Jennifer Lawrence on Life After 'Hunger Games,' Fighting for Fair Pay

Oscar winner spent the day with ABC's Diane Sawyer to talk about how she's evolved over the years.
9:13 | 11/13/15

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Transcript for Jennifer Lawrence on Life After 'Hunger Games,' Fighting for Fair Pay
You know, with the final installment of the epic "Hunger games" trilogy about to create global fan hysteria again, Jennifer Lawrence is using the spotlight to tackle big issues in Hollywood, like the gender wage gap. She opened up to fellow kentuckian and our ABC news anchor Diane sawyer, good to see you. So good to see you. She made a lot of big news. The two Louisville girls all over town talking about pretty much everything. Two hometown girls spending the day in New York City. This is my kitchen but the barbecue is pure Kentucky. As we travel around -- Today I looked in the mirror, your eyes are puffy so you better be charming. Reporter: We stopped by to test a bow and arrow. Your form is just horrible. Reporter: And we'll head to some of the places where her whole life changed. Do you remember the fire escapes? Reporter: When she was just a 14-year-old girl from Louisville. Right there. Reporter: Our city on the Ohio river. Where we grew up 45 years apart but both steeped in the soft hills of home. Oh my god, I have -- I've never seen this picture. Oh my god. Band class. Did they assign you the oboe? No, I just -- People don't wander into oboe. I did. Is there any muse that I can you think of as home? I'm going to be honest, I just bit into a bone and I'm not sure how to spit it out on camera. I would offer, and yet -- Reporter: Back in Louisville she was a cheerleader for a while. ? Ain't no sweat this game ain't over yet. Reporter: I was a book worm. She was most talkative in class. Most talkative girl in school two years in a row, pretty hard to get. Reporter: At age 25 she is some kind of dazzling hybrid. One minute irreverent kid. Also an actor with transfixing power on the screen. The final episode of "The hunger games: Mocking jay part 2" is heading into theaters like an earthquake. On screen she created katniss with her message of strength in the face of fear. And off-screen Lawrence has been making news, a kind of warrior challenge all her own. It became public that in her movie "American hustle" she was paid less than her male costars. She wrote about it. Saying, it's a kind of trap for women everywhere. Backing off negotiations out of fear you won't be liked. I felt like I had to say something. Because we need to talk about it. We can ask for the same exact thing that men do. And we do face the reality that we do get judged more. It's just something that is intrinsic. And I would love to see change. Reporter: Some of her costars have spoken out in a kind of alliance with her. I would just hope that there's no longer a separation or a difference of, oh, it's a female-driven movie. Or, it was a block buster but it was led by a woman. Or wow, that was a really tough call for a woman. Reporter: On our day together she is endlessly surprising, remembering the turmoil of her own childhood. She says she was dramatic, filled with so much volatile feeling, her brothers called her nitro. I didn't know that I was an actor, I just knew that I was -- weird. Different. I knew that I was smart but the evidence just didn't agree. Didn't people think you were add? Oh, yeah, I was everything. I would think something and then feel it. Now I know what that is. Now I can channel that at work. You don't know why somebody's telling a story then you're sobbing. It just makes you look like you're trying to get all the attention. Reporter: In desperation her parents agreed to let her 14-year-old daughter come to new York and try her luck. She and her mother had only been here a few days when a photographer walked up to the girl, standing at a crowd in union square. My mom gave him her number. We didn't know that that was potentially dangerous and creepy. And then he called. And said, modeling agencies wanted to meet with me. I had made up my mind in the cab ride. I'm only going to go to a modeling agency if they let me act -- which came out of nowhere. Already making demands. Already negotiating. Reporter: It started with modeling and commercials. I'm just saying that with me, you always have it your way. Because girl, I am made to order. Reporter: She was fearless, except on the days when the phone didn't ring. And she reverted to a teenager filled with self-doubt. And I remember crying and saying, everybody keeps saying I have "It." Everybody's saying I have "It." Maybe they don't, maybe they're lying, why am I not getting anything? Reporter: Flash forward not just to the "Hunger games" but to an Oscar winner who can fall cheerfully, a Louisville girl who won't let the paparazzi disrespect her family. The paparazzi started yelling at them to get out of the picture. I was like, those are my brothers! Reporter: She doesn't let the business trim her spirited sails. Onstage with her friend Amy Schumer dance to "Uptown girl." You are riding with Amy Schumer now. I am, and her sister. You have a protection over each other. Her because she's older. Much older. Because she's older than me. She has the natural kind of protectiveness that comes with just being older than somebody. I've been famous longer than she has so I feel a certain protectiveness in that sense. You know. We both are incredibly blunt and incredibly opinionated. Are you laughing at loud the whole time? I laugh at loud every single day. She told me she'd give me $100 if I called you "Di" throughout the whole interview. Reporter: We are now heading downtown in New York City to a unique store, a kind of gallery that has archery in the back. The "Hunger games" girl knows what she's doing. Whoa! All the way back. I try it. My arrow hits the wall. I told you to point down! Your form is just horrible. I thought it was good. Back your shoulder blade a little bit more. Reporter: A minute later she disappears. I showed Diane how to shoot archery today. Let's just say she nailed it. Reporter: By late afternoon we're winding down. She's reflective about her life after "Hunger games," now at a crossroads. What's the biggest difference in you in the last year? When I wrapped "The hunger games," I wrapped these movies that had been my life for so long. And they had to come first in everything. I was also in a relationship with somebody for five years. And we broke up around the same time that I wrapped those movies. And it was kind of -- being 24 was this whole year of, who am I? Without these movies, who am I, without this man? Reporter: Still so young, the future ahead. Maybe she'll marry, maybe she won't. I don't know if I'll ever get married. I'm okay with that. I don't feel like I need anything to complete me. I love meeting people. I didn't know Amy six months ago and she brings something to my life that's so special. I don't really plan on getting married. I definitely want to be in love. When you don't need it is when you get to choose it. Yeah. That's great. More about me now. He's. Reporter: By Christmas you'll see her in "Joy" about a struggling housewife who invents a miracle mob and transforms everything. She has this ability, this magic, that she finally can't deny any longer. All races and all classes can meet and make whatever opportunities they can. Reporter: And she's already created a kind of legacy to be bold in your life. There was a girl she met on the first "Hunger games," a burn survivor who had scars all over her body. She's said, I love my body. Because I'm the girl on fire. It made her feel strong and brave. And I just started crying. Because she gave me such a gift. And I'm just acting. But it made me feel like, if a character or a story can make somebody change, a perception on how they feel about themselves, then that is beautiful. Reporter: For a generation of tiny fans, one message -- believe in yourself. Our thanks to Diane sawyer.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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