The 79-year-old actor lauded the 24-year-old actress at the Los Angeles premiere of their new film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, on Monday. The pair have co-starred in two other movies for the franchise, and Sutherland had nothing but praise for Lawrence in an interview with E! News.
"When I worked with her, I realized the child was a genius," he declared. "She's the right person at the right time in the sense of Joan of Arc or Jesus Christ, any genius, in that sense."
"She has the ability as an actor to tell the truth out of the material and that truth is immediately recognizable with everybody because it hits you in your heart, your solar plexus and your mind," he related. "And she had the genius of person to not be affected by all of this. She's just a real girl."
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 will see Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) continue her fight against President Snow (Sutherland) and the Capitol. The film opens in theaters November 21, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 is scheduled for release November 20, 2015.
Lawrence came to fame as Ree Dolly in Winter's Bone (2010), and was subsequently cast as Mystique in X-Men: First Class (2011). She reprised the role in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), and will return for X-Men: Apocalypse in 2015.
Lawrence is well known for The Hunger Games series, and her dramatic roles have earned her critical acclaim. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for American Hustle (2013).
Sutherland has appeared in such films as M*A*S*H (1970), Fellini's Casanova (1976) and A Dry White Season (1989)) during his decades-long career. The actor currently stars as Michael Dorn on NBC series Crossing Lines, and is scheduled for Forsaken with son Kiefer Sutherland.