|Full Name||Shailene Diann Woodley|
|Birthday||November 15, 1991|
|Relationship||In a relationship|
As a long-time fan, I’m thrilled to provide an in-depth introduction to the incredibly talented and inspiring Shailene Woodley. Born in Simi Valley, California in 1991, Shailene began modeling professionally at just 4 years old which paved the way for her acting career. Read on to learn all about this dynamic star‘s journey from child model to leading lady.
Her Early Life and Modeling Career
Shailene Diann Woodley was born on November 15, 1991 in San Bernardino County, California to parents Lori and Lonnie Woodley. Even as a young child, Shailene expressed an interest in performing. She first started studying acting at the age of 5 and began modeling when she was just 4 years old. This eventually led to small commercial work that helped kickstart her acting career.
Despite her early successes, Shailene continued to live a relatively normal childhood. She went to public school and played high school sports like volleyball and basketball. However, she endured intense bullying from jealous classmates who resented her acting jobs. By 15, the harassment had become so traumatic that she was forced to leave school and complete her education through homeschooling.
Breakthrough Role on The Secret Life of the American Teenager
In 2008, a 16-year-old Shailene won her breakthrough role as Amy Juergens on the ABC Family drama The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She portrayed a 15-year-old girl struggling with an unexpected pregnancy. Her performance earned widespread critical praise, with Woodley being nominated for a Teen Choice Award and a Young Artist Award.
The show‘s creator, Brenda Hampton said:
“We saw some wonderful actresses for this role, but when Shailene Woodley came in, we all knew we had found our girl. She is a brilliant talent and hearing her read for the part, it was clear she understood and appreciated this role. She‘s real, which is what we were looking for."
Starring on the hit teen series from 2008 to 2013 launched Shailene‘s acting career and introduced her to wider audiences.
Award Winning Performance in The Descendants
In 2011, Woodley took on more mature film roles, playing Alex King opposite veteran actor George Clooney in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants. Her nuanced performance as a rebellious teenager earned her universal acclaim. She won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female and was nominated for a Golden Globe. At just 20 years old, this made her the youngest actress to ever receive an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female.
Critics unanimously praised her revelatory work, with Ty Burr from Boston Globe writing:
“Woodley gives one of the year‘s best performances.”
The Descendants proved Shailene had the depth and range to take on more layered adult roles. It paved the way for the next exciting phase of her meteoric career.
Leading Lady of Young Adult Blockbusters
In 2014, Shailene landed her most visible leading role yet – the heroic protagonist Tris Prior in the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s best-selling Divergent novels. As the brave and rebellious heroine of the dystopian action franchise, Shailene carried the trilogy, which went on to earn over $765 million worldwide.
That same year, she also starred as the witty, terminally ill Hazel in the wildly popular romantic drama The Fault in Our Stars, based on John Green‘s beloved novel. Her heartbreaking performance turned the film into a pop culture sensation, with many praising it as perfectly capturing the spirit of the book. It also made history as the first YA adaptation to be nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy.
Thanks to these monster box office hits, Shailene became the #1 actress teens looked up to in 2014 per Variety magazine. Her relatable charm and versatility allowed her to seamlessly embody both the action heroine Tris and the intelligent, quick-witted Hazel.
Emmy Win for Big Little Lies
As Shailene gracefully transitioned into more adult roles, she continued to wow critics and audiences. In 2017, she starred in the award-winning HBO miniseries Big Little Lies alongside heavyweight talents like Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Zoë Kravitz. Despite the stacked cast, Shailene held her own as the complex abuse victim Jane Chapman.
The show became a massive pop culture phenomenon, widely lauded for its nuanced portrayal of layered women. Shailene herself earned the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series. At just 25 years old, she became the youngest actress to ever win in that category, demonstrating once again her preternatural acting chops.
Big Little Lies proved Shailene could go toe-to-toe with veteran A-listers. It also showed off her versatility in tackling heavier dramatic material.
Activism and Environmentalism
In addition to her wildly successful acting career, Shailene has also become known for her fierce passion for activism and environmental causes. She identifies as an outspoken feminist, and staunch environmentalist. The issues closest to her heart include:
- Climate Change: She participated in protests of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock Reservation. Shailene also met with President Obama in 2013 to discuss the urgency of climate change.
- Sustainability: She enthusiastically advocates simple, sustainable lifestyles. Shailene grows her own food, forages, and practices herbalism.
- Mental Health: She is candid about her own struggles with depression, anxiety and eating disorders in hopes of reducing stigma.
- Equal Rights: She ardently supports the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQ equality.
By leveraging her fame to promote intersectional activism, Shailene shows young stars can use their platform as a force for good. She mobilizes people around causes bigger than themselves.
What‘s Next for Shailene Woodley?
Now 32, Shailene continues to choose complex, nuanced roles that defy stereotypes. She starred alongside Sebastian Stan in the 2020 romantic drama Endings, Beginnings. She also portrayed Tami Oldham, a sailor forced to survive alone at sea, in the 2018 thriller Adrift.
Upcoming, she will appear in Robots, an intriguing sci-fi film predicted to release sometime this year. With her diverse range of roles from action hero, to cancer patient, to sailor, to abuse survivor, Shailene‘s versatility and dedication to her craft remains unmatched among her peers.
Off-screen, she persists in using her platform to advocate for environmental protection through organizations like Greenpeace while engaging fans on social media.
It‘s clear that whatever Shailene Woodley sets her sights on next, whether it‘s a compelling character or meaningful cause, she‘s sure to enthrall us with her obvious talent and authentic truth-telling. This humble star‘s genuineness on and off-screen has made her one of Hollywood‘s most unique voices. At just 32, her meteoric acting and activism career is sure to keep impacting popular culture for decades to come.