She’s universally acclaimed as America’s greatest actress, however, Meryl Streep candidly admitted to Stephen Colbert at a Q&A benefiting Montclair Film in her home state of New Jersey, that she wanted to become a lawyer. And she might have if she didn’t miss her LSAT test. “I was doing a play called The Father with Rip Torn, and I went out with the boys afterward and slept through the LSATs!” she revealed.

While she was in school, Meryl, 69, was apart of high school plays. In fact, she made her debut as Marian the Librarian in The Music Man and earned a standing ovation. “I thought, ‘Oh, that’s fun!'” she recalled.

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However, Meryl didn’t think she’d be able to make a living at it. “I didn’t think it was serious,” the star told Stephen. “Nobody I knew in Bernardsville, [NJ] was going to be an actor. I didn’t have that dream that I must go on the stage.”

After high school, she got her degree in drama from Vassar College, but Meryl admitted her real goal was “to get married and have children.” She continued, “There was a serious thing where people said, ‘She’s going to get her MRS degree.’ And I grew up in a time when the whole world shifted and the opportunity came up.”

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She lived in a theater commune in Vermont after college but didn’t take acting seriously until her third year of graduate studies at the Yale School of Drama. Even then she had doubts. “Some people were never cast, and I was cast over and over in a class of six women, and it made me sick,” she said. “So I decided to take the LSATs — I thought, ‘You’re interested in the environment, you have to do something in the world.’” And she did, even though it might not even have been a part of her plan.

Despite missing out on her opportunity to be a lawyer after missing her test, we’re lucky she did. “I decided, I really do like acting and maybe it’s stupid, but I’m going to try,” Meryl said. “I’m a curious person, and I’m very interested in finding out more about people. There is no greater job than the one I have to do that. But I stumbled into this!”

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