Jennifer Lawrence got real about dropping out of middle school for Hollywood: “I am self-educated”

We hear stories of Hollywood actors dropping out of high school, moving to L.A. at 18, and eventually getting their big break, but rarely do we hear of a celebrity leaving school at the young of age 14. Jennifer Lawrence just revealed that she dropped out during middle school to pursue her acting career, and her reasoning for the decision is important.

“I dropped out of middle school. I don’t technically have a GED or a diploma. I am self-educated,” the actress revealed in a new 60 Minutes interview.

Lawrence appeared hesitant to state that fact but did go on to say that she doesn’t regret her decision to drop out — and maintained that she simply had a different path to pave in life.

"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 said. "Even friends, for many years, were not as important to me as my career."

Lawrence described the moment she realized that acting was what she was “meant to do.”

“I struggled through school and never felt very smart,” she explained of her decision to leave. She went on to describe the first time she picked up a script and how she knew that she had found her calling. “I’m reading this script and 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 even know existed, something I could feel confident in, and I didn’t want to let it go.”

Lawrence’s good friend Emma Stone has a similar story of convincing her parents — with a powerpoint presentation! — to let her drop out of school and move to Hollywood. We wonder if that similar tenacious drive is what bonded the two women?

Whatever Lawrence did at 14 to persuade her parents to let her pursue acting is probably exactly the reason she’s had such success in this industry. To be the youngest actor to have four Oscar nominations doesn’t just happen by accident. You can watch a clip of the 60 Minutes interview here.