WHO:The most powerful actor in Hollywood.
WHY: In August 2014, Jennifer Lawrence was a victim of the biggest intrusion of privacy since the phone hacking scandal, when scores of illegally acquired, compromising photos of (mostly female) celebrities flooded onto the web. But instead of curling up into a ball, she’s spent 2015 taking zero shit from anyone.
In October, she penned an essay on the Hollywood pay gap between men and women in the industry in which she declared, quite brilliantly, that she was “over trying to find the adorable way to state my opinion”, opening a long-overdue conversation that’s sent ripples throughout the film world and beyond. Lawrence acknowledged it’s difficult to squeeze out too many tears for the poor little millionaire (“I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me,” she said later), but there’s a trickle-down effect. How many women, on reading it, looked around their own office and just wondered?
Whether Hollywood sits up and pays attention is yet to be seen. Lawrence is taking matters into her own hands anyway: she’s announced she’s to direct her first film in 2016 (on “mental warfare in the ’60s”). She has, of course, owned the screen this year with the conclusion of the mega-hit series The Hunger Games.
Other things she did in 2015: had a chart hit with ‘The Hanging Tree’, gave comedian Aziz Ansari a piggyback, went for a night out with a drawn-on monobrow and shared almost none of it on social media. Jennifer Lawrence is, quite simply, a very cool film star.
WHAT SHE SAYS: “I tell my friends to slap me if they ever think I’m getting full of myself.”
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT HER: “She is a wonderful actress. Her best asset is her level of relaxation.” – Bradley Cooper
HOW SHE MADE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE: By calling bullshit on the pay differences between men and women.
Read about why we picked the rest of our People of the Year 2015:
Taylor Swift – For establishing herself as the most powerful pop star on the planet
Kendrick Lamar – For making rap righteous again
The Libertines – For the year’s most beautiful (and unlikely) comeback
Mhairi Black – For changing the face of British politics
Skepta – For taking grime global
Miley Cyrus – For refusing to conform, and celebrating diversity
Nicki Minaj – For speaking out on race, gender and sexuality
Mathieu Flamini – For trying to save the world with his geo-energy company GF Biochemicals
Adele – For breaking every record in music history
JJ Abrams – For re-awakening The Force
Noel Gallagher – For cutting through the crap and making us laugh