Jennifer Lawrence received fan adoration and critical acclaim for her performance as Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games films. Now she is getting another kind of recognition: as the inspiration for a new generation of activists. During our conversation with the Red Sparrow star, Yahoo Entertainment showed her a tweet from author Lyndsay Faye that held up Katniss as well as Harry Potter‘s Hermione as models for the teenage girls at the forefront of the #NeverAgain movement for gun control. Though Lawrence visibly cringed when we mentioned Twitter, she was thrilled to learn that Katniss might have helped teach young people how to speak truth to power. Watch the video above.
“That is really, really awesome,” Lawrence responded. Breaking it down for her Red Sparrow co-star Joel Edgerton, she explained, “I think that it means that putting empowering female characters out there is inspiring young people, which is great.”
Added the much-scrutinized star, “That is the first positive thing I’ve heard from the internet in years!”
The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, some of whom have become outspoken advocates for gun control legislation in the wake of the Feb. 14 school shooting, would have been in upper elementary and middle school when the first Hunger Games movie opened in 2012. In recent weeks, the name of the films’ heroine (who ends up leading a rebellion to overthrow a corrupt government) has appeared frequently in connection with the real-life teenage activists. Lawrence said that she feels honored by the comparison.
“I’ve been so impressed by these students and what they’re doing,” Lawrence says. “I’m so proud and blown away to watch these young people engage and educate themselves and empower themselves.”
Red Sparrow opens in theaters on March 2.