With reporting by Josh Horowitz
When "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" explodes into theaters on November 20, Francis Lawrence will officially have worked on the franchise for over three years, beginning with his months helming "Catching Fire" back in 2012. Of course, this means that Lawrence has gotten to know that other "Hunger Games"-related Lawrence, Jennifer, pretty well -- and during some of the meatiest, most life-altering years of her life.
"It's hard to see the changes when you're with somebody every day," Lawrence told MTV News when we caught up with him at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. "I think the biggest change is just that around the time we were making 'Catching Fire'... there was kind of another explosion for her."
This "explosion" -- which included an Oscar win for "Silver Linings Playbook" -- was not necessarily as glamorous as you might think.
"She was obviously already an important actress, and a very popular actress, and known, but something kind of shifted and exploded in a new way, and I think made life a little tougher for her," Lawrence added. "I saw that. I saw her sort of close off to the outside world a little bit, in a way that people with that kind of attention sometimes have to do."
Of course we've already seen JLaw deal with some pretty rough stuff via that awful nude photo hack, but it's still surprising and refreshing to hear someone who knows her so well speak so frankly about the humanizing aspects of JLaw. And for what it's worth, Lawrence and Lawrence will continue to nurture their awesome working relationship once "Hunger Games" is over -- because they're planning on doing another movie together, the romantic real-life drama "The Dive."
"I remember reading a draft of it years ago -- a very, very cool story," Lawrence said. "Great world. Then Jen and I started talking about it, so we're trying to figure it out.... it's a tricky story. The character she would play -- it's tricky to make that story and that ending work in a satisfying way."