Shailene and her The Spectacular Now co-star Brie Larson are featured on the cover of the June 2 edition of New York Magazine. In addition to some beautiful photos, there is also a wonderful in-depth interview/article with the two. If you haven’t already, be sure to read on below.
NY MAG – Making a meal for two women who are, collectively, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and actresses on the cusp of superstardom is not easy. And yet, on a Sunday night in early May, I decided to cook dinner for Shailene Woodley, the star of the international hit Divergent, and Brie Larson, who won a good deal of attention last year for her award-winning role in the film Short Term 12. I wanted to see them together, because Woodley and Larson are close friends and allies in their unique quest to raise Hollywood’s consciousness. It seemed to me that their common vision—a hippieish wish to alter the system while doing great work in a business that is tough for women—would blossom in an organic manner over dinner. Since both Woodley and Larson are throwback California girls who disdain the fake and impersonal, I reasoned that a restaurant would be too cold for them. So I invited them to my house.
They were both in New York: Larson was in town at the invitation of Prada to attend the Met Gala, and Woodley, who was also going to the Met extravaganza, was in the middle of a two-day press junket for her latest film, The Fault in Our Stars, which is out June 6 (both are adept at the Hollywood rules). When she’s not working, Woodley likes to disappear, and for a week it wasn’t clear if she was coming to dinner or not. She doesn’t have a permanent home or cell phone—preferring to couch-surf at her friends’ houses. Last December, after working on back-to-back films for a year, Woodley told her representation that she was going camping in New Zealand, but instead she stayed in Los Angeles and remained happily invisible for two months. During a break in April, she vanished again.
This free-spiritedness does not come without opinions. Both Woodley and Larson have been acting professionally since they were tiny children, and they are keenly aware of how Hollywood works and they aim to challenge conventional notions of emerging stardom, especially female stardom. They are outspoken about their goals and philosophy, part of a New Age continuum, on everything from what parts they want to play to what they want to eat. On the healthy-living front, both are particularly passionate: Larson is an avid locavore (as well as a vegan), and Woodley has seriously considered becoming an herbalist. When she’s feeling ill, she makes tea out of pine needles (apparently a great source of vitamin C); she brushes her teeth with clay and whitens them by swishing sesame oil in her mouth for 20 minutes. She staves off yeast infections by giving “my vagina a little vitamin D” sunlight.
Needless to say, as the person cooking, I found this near obsession with the righteous path to be almost paralyzing. Finally, I settled on dishes that I rarely make—vegetable soup with three kinds of beans, steamed asparagus, tomatoes in vinaigrette, and a vast array of desserts purchased at a gluten- and dairy-free bakery. I nervously set the table, worried that the five taxidermied chickens in my dining room would upset my sensitive guests.