Jennifer Lawrence has an Oscar under her belt and was named the highest-paid actress of 2015 and 2016, but all of that success came with a sacrifice: she never finished school or got a diploma.
Lawrence, now 27, was only 14 years old when she dropped out of middle school to fully pursue her acting career. "I struggled through school. I never felt very smart," she explained in a new interview with 60 Minutes.
"And when I’m reading a script, and I feel like I know exactly what it would look like if somebody felt that way, that was a whole part of my brain that I didn’t know existed. It’s something that I could be confident in, and I didn’t want to let it go."
Though her mind was set, Lawrence struggled making people understand her goals. "It’s so hard to explain, it was just an overwhelming feeling of, ‘I get this. This is what I was meant to do.' 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,'" she said.
"I dropped out of middle school. I don’t technically have a GED or a diploma," J.Law continued. "I am self-educated."
Today, over a decade later, the actress doesn't regret her decision of dropping out. "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," she explained. "Even friends, for many years, were not as important to me as my career."
When Lawrence was 18, four years after leaving school, she filmed Winter's Bone, a performance where she earned her first Academy Award nomination in 2011.