Jessica Chastain has opened up about her struggles with education and dropping out of high school.
“Nobody knows this about me: I dropped out of high school. I was not a hard worker. I was a terrible student,” Jessica admitted to Entertainment Weekly. Adding that because of her home life she would cut school, sit in her car and read the classics. “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,” she admitted. “I thought that I wasn’t an intelligent person because I did so poorly.”
She added of how her confidence affected her education, “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.”
The interview made headlines and many seemed to interpret Jessica’s comments as a dismissal of formal education. Which they took to be a negative. However, she intended to inspire those who aren’t currently doing well in school. Letting them know they can learn in other ways and still achieve their goals.
To clarify her stance on education, Jessica shared some old photos to Instagram and adding a caption:
#fbf highschool yearbook pic!
I’m very happy to hear that you guys liked the EW article, but I’d like to add some things. I had a very difficult time in high school and missed too many days, so I was unable to graduate with my class. About a year later, I went and got my adult diploma and I did finish and graduate with that. I then went on to college and got my BFA.
I wanted to share this info because I think it’s important to know that you can always change your path in life. I am a strong advocate for education. I don’t believe that I would be where I am today without the education I eventually received. So those of you having a difficult time, please don’t leave school. Stick with it and find a class that inspires you. Be proactive in your education. It changed my life and it can change yours. xx jess
She told NPR in another interview, she achieved her adult diploma and made it to Juilliard School. She said, “I’m the first person in my family to go to college. My grandmother was helping me financially. It was a really big deal that I was there. And the idea that they would’ve sent me home was incredibly traumatic.”
The Oscar nominee recalled “It was very scary for me. The first year I had a lot of anxiety and, I remember, my teachers kept saying I had so much jaw tension. I could hardly open my mouth I was so terrified.”
She got her big break on ER at age 27.