"Growing up, I lived 15 minutes away from a horse farm, and I went there almost every day," she tells Seventeen. "My brothers were into fishing, but I was all about the horses."
It took a lot of training for the 20-year-old actress to morph into the movie's tough heroine. She went through six weeks of archery, rock climbing, tree climbing, combat and more.
"She's strong and smart and athletic and cool," Lawrence says of warrior Katniss Everdeen. "And a great hunter – which I'm not."
The Oscar-nominated star was happy to put down Katniss's bow and arrow for the magazine's cover shoot, which had her recalling her roots.
"I loved being around the horses," she says in a video on Seventeen.com. "I had two horses, Dan and Brunby, who hated each other, and then were inseparable."