Jessica Chastain: From High School Dropout to Hollywood Royalty

Pam WrightLife

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Jessica Chastain may have dropped out of high school as a teen, but she is certainly showing where her talents lie with two Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe award and much critical acclaim.

The 37-year-old actress told Entertainment Weekly Thursday that she didn't graduate from high school. Chastain attended Sacramento's El Camino Fundamental High School, but never received her diploma.

"Nobody knows this about me -- I dropped out of high school," Chastain told the magazine. "I was not a hard worker. I was a terrible student."

Like so many other artistic types, the A Most Violent Year actress was just biding her time until she found her niche in life, and she sure found her niche.

The Interstellar actress has starred in a slew of big films, including Zero Dark Thirty, Mama, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, and the upcoming Crimson Peak.

"Eventually I got my adult diploma, but I did not graduate," said Chastain, who later attended Juilliard through a scholarship from Robin Williams when she was 22. "It wasn't that I just dropped out and never went back -- at the end of the year I had too many absences to graduate... I would cut school and sit in my car, reading Shakespeare."

Chastain, who was nominated for an Oscar for her roles in 2012's Zero Dark Thirty and 2011's The Help, said her failure to complete high school did effect her confidence.

"I thought that I wasn't an intelligent person because I did so poorly," she said. "There are kids out there that aren’t doing well in school and I hope they never think it means they're stupid. It's all about finding where your interest lies and finding what you're good at."

Yep, it's all about finding your niche in life.

Pam Wright