Jennifer Lawrence Did 'What' Before Kissing Liam Hemsworth in 'Mockingjay' ?

The Mockingjay – Part 1 star says she can't believe that "a man this good looking could ever be my best friend"

Photo: Drew Gurian/Invision/AP

Is Jennifer Lawrence a good kisser?

She’s certainly a considerate one – or so she thinks. Sure, she ate a sandwich and then didn’t brush her teeth before filming a big kiss with costar Liam Hemsworth, but, she said Saturday at a press conference for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, “I gave him fair warning.”

Not according to her scene partner. As Hemsworth told Jimmy Fallon earlier, “Any time I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable. When you look at it on the outside it looks like a great picture. She’s one of my best friends. I love her. But if we had a kissing scene, she would make a point of eating garlic or tuna fish or something that was disgusting.”

All kidding aside, the Oscar winner does credit Hemsworth with teaching her to have more of a backbone.

“I am a wimp about standing up for myself,” the 24-year-old actress told PEOPLE at the press conference in Manhattan, saying Hemsworth “taught me how to stand up for myself,” she said. “I would always be like, ‘Please like me! Please like me!’ ”

“Maybe not with this movie,” she joked. “Not since Catching Fire.

“But there were times when I was really bad about that,” Lawrence continued. “It’s my biggest weakness – with negotiating, or even with people. Liam is always fair, he is always kind, he is always strong. He’s teaching me to toughen up a little bit and it’s important. I need that.”

While filming the Hunger Games movies over the years, she said she grew particularly close to both Josh Hutcherson, 22, and Hemsworth, 24.

“Liam is the most wonderful, lovable, just family-oriented sweet, hilarious [guy],” she said. “I guess the biggest surprise is that I would never expect to ever have a man this good-looking ever be my best friend. I never knew that those things could happen.”

When he returned the compliment, saying how “she has never changed” and is “a great actress because she adapts to situations,” she laughed and said, “This is the best press conference ever!”

In true JLaw fashion, she also joked about taking a selfie in a meadow during shooting “while I was peeing in it.” But the conversation turned serious as she explained how surrounding herself “with ‘no’ people” has kept her grounded amid her international stardom.

“I have an amazing group of friends who are not in the business, who I trust. I have been friends with them for years,” she said. “They will tell me, ‘Stop doing that’ or ‘You look terrible.’ ”

When it comes to her fame, she said, “I don’t feel any different. But the way people look at you feels alienated and odd. So I surround myself with people who don’t fake laugh at my jokes.”

Costar Natalie Dormer chimed in to compare Lawrence to her fearless character, Katniss Everdeen.

“Katniss doesn’t have any ego and neither does Jennifer. The reason why she’s so compelling to an audience is because she’s true to herself and doesn’t suffer the bulls— or superficial elements,” Dormer said. “That’s why people look up to her. She’s a great role model. So is Katniss.”

Mockingjay – Part 1 opens in theaters Nov. 21.

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