11/08/2012 at 09:00 AM EST
Don't expect Jennifer Lawrence
to succumb to the pressures of Hollywood anytime soon.
"I'm never going to starve myself for a part ... I don't want little girls to be like, 'Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I'm going to skip dinner.' That's something I was really conscious of during training, when you're trying to get your body to look exactly right. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong – not thin and underfed," the actress, 22, tells December's Elle
Despite being a relatively new face on the silver screen, the star of Silver Linings Playbook
– which also stars Bradley Cooper
and opens Nov. 21 – says her career brings her confidence.
"Acting, films, scripts, is literally the only thing I'm 100 percent confident in. I know what I'm doing. I just understand it, and I love it," she says. "When I'm on set, that's when I feel the most at home and in control."
She also credits her happiness to her relationship with British actor Nicholas Hoult
"[My boyfriend] is honestly my best friend, and hopefully I'm his best friend, too. He's my favorite person and makes me laugh harder than anybody,'
But even with all her success, Lawrence insists on living modestly.
"Ten million dollars and I'm still living in my parents' condo … I've always lived in a tiny rat-infested apartment in New York or a little condo in L.A., or a normal house in Kentucky," she says. "I think it would be very bizarre to live in a big mansion by myself."