LOS ANGELES TIMES – One-armed push-ups come pretty easily to Shailene Woodley. She proved as much on the carpeted floor of a hushed hotel hallway recently, surprising a reporter with a welcome bit of spontaneity.
It was a fitting bit of theater for her new film, “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” opening March 18, the latest installment of the $600-million franchise based on the YA books set in a dystopian future. As the fierce revolutionary Tris, Woodley has come to embody one version of the new feminism, rescuing her imperiled beau in one scene and falling into his arms the next.
This, the third of four films adapted from the blockbuster Veronica Roth novels, has Tris and her team escaping the growing unrest in Chicago for a post-apocalyptic desert and the promise of a faraway utopia. Along with “Divergent” regulars Theo James, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort, Jeff Daniels co-stars as a mysterious genetic mastermind with his sights set on Tris.
In real life, the 24-year-old actress isn’t your average ingénue. She’s an industry veteran who worked her way up as a child from bit parts in “The O.C.” to co-starring opposite George Clooney in 2011’s “The Descendants” and starring as a cancer victim in the 2014 hit “The Fault in Our Stars.” The “Divergent” series proved that she could bring in audiences for action films, along the lines of Jennifer Lawrence in “The Hunger Games.”
And yet Woodley has preserved an impressive bit of mystery for such a hardworking star of her generation. She has more than a million Twitter followers but has tweeted just a dozen or so times — most of which herald presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. During her free time, Woodley has trekked the Himalayas and studied an obscure arm of biology known as morphogenetics.
Here, she talks feminism, staying grounded in Hollywood and the narcissism of Twitter:
You must have a physical regimen to get you through the rigors of this franchise.
It’s important for me to feel physically strong in my day to day life, and that just works really well with Tris. I’ve done jujitsu. Krav Maga. I really love martial arts. There’s a YouTube video called Perfect Lean Body. This woman does leg workouts. They’re 20 minutes long and you sweat and kick your …. But they’re only 20 minutes. It’s fantastic. I use this app called Tabata Timer. It’s high interval training.
Your role in this franchise has elevated your visibility in such a grand way. How has it changed you?
I don’t feel like my life has changed at all. I’ve changed a lot because I’ve grown in the last four years. But my values, my morals, what I stand for, hasn’t changed because of this movie. I feel blessed because I have more opportunities artistically.
Continue reading Shailene Woodley flexes her opinions on staying in shape, feminism, stardom, Twitter and acting
VARIETY.COM – HBO’s A-list limited series “Big Little Lies” is getting even more star power.
Shailene Woodley is joining Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in David E. Kelley’s project, based on the book of the same name.
Adapted from Liane Moriarty’s 2014 novel, “Big Little Lies” is described as a darkly comic drama centering on three mothers of kindergartners whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder.
Insiders tell Variety that Woodley’s casting has been in talks for a while, though her deal is not yet closed. She will reportedly play a single mother. HBO has yet to confirm her involvement. Kidman made the announcement at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi on Saturday.
Witherspoon and Kidman — who optioned the book rights through their respective production shingles, Pacific Standard Films and Blossom Films — are also serving as exec producers with Pacific Standard’s Bruna Papandrea and Blossom Films’ Per Saari. Kelley is also exec producing and writing an undetermined number of episodes of the television adaptation.
Woodley will be seen next in “Snowden” and “The Divergent Series: Allegiant.”
Shailene Woodley has quickly become one of the brightest young stars in Hollywood. It should be no surprise, then, that the 23-year-old has been chosen to receive the “MTV Trailblazer Award” at April’s 2015 “MTV Movie Awards.”
Over the last few years, she’s proven capable of tackling all sorts of roles: After a breakout performance in “The Descendants” in 2011, she had a huge year in 2014, thanks to her work in “White Bird in a Blizzard,” “Divergent” and “The Fault in Our Stars.” On Friday, her latest, “The Divergent Series: Insurgent”, hit theaters.
