At the tender age of 14, Jennifer Lawrence made a decision that would change her life forever and, just a few short years later, launch her to mega stardom: She begged her parents to let her drop out of school and pursue a career in acting. In a preview of her upcoming interview on CBS's 60 Minutes, airing Sunday (Feb. 25), Lawrence opened up about what made her choose to leave conventional teenage experiences in the dust and start auditioning for films.
"I struggled through school, I never felt very smart," the Red Sparrow star confessed to host Bill Whitaker. "[But] 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 even know existed, something that I could be confident in. And I didn't wanna let it go." Lawrence, now 27, admitted that it took some time to get her family on board with the drastic decision. "It's so hard to explain. It's just an overwhelming feeling of, 'I get this. This is what I was meant to do.' And to try to get people 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 confessed that she never went back to school or completed an at-home program. "I dropped out of middle school. I don't technically have a GED or a diploma. I am self-educated," she said. When Whitaker asked whether Lawrence regrets the choice, she was positive that her younger self had made the right decision. "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," she said. "Even friends, for many years, were not as important to me as my career, from the age of 14." A decision that paid off considering she had four Oscar nominations (and one win) by the age of 25.
J.Law has previously spoken about her move from Kentucky, where she grew up, to New York City. In 2010, soon after shooting to superstardom with her Academy Award-nominated performance in Winter's Bone, she talked to W about making the move with her parents. "I don't know if I was driven or stubborn or both," she said at the time. "But I didn't think I could fail." Clearly, she still can't.
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