Jessica Chastain may be an international movie star, but that doesn’t mean she’s immune from stage fright.

By Stephanie Petit
Updated December 22, 2016 at 09:59 AM EST
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Credit: Anthony Behar/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Jessica Chastain may be an international movie star, but that doesn't mean she's immune from stage fright.

The Miss Sloane star, 39, sat down with James Lipton for Inside the Actors Studio and admitted that she grew up very shy — and that anxiety still plagues her today.

"I'm almost having a breakdown right now," Chastain said.

"You're still shy?" Lipton questioned.

"Yes, I'm so shy," she shared with a sigh. <iframe src="http://player.theplatform.com/p/PHSl-B/tLGNZ7qPWAH0/select/media/guid/2140479951/3443591" width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" class="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>

The actress says performing helped her overcome her shyness. As for the accompanying fame that comes with being a Hollywood star? She could take it or leave it.

"It's a strange thing. Acting for me has never been about wanting attention or wanting to be seen," Chastain said. "It's funny that I'm in a profession where that's where I am. There's so much I want to express, it's about connecting with another person and the intimacy of what that is, and so I have to overcome my shyness."

Chastain was so enthusiastic about acting that it often took priority over her schoolwork.

"I cut school to read Shakespeare and to learn about that, because for the first time I felt like I really discovered a passion, the passion of my life," she shared.

The actress, who says she always felt like the "ugly duckling" in part due to her signature red hair, dropped out of high school — and two Oscar nominations later, it seems that she made the right decision, shyness and all.

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