Jessica Chastain Dropped Out of High School, Was a “Terrible Student”

Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain dropped out of high school. Rob Kim/Getty Images

Jessica Chastain has two Oscar nominations so far, a Golden Globe award, and widespread critical acclaim, but as a teenager, she could not achieve the honor of a high school diploma. 

The A Most Violent Year actress, 37, admitted in an interview with Entertainment Weekly on Thursday, Jan. 8, that she never graduated from high school. Born in Sacramento, Chastain attended the local El Camino Fundamental High School, but didn't walk away with full-fledged credentials. 

"Nobody knows this about me — I dropped out of high school," she spilled. "I was not a hard worker. I was a terrible student."

The Interstellar actress' slacker ways have seemingly changed as she has had a packed schedule in recent years, starring in big flicks like 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," continued Chastain, who later attended Juilliard through a scholarship from Robin Williams. "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."

Oscar-nominated for her roles in 2012's Zero Dark Thirty and 2011's The Help, Chastain admitted that the lack of diploma had an impact on 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."

Chastain is hardly the only big-name star to make it in Hollywood sans high school diploma. Other high school dropouts include Nicolas Cage, Ryan Gosling, and Hilary Swank

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