Jennifer Lawrence famously beat out stars like Hailee Steinfeld and Shailene Woodley for her role as heroine Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games -- but she ignored Lionsgate Films' offer for three days.
"It was the middle of the night in England, and I was in bed when I got the call," Lawrence, 21, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "And I was so in love with the books and the script, and suddenly it was right in my face -- and the size of the decision was terrifying."
The actress phoned her mom, who called her a "hypocrite" for nearly turning down the part. "When I was doing indie movies and everyone was asking why I didn't do studio movies, I said, 'The size of the movie doesn't matter.' And she said, 'Here's a movie you love and you were thinking of turning it down because of its size,'" Lawrence recalls.
"I thought, 'I don't want to miss out because I'm scared. Me being scared, I never want that to stop me from doing something.' But I knew in my heart that I wanted it -- it was about working out all the fears."
Lawrence will earn a modest $500,000 for the first film, plus additional profits based on the movie's performance. (The Hunger Games cost slightly over $90 million to produce, reduced to $78 million after subsidies.)
The principal cast members, including Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, are contracted to appear in all four films.
The Hunger Games hits theaters March 23.