Woodley will become the fourth recipient of the award — which will be presented by her “Insurgent” co-star Miles Teller — following Emma Watson, Emma Stone and Channing Tatum.
When MTV News caught up with her recently, just before the release of “Insurgent,” she told us about a surprising habit she started while filming.
“I stopped drinking coffee right before we started filming,” she told us. “So hour eight would roll over into hour nine and I was like, ‘Sh-t man. I need some caffeine.’ But caffeine was just making me tired. So I was like, ‘What wakes you up quickly?’”
Push-ups, of course. By the end of filming, she and others were doing over 200, she said.
You can watch Shailene (maybe with huge arms?) accept the “MTV Trailblazer Award” at the 2015 “MTV Movie Awards,” which air live on Sunday, April 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, CA.
Shailene Woodley is our April cover star, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned from our time with her, it’s that she’s literally the coolest. The short-haired, sisterhood-loving actress is everywhere right now, thanks to the hype around the upcoming release of Insurgent. But based on her talent, brains, and unique, tomboy-chic style, Shailene is poised to be a Hollywood mainstay. All this despite the fact that she once called acting a hobby, saying she’d walk away if it ever become a career. When we asked if she feels the same way now, she said, “It’s still just a hobby, just something that I live and breathe to do.”
In our cover story, Shailene opens up about The Fault in Our Stars and Divergent, telling us about her experiences playing the instantly iconic characters Hazel Grace and Tris. Here’s what else to look forward to in our April issue.
On her career path: “Two years ago it was very easy for me to understand and also emotionally tell the story of a 16-year-old, and now, I feel like I could not tell that story as truthfully because I just can’t empathize with it. I’m not there on an emotional level anymore.”
On playing Tris in the Divergent series: “Tris was not born a superhero, but what I love about her is that you can watch her progression into a strong young woman. Whenever I go back to playing Tris, I feel like, yes, I’m going back to Tris, but I am also going back to Shai and who Shai was in 2012, and who she was in 2014. If I hadn’t changed, it would be easier…but the last two years have been very powerful for me. I’m starting to empower myself.”
On why Tris is important: “When fear comes knocking on her door, she doesn’t run away—she stands up to it…. And I thought that was a really beautiful message to be sending out to young women.”
On not identifying as a feminist: “The reason why I don’t like to say that I am a feminist or I am not a feminist is because to me it’s still a label. I do not want to be defined by one thing. Why do we have to have that label to divide us? We should all be able to embrace one another regardless of our belief system and regardless of the labels that we have put upon ourselves.”
On media scrutiny and celebrity culture: “I mean, if we spent as much energy focusing on the genocide that’s going on right now in parts of Africa as we spent on that one article, think about what we could accomplish. Change is not going to come from focusing on the small things that actors say.”
Click through the gallery to check out the beyond-gorgeous photos from the story, and don’t miss NYLON’s entire April issue, out on March 31, 2015.
She’s one of her generation’s hottest stars…and way too cool to be fame trapped. Shailene Woodley gets off on loving deep, inciting a revolution, and surviving in the wilds of Hollywood––and she opens up to contributing editor Holly Millea about all that, plus her vagabond lifestyle, in the April issue of ELLE. Check out the following excerpts for a sneak peek at the full interview, which you can only find exclusively in ELLE when it hits newsstands digitally and in select cities on March 17, and nationwide on March 24.
