NET-A-PORTER – SHAILENE WOODLEY is known for her talent, her sense of justice and her dedication to living as simply as possible, owning only what she can fit into a small suitcase. But the past two years have seen a shift for the actress, one that nearly saw her quit Hollywood. She tells JENNIFER DICKINSON why she nearly walked away and how Big Little Lies got her to stay
“When I was seven,” says Shailene Woodley, “I said, ‘The day I’m on the cover of a magazine I’m going to quit,’ because I never wanted this industry to get in the way of my life.” At that point, she was already a two-year ‘veteran’ of show business, and repelled by the idea of fame and its pervasiveness.
Yet here she is, two decades later, on the cover of this magazine for the second time and with countless others, from Vanity Fair to New York Magazine, in her back catalogue. She’s paused filming on the second season of Big Little Lies to hit the promotion trail for the brilliantly grueling Adrift, a survival story based on Tami Oldham and Richard Sharp’s 1983 experience of being caught in a hurricane and stranded at sea for 41 days, co-starring Brit actor Sam Claflin. Woodley, 26, says she was “stripped to her core” by filming, which involved journeying into open sea every day, jumping into the water to pee when the boat’s toilet broke, and forgoing dinner every day for a month to illustrate Oldham’s slow starvation.
So very much still in the industry, then. Is she not a woman of her word? Or did Hollywood turn her head? Neither, she promises, explaining with a dramatic yet sincere, “I have the best job in the world. I could cry talking about it. And it’s fleeting, I remind myself of that every day. What I do can be taken away at any moment.”
The acting, it appears, comes easily. Co-stars heap unusually genuine praise on Woodley, with the likes of George Clooney – whom she starred with in The Descendants, her sit-up-and-take-notice role – and Kate Winslet (the Divergent franchise) singling her out as one of the best actresses of her generation. Everything that comes with it though? That’s been a struggle.
“The idea of magazines, press lines, red carpets and fashion, all of that was so overwhelming that I stayed away from it all,” says the actress over herbal tea at a relaxed LA cafe, clad in a leather jacket and jeans. “I can’t half-ass anything, so when it came to me having to look a certain way or speak a certain way for this image I was meant to create, it turned me off. When I wasn’t filming I would work on a farm somewhere because that’s what I could hold onto that felt real.”
Read more of the interview at the source
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