Jennifer Lawrence Is a Proud Middle School Dropout

In an interview with 60 Minutes, the Red Sparrow star revealed she left school at the age of 14

By Elyse Dupre Feb 23, 2018 6:39 PMTags
Jennifer LawrenceTristan Fewings/Getty Images

Jennifer Lawrence doesn't regret dropping out of middle school to pursue her acting career.

The 27-year-old star opened up about leaving school at the age of 14 to 60 Minutes.

"I dropped out of middle school. I don't technically have a GED or a diploma. I am self-educated," she said in a sneak peek of her interview with Bill Whitaker.

When asked she if she regretted the decision, Lawrence responded, "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."

Jennifer Lawrence Spills on Dealing With Fame

School wasn't easy for Lawrence, and she knew acting was her true calling.

"I struggled through school. I never felt very smart," the Red Sparrow star said. "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."

Still, she admits her parents weren't exactly thrilled with her decision to drop out.

"It was just an overwhelming feeling of 'I get this. This is what I was meant to do,'" she said. "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.'"

Lawrence's determination paid off. The actress has starred in a number of popular films, including the X-Men and Hunger Games movies. She also received Academy Award nominations for her roles in Joy, American Hustle and Winter's Bone and took home the Oscar for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook.

However, she's also experienced the dangers of fame, including having her privacy violated. In 2014, a hacker released nude photos of her online. After the experience, Lawrence said she was reluctant to take on the lead role in Red Sparrow because it required nudity. 

"I realized that there was a difference between consent and not," she said, "and I showed up for the first day and I did it and I felt empowered. I feel like something that was taken from me I got back and am using in my art."

To see more of Lawrence's interview, tune into 60 Minutes Sunday Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m. EST.