By last count, she’s lost her virginity five times on screen. The triumvirate are at that age. Each has her own allure: Lawrence is plush; Stewart, brooding; Woodley, vulnerable. Unlike her peers, off screen, Woodley keeps a low romantic profile that’s in sync with the way she lives the rest of her life. As you’d expect from a heart-to-heart hugger, “I’m all-loving,” she says. “I fall in love with people based on who they are. “I never want to love like this”—Woodley holds her arms outstretched, as if to envelop you—”I always want to love like this.” She thrusts her arms behind her back, pressing her chest forward. “Heart centered, like, ‘This is who I am! And I love you if you love me for who this person is. And if not, I’ll still love you, but I ain’t fallin’ in love with you!'” Happily she carries on with what could seriously be the best personal ad ever—feel free to steal it: “When you’re truly in love, for me, it’s…you’re my lighthouse! You’re somebody who holds me high, keeps me safe, you’ve got my fuckin’ back…. You also love me whole, wild, and free. You let me do me, and I’m gonna let you do you! And I’ll be the home that you return to.” Is she currently in love? Woodley smiles…
“I was born into a family of warriors, really strong people,” says Woodley, who, along with her younger brother, Tanner, grew up in Simi Valley. (Simi is the Chumash Indians’ name for the threadlike clouds in the sky over this Southern California town.) “It doesn’t mean that it was an easy childhood and we didn’t have our shit, because every family does behind closed doors. But even though my parents are divorced, they get along. I have a family who every day strives to do the right thing.” It helped, too, that her grandmother was ever present. “One day I was having one of my teenage crises, when you think everything’s falling apart—your estrogen and progesterone are freaking out. And she said, ‘Shai, the most important thing in life is self-love. You’ve gotta take care of yourself. You’ve got to take care of yourself, and you gotta live from your deep heart.’ “Woodley wraps her hands around a warm porcelain teapot on the table; her brow furrows. “For some reason, her saying the words deep heart just always stuck with me. And I was like, ‘Well, what is a deep heart? What does it actually mean?’ What I’ve come to determine in my life is that my deep heart is my—it’s my compassion, empathy, and intuition. Because your intuition never wants to be mean to somebody. You intuitively know that another human being on this planet is hurting just as badly as you may be. The way that they express themselves could be rude or seen as douchey or whatnot. But maybe they’re scared, or had no one there to support them.” She looks up, and her face brightens: “My Grams is the most banging 69-year-old I’ve ever met in my life. She’s so fit. She’s so rad!”
To read the rest of the story, pick up the April issue of ELLE.
After shooting Divergent together, Shailene Woodley and her onscreen boyfriend Theo James are loving the way Tris and Four’s relationship is developing.
When asked about the progression of their relationship in Insurgent at the film’s junket in Beverly Hills, Calif. Friday, Shailene told reporters, “One of the reasons I fell in love so deeply with Divergent was Tris and Four’s relationship because it was grounded in truth and respect and authenticity and it wasn’t based on surface level physical attraction or infatuation.”
“Tris and Four saw each other as individuals they were inspired by, individuals that they were intrigued by, there was a sense of mystique about them,” she continued. “I loved that in Insurgent, their relationship was rocky, it’s not 100%, it’s not every time they see each other they feel safe and they feel protected. They’re able to be vulnerable, they put up walls against each other and that happens in relationships. Everything has an ebb and a flow and I thought that was one of the smartest things [author Veronica Roth] could’ve gifted to the young adult world.”
Theo also gushed over the duo’s relationship, adding, “I like the fact that they have mutual respect for one another. I think this movie is different from the first in the sense that in the first Shai’s character is kind of playing catch up in a way because she’s introduced to this world, and you kind of don’t know where Four is coming from.”
“He’s kind of elusive, whereas in this movie, he’s almost trying to quell her revenge for the death of her parents and her family,” he continued. “So, I think the relationship is different in the sense that they have a mutual respect for each other and her femininity is attracted to his masculinity and the other way around. She’s a very strong female but at the same time she’s also very feminine at the same time.”
In this film, Shailene and Theo not only have an intimate scene together, but their fighting skills go up a notch as they try to take down Erudite leader Jeanine. Are you excited to see Insurgent? Tell us in the comments!
Shailene Woodley acquired a “been there, done that” mentality going into the Divergent sequel, Insurgent, but she quickly realized that some extra new effort was required.
