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(on suffering through school) I always felt dumber than everybody else. I hated it. I hated being inside. I hated being behind a desk. School just kind of killed me.


(on referring to the characters she's played in "Winter's Bone" and "The Hunger Games") I don't know what it is with me and maternal wilderness girls, I just love 'em. Even before "Winter's Bone," the first movie I ever did, "Poker House," I was caring for my younger siblings in a tough, dark situation.


There's just no imagination in Hollywood. I wanted to show people "Winter's Bone" for the performance, but it ended up having the opposite effect. People were like, no, she's not feminine, she's not sexual.


(on posing in an Esquire magazine photo shoot to try and help shake up her public image) A lot of people said, 'Oh, now we have a great actress come along and she's showing her boobs.' But that's exactly what I had to do so I could keep working. Honestly, that photo shoot is what helped me get "X-Men" ("X-Men: First Class").


(on being asked if 'The Hunger Games' transitioned her too quickly into stardom) - I think about this all the time. But when you get a promotion at your job you don't go 'That was too fast. Can I stay in the mailroom a while longer?' You take it.


I hate saying, 'I like exercising.' I want to punch people who say that in the face. But it's nice being in shape for a movie, because they basically do it all for you. It's like, 'Here's your trainer. This is what you can eat. ... I don't diet. I do exercise! But I don't diet. You can't work when you're hungry, you know?


I'm doing what I love, and then I get months and months of rest. I have a lot of money for a 21-year-old. I can't stand it when actors complain.


(on not wanting to be famous) I look at Kristen Stewart now and I think, "I'd never want to be that famous". I can't imagine how I'd feel if all of a sudden my life was pandemonium.


I like when things are hard; I'm very competitive. If something seems difficult or impossible, it interests me.


Winter's Bone (2010) wasn't a fun, easy movie to make by any means. But I didn't do it to have fun.


I don't really diet or anything. I'm miserable when I'm dieting and I like the way I look. I'm really sick of all these actresses looking like birds... I'd rather look a little chubby on camera and look like a person in real life, than look great on screen and look like a scarecrow in real life.


(on being a sudden sex symbol): It feels weird. But (it's) not bad at all.


I'd like to direct at some point. But I don't know because 10 years ago I would have never imagined that I'd be here. So in 10 years from now, I might be running a rodeo.


I never felt like I completely, 100% understood something so well as acting.


When I first got to New York, my feet hit the sidewalk and you'd have thought I was born and raised there. I took over that town. None of my friends took me seriously. I came home and announced, 'I'm going to move to New York,' and they were like 'OK.' Then when I did, they kept waiting for me to fail and come back. But I knew I wouldn't. I was like, 'I'll show you.'


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