Jennifer Lawrence is best known for playing Katniss Everdeen, a character she calls “a reluctant hero” in a new interview with “Variety.” But just as her character unwittingly sparked a rebellion in “The Hunger Games,” it seems Lawrence has unknowingly become one of archery’s best-known ambassadors.
In March 2012, only three days after “The Hunger Games” arrived in U.S. theaters, Khatuna Lorig, the five-time Olympic archer who coached Lawrence for her movie role, predicted the actress would help add to archery’s mass appeal. Lorig told NPR:
“[Lawrence is] the best ambassador we have… I think she’s the one who’s gonna make archery more visible. That’s what’s happening — and I’m very happy.”
If anyone knows archery, it’s Khatuna Lorig. She shot her first wooden bow at the age of 12 in her native country, the Republic of Georgia. She’s represented three different countries — the Soviet Union, Georgia and USA – in five Olympics. She’s also a certified level II archery instructor who often works with beginning archers.
Lorig’s most famous student will reprise her role as Katniss when “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” opens Nov. 22.
In honor of the movie premiere, here are 5 things you didn’t know about Jennifer Lawrence, the archery student.
1. Looks were everything.
Lorig told espnW, “Jennifer was much like any other archery student I’ve taught, except for the fact that we were more concerned with how she looked than whether or not she was hitting her targets (that’s what special effects are for). As it turns out, she was surprisingly strong and good with the bow.”
2. Lawrence was “a natural.”
Lorig told “Yahoo! Sports” the archery tutorial was easy due to the actress’ athleticism, natural body for archery and determination to excel in the role. To espnW, Lorig said, “Jennifer had an easy time drawing the bowstring back, and she had a natural release that some archers only dream about.”
3. Lorig wanted Katniss as an Olympic teammate.
In an interview with “Fitness, Lorig was asked what fictional archer she would most like as a teammate for the 2012 London Olympics. The options were Katniss, Hawkeye from “The Avengers” and Merida from “Brave.” She chose Katniss.
4. Coaching Lawrence was a career highlight.
“I’ve been to [five] Olympics and I was the U.S. flag-bearer at the closing ceremonies in Beijing, but I can say that being a part of this movie is one of the top three best moments in my career,” Lorig said in an interview with espnW. “I’m very proud of my student — and very lucky.”
5. Lawrence learned quickly.
In an interview with Easton Foundation, Lorig said, “We did 10 lessons total. They each lasted for one hour a day. I started by teaching her the fundamentals and proper form. Early on in the training, we focused on not getting hurt and not moving the body when shooting. Not learning the proper techniques right from the start would only make things harder down the road, but after a few lessons, Jennifer was shooting about 100 arrows a day with an Olympic-style recurve. Her technique was great.”