“Getting back into Tris was much more difficult than I anticipated because I didn’t take into account that I, myself, had grown for a year,” Woodley told reporters during Friday’s press day for the new film in Los Angeles.
“I figured getting back into [Tris] would be simple because I would just go back into that mindset, but my personal mindset had progressed a year in evolution,” she says.
While playing Tris again may have been a challenge, the actress, 23, couldn’t wait to get back to doing her own stunts.
“[In] the first movie, we did a lot of choreography and fight training, and this one was basic sort of fitness – there wasn’t anything too intense,” says Woodley, who jumped from a moving train in the first movie and this time had to learn how to climb her way up onto a flying house in Insurgent.
And if you’re wondering how she – and maybe four or five other short-haired – pulled this off?
“We were on wires and we would slide down, and there was one where it was almost a 90-degree angle,” Woodley says.
“I was like, ‘If I don’t grab this pole, I’m not going to get hurt, but I’m going to be dangling in the air and probably get a really bad wedgie,’ so that was pretty fun,” she adds with a laugh.
When you’re as beautiful as Woodley, finding equally handsome on-screen lovers could get a bit tricky, but Theo James – who plays her boyfriend, Four, fit into that role perfectly.
“One of the reasons [Tris and Four] fell in love so deeply was because [their relationship] was grounded in truth and respect and authenticity, and it wasn’t based on surface level or physical attraction or infatuation,” says Woodley.
“It’s great to have a platform for, not only younger girls, but for everyone to recognize that relationships can be based in truth and be vulnerable, and that keeping somebody at arms length [is a personal defense] to protect our own inner vulnerabilities – not because of anything that they’re doing,” she adds.
James, 30, couldn’t agree more, telling reporters that he “likes the fact that they have mutual respect for one another.”
He adds: “Her femininity doesn’t detract from his masculinity, and the other way around.”
The U.S. government may believe that Edward Snowden is a criminal, but Shailene Woodley doesn’t.
In fact, the Insurgent star, who plays Snowden’s longtime dancer-acrobat girlfriend Lindsay Mills in Oliver Stone’s upcoming drama about the National Security Agency whistleblower, thinks he should be celebrated for his work.
“I define a hero as somebody, who against the judgment of other people, if they believe something will positively impact the world and they choose to do it and honor their integrity, that’s what I sort of consider a hero, no matter how big or mall a feat they create,” she told me this weekend while promoting Insurgent (in theaters on March 20). “And in that light, absolutely I think that Edward Snowden is a hero.”
Woodley hasn’t had the chance to talk to Mills or Snowden, but she’d like to.
“You are the epitome of the word selfless,” Woodley said of Snowden, who has been living in Moscow since seeking asylum there in 2013 after facing espionage charges in the U.S. for leaking the classified information to the press. “You did something knowing you wouldn’t be able to come home, knowing that your country would have very mixed feelings and yet your integrity on what you believe was right or wrong or should be public knowledge was more important to you than almost your own comfortability and the life that you had lived for so long. So I would like to say thank you to him.”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the film as Snowden. Rounding out the cast are Zachary Quinto, Scott Eastwood and Nicolas Cage. Citizenfour, a documentary about Snowden and the NSA scandal, recently won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
On a less serious note, Woodley said she learned how to poll dance for the film for Mills’ YouTube videos showing off her performing skills.
“It’s so much fun,” Woodley said.
And so was filming Insurgent, the second of the four films in the Divergent franchise.
“Our director [Robert Schwentke] brought so much excitement to the set,” Woodley said. “And we were filming in Atlanta and it was the summer so there was a lot of sunshine and it felt like a really healthy way to make a movie.”
Theo James said the cast and crew felt “a little bit of liberation” making the second movie because “you’ve already set the world up.”
“The stakes are a little bit lower hopefully because you’ve vaguely achieved the first movie,” he said with a laugh (Divergent’s worldwide box office hit a whopping $288.8 million), adding, “So you get to push it a little bit more.”
Shailene is on the April cover of Glamour UK!
