Two years ago, Jennifer Lawrence made Academy Awards history when at 23 she became the youngest performer to collect her third nomination, which came for her role in American Hustle. That was only 10 months after an Oscar win for Silver Linings Playbook made her the second youngest Best Actress winner at 22 (Children of a Lesser God winner Marlee Matlin holds the record at 21).
And with today’s nod for the comedic drama Joy, the 25-year-old Lawrence becomes the youngest actor ever, male or female, to earn four Oscar nominations. The previous record, according to AwardsWatch, belonged to Jennifer Jones, who scored acting noms over four consecutive years (1944-47) and was 27 when she landed the last one.
Lawrence’s nomination for the David O. Russell-directed Joy was no shock, yet it was no shoo-in. Unlike Russell’s last few efforts — The Fighter, Playbook, and Hustle — Joy divided critics and didn’t have much of a pulse heading into awards season. Lawrence received stellar reviews for her sparkling portrayal of the ambitious working-class mom turned Miracle Mop mogul Joy Mangano. But her casting also drew snickers, since Mangano was in her mid-30s when the film’s story begins and well into her 40s by its end. Lawrence also played older women in Playbook and Hustle, but this role stretched credulity for some critics. (Suggested viewing: FunnyorDie’s satirical trailer for “Really Really Old Lady Who Still Looks Totally Young and Hot,” starring Lawrence as an 89-year-old.)
Academy voters clearly didn’t care, nor did the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (who awarded Lawrence the Best Actress, Musical or Comedy Golden Globe on Sunday) or the Broadcast Film Critics, who also nominated her for Best Actress (one of three nominations she scored).
The Joy-ful Oscar nomination continues an incredible run for J.Law, who just wrapped up the box-office behemoth that was The Hunger Games series and recently topped Forbes’s list of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses.
Lawrence is now positioned to threaten the record of Meryl Streep. The younger actress has earned four Oscar nominations over the past six years, beginning with 2011’s nod for Winter’s Bone. Let’s say Lawrence was to keep up that pace for the next four decades, until she reaches the same age Streep is today, 66. According to our calculations, Lawrence would have 31 nominations by time she turned 66. Streep, by contrast, has 19.
That might sound outrageous, but it’s hard to see Lawrence’s momentum stopping anytime soon. There’s no doubt she is being offered the best scripts in Hollywood, and she has several promising projects in the pipeline. First she’ll star opposite Chris Pratt in the romantic sci-fi drama The Passengers, which is slated for an awards-friendly December release. After that she’ll headline Steven Spielberg’s war film It’s What I Do, playing a real-life photographer held captive by the Libyan army (sounds awardsy, no?). And she’s also been cast in the next film to be directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), which is currently untitled. That could be three more nominations in the next two years alone.
Plus, you can bet your Miracle Mop David O. Russell will be writing some more meaty roles for her. He might even write one for someone her own age.
Watch the Oscar nominations and Yahoo’s post-show: