Jennifer Lawrence may not have a GED, but she does have an Oscar. Lawrence revealed in a preview clip for her upcoming episode of 60 Minutes that she dropped out of school when she was 14 years old.
"I struggled through school," she explains in the segment. "I never felt very smart."
She says she begged her parents to let her drop out of school so that she could pursue acting. She doesn't have a diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma, an official document that would assert that a minor has high school-equivalent education. Lawrence admitted that to her, school didn't matter. Acting mattered. Even friends were less important than her budding acting career. (Lawrence got her first major role, the teenage daughter Lauren on The Bill Engvall Show, when she was 16.)
According to a 2012 profile in Rolling Stone, Lawrence was on vacation in New York when a modeling scout asked if he could photograph her. This happened in Times Square. (That means it was fate.) Following that, Lawrence's parents first let her move to New York for six weeks, hoping that the acting bug wouldn't fully manifest. But Lawrence got regular work, and she stayed in New York until she eventually moved to Los Angeles.
"We thought she'd go to New York, and they'd say, 'Don't let the door hit you on the way out,'" Lawrence's mother Karen told Rolling Stone. "If it wasn't for her agent literally almost choking me, saying, 'You don't understand, I've never seen a 14-year-old like this,' we might not have made it."
Lawrence took classes online moving forward. In the interview with 60 Minutes, she described herself as "self-educated." Lawrence made waves when she was 20 years old for her role in Winter's Bone — if she hadn't dropped out of middle school, she probably wouldn't have earned that Oscar nomination in 2010! It was worth it for the Oscar nom.
The full interview with Lawrence will air Sunday, February 25 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.