Jennifer Lawrence is an objectively successful human. The 27-year-old actress won her first Academy Award when she was just 22 and she’s also been nominated three other times. It turns out that she didn’t have a traditional path to success, though. In a new interview with 60 Minutes, Lawrence revealed that she dropped out of school when she was just 14.
“I dropped out of middle school. I don’t technically have a GED or a diploma. I am self-educated,” she explains in the interview.
When asked if she regrets the decision, she says no, she doesn’t. At the time, she didn’t want any distractions—not even friends—from pursuing her career.
“No. I really don’t. I wanted to forge my own path. I found what I wanted to do, and I didn’t want anything getting in the way of it. Even friends, for many years, were not as important to me as my career. I mean, from the age of 14.”
Lawrence says she never felt like she fit in at school and that she struggled with academics. When she found acting and felt, for the first time, like she had a real aptitude for something, she wanted to put everything into pursuing it.
“I struggled through school. I never felt very smart,” she says. “And when I’m reading the script and I feel like I know exactly what it would look like if somebody felt that way, that was the whole part of my brain that I didn’t even know existed—something that I could be confident in and I didn’t want to let it go.”
Of course, it took some major convincing to get her parents on board with the decision.
“It was just an overwhelming feeling of ‘I get this. This is what I was meant to do,'” she says. “And to get people to try to understand that, when you’re 14-years-old wanting to drop out of school and do this, and your parents are just like ‘You’re out of your mind.'”
Thankfully, the whole acting thing worked out for her.