Thursday, 10 October 2013

Shailene Woodley Featured in ELLE Magazine - November 2013 Issue

For the twentieth year in a row, ELLE dives deep into the careers of the most talented names in film for their annual Women in Hollywood Issue, in which Divergent star Shailene Woodley features:

Shailene Woodley, on staying true to herself in Hollywood: "There's nothing like walking into a meeting and people expecting me to shake hands, and you hug them. For me, a hug is to disregard all of that bullshit and be like, This is me, Shai. This is who I am. Now let's talk about real situations. Let's not talk about all this surface-level stuff."

Shailene Woodley, on the next five years: "I'm so young, and I'm single, and I just want to drift. I'm just going to be a drifter. I want to do something totally different before Insurgent [the second film in the Divergent trilogy]. Maybe I'll work in a tea shop. Or live in Amsterdam. Or be a nanny. Life experience only helps us as actors. I need new experiences to draw upon."

Be sure to pick up your issue of ELLE on newsstands October 22!
Update: Read the full feature after the cut:

 Full Feature:

She’s nimble enough for both nuanced, emotional indies (The Spectacular Now, The Descendants) and the massive high-wire act of a soon-to-be blockbuster (Divergent). All eyes are on Hollywood's next big thing as her career prepares to go 3..2..1..

If Shailene Woodley has a magic trick, it’s a sort of extreme on-screen naturalism.  A lesser actress might play the untimely death oh her mother (The Descendants) for melodrama, or the los of her virginity (The Spectacular Now) as treacly. In Woodley’s hands, awkward teenage moments unfold as so true to life, it’s almost as if a camera just happened to be there, documenting her actual coming-of-age.

And, indeed, one usually has: At 21, she’s been in the business for 16 years. The only daughter of two psychologists in Simi Valley, California, Woodley shot more than 60 commercials, including four for McDonald’s, before age 11. But The Descendants was her official coming-out party. Rewatch Alexander Payne’s drama and you’ll see: The thing doesn’t really start until she shows up, 20 minutes in.   

As George Clooney's older daughter, a rebellious brat who seems thoroughly detached from the fact that her mother has been in a coma for weeks, Woodley swiftly makes us forget she’d ever been the star of an ABC Family show – The Secret Life of an American Teenager, which ran for 5 seasons – and she does it with exactly one scene. While she’s in the pool, Clooney announces that her mother isn’t expected to wake. Woodley sinks to the bottom; the camera catches her muffled, heartbreaking cry. It’s torturous and ferocious, and when she emerges, she basically slaps her father in the face: “Why did you have to tell me in the godamn pool?” The line says everything- about fathers and daughters, about the pain of growing up- and it’s all in Woodley's delivery. Of her director, she says, “Alexander came to me one day and he said, ‘You’re not being you. Be Shai.’ And I knew exactly what he meant. He could tell when I was acting and when I was just being a professional listener.”

Woodley scored a Golden Globe nom for the film. Cue the “next Jennifer Lawrence” buzz, which will grow deafening by next March, when Woodley headlines Divergent, a hunger Games-type action film about a post-apocalyptic world in which she must lead a revolution against the Government. (Director Neil Burger calls her “fearless”: on set, she climbed a 150-foot Ferris Wheel in 35-degree Chicago cold.
Next year, Woodley also appears in Gregg Araki’s microbudget, sexually charged creepfest ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’ before taking on ‘The Fault I our Stars’, based on the tragicomic YA novel about a girl battling cancer- one of the most coveted roles in recent memory. In as sure a sign as any of Woodley’s status as a burgeoning icon, when she lopped of her long hair for the film in August- donating it to the charity Children With Hair Loss- girls everywhere followed suit, tweeting pics of thir own shorn locks. Woodley’s take on it all, delivered with a huge smile: “Hair grows back.”

Her biggest challenge, though, will be holding tight to the young woman she is as the global publicity machine- inevitable at this point- kicks into gear. And that young woman is pretty damn cool: The girl who tells me she starts each day by screaming, “Good morning! Good morning! Exciting day! Exciting day!” The amateur herbalist who gives Jimmy Fallon Echinacea flowers on-air; who, according to Spectacular Now co-star Miles Teller, “always has a mason jar full of something green or brown. And smells weird.’

There’s also her propensity to hug strangers. “there’s nothing like walking into a meeting and people expecting me to shake hands,” Woodley says, “and you hug them. For me, a hug is to disregard all that bullshit and be like, This is me, Shai. This is who I am. Now lets talk about real situations. Lets not talk about all this surface level stuff.”


What film are you most proud of, and why?
The Spectacular Now- because it was such a fight to get made. And such a fight every single day on set to get in our takes before the sun went down.

Have you ever had to fight for a role?
Hazel, in The Fault in Our Stars. They thought I was too old- I’m 21, she’s 17. I met the director for dinner, we got along really well. Afterward he told me, We’ll be friends, but she’s not Hazel. Then I auditioned, and he was like, She’s hazel.

What initially made you want to be an actress?
I don’t remember. I was five. I think it was something fun. “I’m bored of gymnastics. I’m bored of soccer. Lets do acting.”

What role would you kill for?
I want to do a Woody Allen film. It’s like a dream.

What does the next five years look like?
I’m so young, and I’m single, and I just want to drift. I’m just going to do something totally different after Insurgent (The second film in the Divergent trilogy). Maybe I’ll work in tea shop. Or live in Amsterdam. Or be a nanny. Life experience only helps us as actors. I need new experiences to draw upon.


Shailene on The Descendants (2011):
“Every single day, Alexander Payne would tell me to slow down and be louder. I guess I talk fast and I talk quietly.”

Shailene on The Spectacular Now (2013):
“The scariest project I’ve ever been a part of. Aimee’s an introvert, wise beyond her years, but not a nerd. I wasn’t going to play a stereotype. I fought hard against that.”

Shailene on White Bird in a Blizzard (2014):
“Its so creepy. My character finds herself in sexual ways. Or she thinks that’s how she finds herself. It’s so Araki.”

Shailene on Divergent (March 2014):
“Tris had this opportunity to become brave and courageous, but it wasn't by choice, it was by force. I think the really profound thing about her is her selflessness."

 Full scan
Image Via FashionScans

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