Jessica Chastain has dropped a bombshell – she was a high school dropout before a scholarship funded by the late Robin Williams landed her a place at top arts college Juilliard.
The Interstellar star recently revealed Williams’ generosity changed her life, making it possible for her to graduate college.
But years before she picked up a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2003 and became a part of the school’s fabled Group 32, she was a lazy student with very few goals.
Chastain tells Entertainment Weekly, “Nobody knows this about me, I dropped out of high school. I was not a hard worker. I was a terrible student. Eventually I got my adult diploma, but I did not graduate. And 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 admitted that because of her lack of interest in regular school subjects, it led her to believe she wasn’t smart, so now she urges youngsters in similar positions to pursue their passion in order to achieve excellence.
She continued, “I thought that I wasn’t an intelligent person because I did so poorly. 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 later attended the prestigious Juilliard drama school thanks to a scholarship from the late Robin Williams, and has since gone on to earn two Oscar nominations for 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty and 2011’s The Help.
Last year she told Entertainment Tonight, “We didn’t have a lot of money, and Juilliard is a pretty expensive school. Robin Williams is a very generous Juilliard alumnus, and gives a scholarship every two years to a student, and it pays for everything, and I got it.”
Unfortunately for Chastain she never got the chance to thank Williams personally before his untimely death last year.