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Shailene Woodley: Balancing Stardom with Commitment

March 18, 2015

Just as we were putting the finishing touches on our spotlight on Shailene Woodley’s rise as a professional child actor to a box office superstar, our Google Alerts buzzed with the news that Shailene has landed at the top of IMDb’s annual Top 10 Stars list. Quite a jump from her 2013 spot at number 64 on IMDb’s full top 100 Stars list!

"This was Shailene Woodley's breakout year," according to IMDb managing editor Keith Simanton. "She has a huge amount of onscreen charisma. And this was the year the world just got her."

She began commercial modeling at age four, and was first seen on screen in 1999 in Replacing Dad. More roles followed, including The District (2000), The O.C. (2003) and Crossing Jordan (2001).
Shailene landed the lead role of Amy in The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008). She received critical acclaim and won an Independent Spirit Award and the 2012 MTV Movie Awards’ Breakthrough Performance Award, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the role of Alexandra King in The Descendants, (2011), notably playing the troubled daughter of Matt King (George Clooney.)

Her portrayal of Amee Finecky in The Spectacular Now gained her the Special Jury Award for Acting at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Shailene starred in White Bird in a Blizzard, an independent film released at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January, 2014.
For her role of Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars (2014), she received The Hollywood Film Award for Breakout Performance by an Actress. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone called her “a sublime actress with a résumé that pretty much proves she's incapable of making a false move on camera.”

Shailene’s most recent role is as Tris Prior in the film Divergent, (2014.) Divergent reached #1 at the box office during its opening weekend. She will once again take on her role as Tris in the second installment titled The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which has a release date of March 20, 2015. She will reprise her role in the two-part finale, The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1 and Part 2, with Part 1 to be released in March 2016 and Part 2 (March 2017.)
Shailene hails from Simi Valley, California, to Lori (Victor), a middle school counselor, and Lonnie Woodley, a school principal. As a teenager she was diagnosed with scoliosis. She was put in a chest-to-hips plastic brace to straighten her spine, a successful treatment.

She attended Simi Valley High School and graduated with her high school class all while starring on the hit ABC Family teenage soap opera The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008). Her principal had a teacher visit her house once a week to give her school work which she would do, in-between takes, on set. As a result, she was able to graduate with her class on time.

“I'm not one of those actors who feels like they need to get in character to do any sort of method acting situations,” said Shailene in a March, 2014 interview. “For me it's all about learning my lines, showing up on time, and professionally listening to what others are saying, and then authentically and truthfully reacting off of their expressions.”

Beliefs and Passion:
Shailene is a self-proclaimed environmentalist. She gathers her own spring water from the mountains, and makes her own toothpaste, body lotions, and facial products. “So it all starts with us. If we want to save the planet, then I think we need to start saving ourselves in order to do that. I believe that organic farming, among many other practices, can really start that shift.” She hopes to start her own organic, biodynamic farm, selling produce for less than conventional prices. Looking forward 10 years, Shailene sees herself balancing her lifestyle of living in stride with the Earth with being active in the Industry.