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Shailene on Her Emmy Nomination and Feminist Evolution

THE NEW YORK TIMES – Once again, the women of “Big Little Lies” will be pitted against one another, this time at the Emmy Awards. But please don’t call it a rivalry, said Shailene Woodley, who was nominated for supporting actress in a limited series alongside Laura Dern. (Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are up for lead actress.)

“We all played very different roles, had very different story lines, and there is no competition,” she said in a phone call from Fiji, where she is filming the survival movie “Adrift.” “A win for any of us is a win for all of us.”

In the HBO series, Ms. Woodley plays Jane, a single mother who, after enrolling her son, Ziggy, in a progressive elementary school in idyllic Monterey, Calif., finds herself an outcast among certain parents by virtue of her economic standing — chief among them, Ms. Dern’s character, Renata, a C.E.O. and power mom who seems to have it all.

To have Ms. Dern, who played her mother in “The Fault in Our Stars,” hiss and snarl as her nemesis added hilarity to the proceedings. “We had become quite close, and when I received the script she called me and said, ‘If you don’t do this show, we’re going to have a problem,’” Ms. Woodley recalled. “It’s so much fun to pretend to be angry at someone that you love and adore.” These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Tell us about your character Jane.
When we meet her in “Big Little Lies,” we meet a girl who’s trying to live in an adult world, who’s coping with the extreme suppression of anger and sadness while also trying to deliver a life full of possibility and positivity and wonder to her young child. And I think that’s why she was able to bond with so many of the women from Monterey, because although they didn’t have similar personalities, Jane saw that they, too, were coping with some sort of deep grief despite the facade of white fences.

Those women were played by real powerhouses. What was that like?
It was wonderful. Reese, Nicole and Laura would discuss with Zoë [Kravitz] and me how times have changed since they were teenage actors, and reflect on the progress that has been made in Hollywood. I still think there’s a long way to go when it comes to depicting females in films. But being on a set where we had the camaraderie and compassion and support of so many women — and not just the actors, but our crew and producers — was an unparalleled experience.

You’ve spoken about the need for empathy toward the show’s male characters, even the abusive husband played by Alexander Skarsgard.
A bully generally is not bullying just to bully. They’re bullying out of pain and internal conflict and brokenness. Obviously there is no complacency on my end for any act of violence. But it’s worth looking at why we have so many rapes and acts of sexual violence. Many young men and women feel out of control or that they don’t have support for the traumas they’re experiencing, and I think paying attention to that and providing support would create a world where we have less acts of violence.

Female friendships are important to you. And yet in the past you’ve said that you’re not a feminist.

I would today consider myself a feminist. If females start working through the false narrative of jealousy and insecurity fed through a patriarchal society, then not only will we have more women feeling confident in themselves and supportive of one another, but we will start introducing a type of matriarchy, which is what this world needs. We need more softness and more silence and more pause through the chaos.

You’re an environmental activist. Have you considered running for political office?

There was a point last year when I was working for Bernie Sanders where I thought, “Huh, maybe I’ll run for Congress in a couple years.” And you know what? I’m not going to rule it out. Who knows? Life is big, and I’m young.

Do you have a favorite Emmy nominee this year?
I’m rooting for “Feud,” and I’m all on the Susan Sarandon train, just because she’s brilliant and brought so much to that show.

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Shailene Woodley flexes her opinions on staying in shape, feminism, stardom, Twitter and acting

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

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Shailene Woodley & Theo James BuzzFeed Q&A

Shailene and Theo James had a Question & Answer session with BuzzFeed earlier today. You can watch it below!

We are live with Shailene Woodley and Theo James answering all of your questions about Allegiant and The Divergent Series. Ask your questions below!

Posted by BuzzFeed Celeb on Monday, March 14, 2016

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