewhere in the area of $130 million, there is no doubt that Jennifer Lawrence is someone who can enjoy the finer things in life. The star of X-Men: First Class (2011), The Hunger Games (2012) and its sequels, and the Darren Aronofsky cult favorite Mother! (2017) is one of the hottest, and highest-earning, young stars out there right now, but you might not guess it to see the car she drives. Not a Lamborghini or a Ferrari or a Porsche, but a simple Volkswagen Eos with an MSRP in the area of $35,000. Not the most exciting car in the world, but reliable, stylish and fun to drive. If you think about it, though, it’s the perfect car to match the actress’ surprisingly down-to-earth personality.
Growing Up Tough
Jennifer Lawrence’s upbringing was anything but pampered. Born August 15, 1990 to construction worker Gary Lawrence and summer camp manager Karen in Indian Hills, Kentucky, Jennifer was always an outdoorsy type. Karen raised Jennifer and her two brothers to be tough, outdoorsy kids. In fact, her mother had succeeded a little too well, and didn’t want the young J-Law playing with other girls at her preschool because she worried that her tomboy daughter might play too rough for them, being used to the horseplay she enjoyed with her brothers. At school Jennifer Lawrence played, among other sports, basketball, where she was actually enlisted by the boys’ team, coached by her dad, and she was always eager to ride horseback whenever the opportunity presented itself. You could say that Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games was the role she was raised to play.
It wasn’t all fun and games for the young Jennifer Lawrence, however. Not having many friends at school, she developed social anxiety, which did not suit her hyperactive personality, and she always felt like an outsider growing up. She found her solace in the stage. Performing allowed her to truly find her place in society, which had eluded her in everyday interactions. At age nine she was cast in her first church play, and would take every part she could at musicals and plays put on by the church.
While many actresses go seeking their big break, for Jennifer Lawrence it was a stroke of luck. The family was on vacation to New York City, and here she was spotted by a talent scout who immediately set up auditions for the young actress. Her mother wasn’t too hot on the idea at first, but it’s hard to argue with success, which Jennifer immediately achieved, impressing talent agents at readings and being signed by talent agency CESD. Still seeing resistance from her parents, Jennifer continued to press on, dropping out of school at age fourteen and taking what parts she could between visits back home to work at the family summer camp as an assistant nurse.
Like many young performers, Lawrence got her start with small parts on shows like Monk (2006), Medium (2007) and Company Town (2006). She would land a sitcom role as, guess what, a rebellious teenager on The Bill Engvall Show (2007-09), and then make her way to the silver screen starting with Garden Party (2008). More film roles would follow, with her first real major starring role being Winter’s Bone (2010). Set in the rural Ozark Mountains, Jennifer Lawrence had her experience as a tomboy to draw on, but in order to really deliver an authentic performance she would take a week in the Ozarks to learn how to survive out in the sticks. The film was a relatively small scale independent affair, but announced Jennifer Lawrence as one of the most exciting new talents of the era.
Offers for serious, dramatic films came in one after another, but soon enough she was hungry for something a little more fun than dreary independent dramas. She found it in X-Men: First Class (2011), taking over the role of Mystique from Rebecca Romijn. Wearing nothing but blue makeup from head to toe for most of the film, Lawrence practiced yoga and lost weight for the part of the shapeshifting mutant. The film went on to earn $350 million at the box office, confirming Lawrence as a major box-office draw. The Hunger Games (2012) would prove that she didn’t even need the ensemble cast, she could carry a whole film series as the lead.
By the mid-2010s, Jennifer Lawrence was an actor who could pick and choose her roles as she pleased. She returned to the role of Mystique for X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), featured in the Hunger Games sequels Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015), co-starred with Chris Pratt in Passengers (2016) and returned to her indie film roots with Mother! (2017). Jennifer Lawrence has, without a doubt, proven herself as Hollywood royalty.
Keep It Simple
With all of her fame, wealth and prestige, it may seem odd that Jennifer Lawrence drives such a simple car as the Volkswagen Eos. However, this seems quite in-character with her lifestyle in general. Sure, she could afford to wrap herself in designer clothes and cruise around Los Angeles in a $250,000 European sports car, but it’s more likely you’ll see her in t-shirt and jeans, enjoying the simple things in life.
And make no mistake, the Eos is nothing to sneeze at. Produced from 2006 to 2015 by Volkswagen, the Eos is everything you expect from the brand. A stylish little compact convertible car built on high-end German engineering, Lawrence’s looks to be a 3.6 VR6 model, with a powerful 256 hp engine and a six speed direct-shift gearbox.
At just $35,000, or a little less if you can find a gently pre-owned model, this is one of the few celebrity cars that the average driver can easily see themselves driving one day. As unusual as it may be to see one of the world’s biggest actresses driving such an affordable auto, it suits Jennifer Lawrence’s humble, down-to-earth persona just as Jay-Z’s Maybach Exelero suits him as a billionaire rap mogul. There’s no such thing as “the best car in the world,” there’s just “the best car for you,” and for Jennifer Lawrence, we have to admit that the Volkswagen Eos is a perfect fit.
“It was like pulling teeth trying to get me to L.A. I hated it for so long, but now I’ve got this great life here.”