Happy Friday everyone! As a little Friday treat, we present you with our brand new cover star – The Fault in Our Stars actress, Shailene Woodley.
In the new issue of GLAMOUR – out 3 March – Shailene opens up to us about sex scenes, nudity, and life on the set of the Divergent franchise.
On the subject of sex scenes, Shailene is super professional: “I’m totally comfortable with nudity. I’m not sure it empowers me as an actress or anything, but if I’m going to do a movie with sex scenes, then I’m going to be naked, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t have sex with bras and panties on.”
The American attitude to sex is what confuses her, and in turn makes her prefer the European lifestyle.
The White Bird in a Blizzard actress said: “Part of the reason I love Europe is that sexuality is no big deal there. You go to a topless beach and the dudes aren’t checking out your tits, because they’re just boobs,” she says. “[In America] sex is something that’s not talked about – yet it’s in our faces more than anything else.”
She adds, “In school, rather than teach you about sex, they tell you about abstinence, which doesn’t work.”
Surprisingly, Shailene Woodley didn’t have any “interest” in taking part in Fifty Shades of Grey.
“I wasn’t really interested…I’d already signed on for Divergent anyway,” she explains. “Also, I’d read the book and thought, ‘If somebody really can pull this off and make a movie out of it, they will be the biggest genius.'”
With her new movie, Insurgent, being released on 19 March, Shailene talks all about her co-stars – and Kate Winslet is one in particular who has made a huge difference in her life.
“When we started doing press for the first [Divergent] film, she sent me this beautiful email…Kate has become like an older sister to me,” she says. “I know she’s got my back. I’ve got hers, too.”
Shailene Woodley kicked off 2014 with the Sundance Film Festival premiere of “White Bird in a Blizzard,” the Gregg Araki film in which she plays a teenager whose mother unexpectedly disappears. Two months later, she was forging her own path in a future Chicago in “Divergent,” the first big-screen adaptation of the bestselling young adult novels written by Veronica Roth. By midsummer, she was grappling with first love and a terminal cancer diagnosis in the breakout hit “The Fault in Our Stars.”
But neither her demanding work schedule nor the attendant onslaught of exposure Woodley’s received appears to have created much stress or tension for the young actress, who has developed a reputation in Hollywood for her candor and earthiness. Both qualities were on display when the 22-year-old sat down with Hero Complex last month to discuss the August arrival of “Divergent” on Blu-ray and DVD. (Click through the gallery above for a detailed look at “Divergent.”)
Stretched out on a sofa in a San Diego hotel room, Woodley snacked on popcorn — “It makes life feel like a movie” — while seated beside costar Theo James. The duo, who brought to life feisty heroine Tris Prior and her Dauntless guide Four, described their on-screen rapport and offered some details on the upcoming “Divergent” sequel, “Insurgent,” which is being directed by Robert Schwentke and is set for release March 20, 2015.
Hero Complex: There’s been a lot of discussion about the importance of strong women on screen of late, but, as a recent essay on The Dissolve pointed out, those characters don’t always have enough to do on screen. It’s great that Tris is the engine that drives this story.
Shailene Woodley: That is one of the reasons I fell in love with “Divergent,” because Tris, she’s not a superhero, and she wasn’t born with superpowers or an ability to do things. She was born a normal girl and lived a very normal life for a long time, and although she had curiosities about Dauntless and these other factions, she was never able to exercise them in Abnegation. I love that the movie follows her arc and it follows this young girl who starts from a very vulnerable place and in the end is still in a very vulnerable place but a very different place internally. I love that you get to watch her grow and learn certain skill sets. She doesn’t know how to shoot a gun in the beginning of the film, and she learns it throughout the movie. I think it’s a great example of whatever your cause is for young girls that you don’t have to start somewhere, you can always aim to get somewhere.
Continue reading ‘Divergent’: Shailene Woodley, Theo James promise emotional ‘Insurgent’