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The Jennifer Lawrence Legacy: PopCrush Predicts Elizabeth Olsen Will Be Hollywood’s Next ‘It’ Actress

Jennifer Lawrence Elizabeth Olsen
Rob Kim/ Amanda Edwards, Getty Images

Whether she’s joking with Josh Hutcherson, photobombing Taylor Swift on the red carpet or gracefully laughing off a wipeout en route to receiving her Oscar, Jennifer Lawrence is all the Internet can talk about.

Like other “It” girls before her, Jennifer rose to fame due to a successful formula that includes her unique personality, her genuine approach to interviews and her resume full of critically acclaimed work. While we don’t think Jen’s like-ability is going to disappear, a new up-and-coming star is bound to inherit her spotlight. With so many talented actresses gaining traction in Hollywood, the PopCrush staff is placing our best bet on Elizabeth Olsen, and here’s why:

Independent Women

Although she modeled and appeared on ‘The Bill Engvall Show’ as a teenager, Jennifer first gained international attention for her role as Ree Dolly in the independent drama ‘Winter’s Bone.’ In 2010, at only 20 years old, Jennifer was praised by Roger Ebert for embodying “a fierce, still center that is the source of her heroism. She makes no boasts, issues no threats, depends on a dogged faith that people will do the right thing — even when no one we meet seems to deserve that faith.”

All of the sudden, Jennifer’s name was on every ballot: the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. A fresh face amongst A-list actresses like Natalie Portman and Nicole Kidman, the role of Ree proved the young star could hold her own in Hollywood.

Like Jennifer, Elizabeth held a few small parts before receiving major acclaim in her first movie role, independent thriller ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene.’ The role required a lot out of the actress — innocence and numbness, naiveté and damage — but at only 21 years old, Elizabeth nailed it. In 2011, she was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead, an award Jennifer was also nominated for in 2010, and won in 2012.

“Elizabeth Olsen, a sister of the Olsen twins, is a genuine discovery here: childlike and yet deep, vulnerable but with a developing will, beautiful in a natural and unforced way,” Ebert raved. “Her appeal reminds me of Michelle Williams. She has a wide range of emotions to deal with here, and in her first major role, she seems instinctively to know how to do that.”

Actor John Hawkes appeared in ‘Winter’s Bone’ as Jennifer’s meth-addicted uncle, then later performed in ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ as the leader of the cult from which Elizabeth escaped. In an interview with Hitfix, Hawkes noted the similarities between the two stars.

“They’re very different actresses, but both, I guess, surprisingly beyond their years,” he said. “Lizzy was, as Jennifer was, game for the difficulties in difficult scenes that we shot and she was tireless. She’s in nearly every frame of the film. And like Jennifer, she’s able to kind of let that darkness go when the camera stops rolling. She has a great gift. I was just hugely impressed.”

Let’s Talk

While she’s most recognized as Katniss Everdeen in the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise, Jennifer Lawrence is also known for her ability to give a really, really good interview. Unconventional, yet always entertaining, Jen’s charm manages to light up the screen.

A quick look at Jennifer’s early interviews circa ‘Winter’s Bone’ reveal that the unfiltered actress wasn’t always quite so energetic. In fact, she comes off as rather soft-spoken, giving routine media-trained responses.

In late 2012, Jen’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ performance, coupled with her recent debut as Katniss Everdeen, made Jennifer Lawrence a household name. ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ the David O. Russell-directed romantic-comedy, featured Jennifer as a neurotic widow who just lost her job. The role — and the actress’ subsequent press tour — made her personality seem larger than life. Suddenly, Jennifer was everywhere, bantering with talk show hosts and dropping sound bites on the red carpet.

Likewise, Elizabeth Olsen captivates the audience when she’s chatting with reporters and TV hosts. Whether she’s gamely chatting about life as Mary-Kate and Ashley’s younger sib or admitting she had a childhood crush on John Stamos, Elizabeth always comes off as genuine. While she’s not tossing out LOL-worthy moments left and right like J. Law, she has a great sense of humor.

(Editor’s note: Don’t forget that Jennifer Lawrence admitted to crushing on Uncle Jessie, as well!)

In her short time in the public eye, Elizabeth has already proven that she can deliver interesting interviews and charming one-liners. Her press duties are definitely increasing (she has two big movies releasing this year!), so we predict she’ll be dropping even more quotable reactions.

elizabeth olsen

Coming Soon …

If Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t on your radar after her first Oscar nomination, then you were sure to catch wind of her once she signed on to play Katniss Everdeen in the four-part movie adaption of the young adult book series ‘The Hunger Games.’

While Jen was (and still is) anchoring the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise, she was also appearing in another major series — ‘X-Men.’ The actress went blue for her role as Mystique in 2011, a part she’s reprising for this year’s ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past.’

Elizabeth has surrounded herself with some of Hollywood’s biggest talents, including Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and Daniel Radcliffe. She appeared in the remake of ‘Oldboy’ and will star alongside Bryan Cranston in ‘Godzilla,’ hitting theaters this year.

Her biggest move to date: signing on to play the Scarlet Witch in the upcoming movie ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron.’ The first film in the ‘Avengers’ franchise banked more than $200 million in its opening weekend, making it a blockbuster hit. The exposure has already garnered Elizabeth major buzz, which will only build as the movie’s release date grows near.

Other ‘Avengers’ stars, like Roberty Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo, have years of major movies and awards under their belt. Like Jennifer, Elizabeth Olsen is stepping up to the plate with a fairly unknown resume. However, Elizabeth has proven, just like Jen, she has the chops to handle such an intensive role.

But, Mostly Importantly … No Twitter Presence

As much as the world seems to love Jennifer Lawrence, the actress has said she’s worried overexposure will cause the public to grow sick of her. And in an age of endless self-promotion, Jennifer has stated she has no interest in getting a Twitter account. (We see the latter as a huge relief, given how some celebs are prone to image-damaging Twitter rants.)

“[Having a Twitter] would be like a punishment for me,” Jennifer told David Letterman. “The judge would be like ‘Six months of probation and you have to write down what you think about, random things that nobody cares about.’”

Likewise, Elizabeth isn’t interested in tweeting anytime soon. When asked if she has any plans to go on Twitter, the actress immediately responded, “Nope. Never. I don’t even like being on Facebook, but I need it.”

Let’s Break It Down

Jennifer Lawrence’s appeal boils down to this: She’s a breath of fresh air. In an industry full of media-trained stars, who all-too-eagerly deliver pre-scripted answers, Jennifer shines by simply promoting herself. Not to mention, she has the incredible talent to back it up.

In time, Elizabeth Olsen will prove to be a refreshing change in the industry as well. Like Jennifer, her candor, charm and disregard for the trappings of fandom are a breath of fresh air. However, what makes Elizabeth unique is that she’s not Jennifer Lawrence. She possesses many of the quality that made Jennifer successful, but she remains a unique presence in Hollywood.

Next: See Jennifer Lawrence's Look-Alike

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