It was clear right away that Jennifer Lawrence was going to be a major Hollywood star. So says director and actress Lori Petty, who directed Lawrence's first major feature film, 2008′s “The Poker House.”

Petty recalled being impressed when she saw Lawrence's audition tape. She said Lawrence's immediate impression reminded her of that made by another young star, Leonardo DiCaprio.

“When we were doing 'A League of Their Own,' [Robert] De Niro, who was good friends with Penny [Marshall, the director] was doing 'This Boy’s Life’,” Petty told MTV. “And he goes, ‘You got to see this kid.’ So we go over to the editing room, and it was Leonardo [DiCaprio]. ... So I felt like that when I saw Jennifer's tape. I just knew she was a movie star,” said Petty, who also stars as Lolly in the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.”

“The Poker House” was Petty's directorial debut and was based on her own difficult childhood. Lawrence played the role of Agnes (based on Petty), one of three abused and neglected sisters whose mother turns to prostitution for their upbringing. The film won awards at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Meanwhile, Lawrence is now one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lawrence will take home $20 million against 30 percent of the profit for the "Passengers," a science-fiction movie for which filming is set to begin in September.

Lawrence's fans are also eagerly awaiting “The Hunger Games Mockingjay: Part 2.” Lawrence, along with co-stars Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, keep updating their fans by posting behind-the scenes photos on their social media accounts. The actors finished shooting the movie June 7 and it is set to hit theaters Nov. 20.