Unlike many indie starlets who come to the screen after a few stints in life's darker corners, 18-year-old Jennifer Lawrence has never hit rock bottom. In fact, she's getting a pedicure during the course of this interview. Lawrence's unfamiliarity with hard reality makes her breakout performance in the upcoming drama The Poker House all the more remarkable. In the bleak story based on the life of actress Lori Petty (the film's first-time director), Lawrence plays a teen who must fend for her younger sisters, while her drugged-out mom operates a narcotics and gambling den out of their house. "The character is the exact opposite of me," says Lawrence. "But everyone should stretch themselves." So stretch the Kentucky native did. It wasn't the only time Lawrence put herself in the shoes of the tough and the twisted. In the forthcoming drama The Burning Plain, she plays a girl who falls into a dark romance after her mother is caught cheating. It's a few universes away from her role on the TBS sitcom The Bill Engvall Show. Yet Lawrence doesn't want the masochism to end. "I want to play a character I've never been before-a crazy serial killer like Charlize Theron in Monster. I'd love to have to shave my head."