Louisville teen gets big break in Hollywood - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville teen gets big break in Hollywood

By Connie Leonard

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) -- In July 2005, we brought you the story of a Louisville girl who moved to New York at age 14 in the hopes of making it big. Now, at age 16, Jennifer Lawrence is getting her big break in a new TV sitcom. WAVE 3's Connie Leonard has the story.

It was a packed house of excitement at Cafe Lou Lou for 16-year old Jennifer Lawrence, one of the stars of the new TBS comedy, "The Bill Engvall Show." Jennifer plays the daughter of the blue collar comedian: a big break for the talented teen who's still pinching herself.

"It hits me on a daily basis, just how blessed I am to have the family that I do," Jennifer said.

A family that surprised itself by supporting Jennifer's dream to move to the Big Apple when she was only 14. Her parents, Karen and Gary Lawrence, told us it took some convincing to let their daughter go.

"At first we said, 'sure we'll let you do this -- right!" Karen said, but added that "her brothers came to her defense and sat us down and said 'this is her baseball diamond.' They said: 'she followed us to our baseball and football games and you need to do this.'"

"And we were like, 'let's do it,'" Gary said. 

Jennifer started with modeling and her first 15 minutes of fame came in an MTV promo mocking spoiled rich kids. Then, Jennifer decided it was time to move to Los Angeles. "I was going on auditions about every day," she said.

Longtime stand-up comedian Bill Engvall was one of her favorites, and when she tried out for the show, she had an instant chemistry with the cast.

Her real family couldn't believe it. Karen remembers: "He (Bill Engvall) called and said: 'Would you like to be my daughter?' And we thought, wow! It was really crazy."

Jennifer says Engvall has become a second dad. "If I have a crush on a boy, he will not be going to the show. Because I brought one boy around -- Bill shakes his hand and goes: 'Careful, she's got two fathers now' and he walks away!"

Jennifer laughed as she recalled the experience.

Her real dad, Gary, said the family has no regrets. "I'm so glad we did it, and I'm so proud of her because she's still Jennifer from Louisville."

Tim Meadows of Saturday Night Live wasn't on Tuesday's episode but is also part of the cast. Jennifer says they shot eight episodes and says the cast really seemed to start clicking at the end, so she's hopeful the show will get picked up.

Jennifer has gotten some film roles and also appeared on TV shows like NBC's "Medium."

Online Reporter: Connie Leonard

Online Producer: Michael Dever