Jennifer Lawrence Says She Dropped Out of Middle School to Pursue Acting

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Jennifer Lawrence knew at a young age what she wanted to do for a living.

On Sunday's episode of 60 Minutes, the Oscar winner talks with Bill Whitaker about why she decided to drop out of middle school at 14 to pursue an acting career. 

"I dropped out of middle school. I don’t technically have a GED or a diploma," she shares. "I am self-educated."

Lawrence says she struggled in school and "never felt very smart." As for whether she regrets dropping out, the 27-year-old actress admits, "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."

Once Lawrence started reading scripts and connecting with characters, she knew that acting was her "path."

"When I'm reading a script and I feel 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,” she tells Whitaker.  “And I didn’t want to let it go."

At the 2011 Oscars, Lawrence, who was nominated at the time for her role in Winter's Bone, revealed to ET's Nancy O'Dell that she never even took an acting class. "[I] just kinda did it," she said. 

In addition to opening up about her education, Lawrence also addresses the nude scene in her upcoming movie, Red Sparrow, and what it was like to strip down, on her terms, years after her phone was hacked and nude photos were leaked.

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

Catch Lawrence's full interview when it airs on Sunday's episode of 60 Minutes at 7 p.m. ET on CBS.

In an exclusive interview with ET, Lawrence was a little more lighthearted about her nude scene and quipped that it made the movie crew a little uneasy.

"There's one particular scene in the movie where your nightmare comes true from grade school, where you're standing naked in front of a classroom full of people. So that became a reality, but it actually wasn't that bad," she recalled. "Everybody made me feel so comfortable that I probably at a certain point started making everybody else uncomfortable."

Lawrence jokingly added, "Because I'd be like, 'I don't want the robe. I'm hot. I'm eating.' Everybody's like, 'She needs to cover up.'"

Red Sparrow hits theaters on March 2.


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