Jessica Chastain explains why finding fame later in life was a 'gift'

Jessica Chastain is pleased she didn't find fame too quickly.

The 46-year-old actress graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in the late 1990s and started her career with a number of small roles on TV and starred in various plays in New York but did not crack Hollywood until she was in her thirties.

While she was initially "frustrated" at first that stardom had taken so long, she eventually decided that becoming known around the world slightly later on in life was a "huge gift" that allowed hone her craft.

She told Reader's Digest: "At the beginning, it felt frustrating. But I actually realised it was a big gift.

" I was given a huge, huge gift. It got to be all about the work for me, and not about anything else. I would go from job to job, and my only concern was the character I was playing and the story that I was trying to tell. So I didn't have to deal with any of the trappings of what happens when movies come out, and how people might treat you differently. So it was a wonderful experience."

The Academy Award-winning actress also recalled that she "hated" going to school and would often skip class to read Shakespeare and it was only when she transitioned into higher education focused arounnd drama that she realised her own intelligence.

She said: "I hated going to school. I hated being in classes. I felt like I really wasn't learning anything. So I would sit in my car and read 'As You Like It'. It wasn't until I got into Julliard that I realised, 'Oh, maybe I'm not stupid!' "I used to think I wasn't smart because I had trouble in high school, but all of a sudden, I went to Julliard and I'm learning Socrates and Plato and Aristotle! All these things that were fascinating to me."