Below is a list of memorable quotes from Shailene compiled from magazine transcripts and online interviews throughout her career. If you’ve got any you’d like to share that you cannot find here, or if you would like to know the the source for any of the quotes found below, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Enjoy her wise words!
Quotes from 2019
— on working with Meryl Streep on Big Little Lies: Meryl’s bananas. She’s game over. When I first read her character, I thought, ‘How in the hell is somebody going to embody this?’ Meryl’s a fairy godmother. She waves her wand and turns everything into gold.
— on friendship with her Big Little Lies co-stars: We’re all very good at being frustrated — not at each other, but with each other. That’s one thing that is often suppressed in social circles, particularly among women. It’s difficult for women to express frustration because we’re so empathetic about our friends’ feelings and we don’t want to take up too much space, so we end up suppressing our own frustration in order to create space for other conversations. That’s something that our group doesn’t shy away from. It always takes one person to start the conversation and then we all roll into it. And it’s beautiful.
— on disconnecting her iPhone: I found myself in Ubers, on the metro, at restaurants, looking at old photos and old emails, not being productive. I hated it. Now, I’m far more present. I’ve lost a few friends, but I guess they weren’t real friends. I’m not a great communicator. I disappear. I know that doesn’t work for a lot of people. You quickly find out.
— I love acting because it brings me joy. Without it, I’m a miserable, depressed human. I’m such a lucky bitch to even do this in the first place.
— The thing about domestic violence and sexual assault is that no one’s safe from it. If it’s not happening to you, it happens to somebody that you know very intimately, chances are.
— I don’t say things in order to be applauded or to have the label of an activist. But I really just think it’s important to take time to share how we feel, and also take time to listen to what other people are saying and to listen to how other people feel, because, again, that’s how solutions are created.
— If I spent any of my life energy being annoyed by what people I don’t know say about me, that’s a miserable life. When it first started happening when I was younger, I was very much in my early 20s and I was like, fuck that, who cares. This is what I believe in. This is what I want to say. And I think that’s a rite of passage. But I wouldn’t change anything. I think it’s important for us to be ourselves. And I’m weird. And I’m also really boring. I think that’s why people kind of clamor onto sound bites because I’m not at a lot of parties and I’m not doing a lot of Hollywood-type things. I don’t care about the noise.
— Every significant love I’ve had has come in a spontaneous fashion. I’m not a firm believer in any religion. I believe in life! I don’t hold onto an idea that it’s never gonna happen or I’m not gonna find another lover. It’s about surrendering to when and how.
— I don’t believe anything serves as a better catalyst than authenticity.
— I am finding that my internal world and my external world are slowly morphing into one, which is really reassuring. It doesn’t mean that it comes without obstacles, trial, or tribulation, but it does allow for a more peaceful existence and kinder self-talk.
— If you look at Hollywood — and I’m no saint in this regard — but every single time somebody gets a little bit more famous, they get a little bit thinner, and they get a little bit blonder, and they get a little bit more defined in their face. There’s sort of this sense of machinery that can happen to people in the limelight, and I was very fortunate also at a young age to work with so many incredible, strong women who were already a little rebellious in their own ways against the machinery that can be this industry.
— Sometimes years go by and I won’t read anything that inspires me creatively, or gives me butterflies, or elicits an instinctual response that creates a lightning storm inside my stomach — and I won’t work.
— I’m an optimist by nature. But in my 20s, a lot of my internal speak became more aggressive and negative. I knew I could always make someone else’s day better, but I didn’t know how to make my internal world better.
— I am the queen of saying no. But for some reason, with fashion, it took me a long time to be able to stand up for myself, to express myself and my personal identity, in the way I do in every other facet of my life.
— The thing about star status, it’s not something that you create; it’s something others feel like dictating for you. So, fortunately, that’s not something I have to worry about, because that’s not in my control anyway. There’s no difference between being on a movie set creatively expressing and having a peaceful conversation or a heated political debate with someone else.
— I love to be in a foreign location because it’s uncomfortable, and I get high off connecting with people I otherwise would never have the opportunity to connect with.
— The way fame affects your life is determined by your lifestyle. Moving around a lot makes me feel more secure, and it makes me a better artist because I get to talk to and learn from people. If I’m going to tell stories outside my wheelhouse, I need to at least have personally observed these experiences to understand them. Not all actors are like that because they are classically trained. I’m not.
— Dating’s hard. I mean, I love sex. I love the power of emotional connection via physicality. Who doesn’t? But now I’m only interested in those unexpected impactful connections. It’s easy to talk about the positive things about love, but love is scary.
Quotes from 2018
— on dealing with the height of her fame: The idea of magazines, press lines, red carpets and fashion, all of that was so overwhelming that I stayed away from it all. 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.
— on filming Adrift on the open ocean: When you see the sunrise and sunset from the middle of the ocean every day, no matter you’re doing, life is put in perspective. And you just feel lucky to be there.
— 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.
— In high school I would shop at thrift stores to put together weird outfits. When I did The Descendants, I had studios saying, ‘You need to dress more cosmopolitan’, which is such a funny word to use for an 18 year old. I let go of so much of my desire to be creative in that space because I didn’t want to be a mannequin for someone to dress up and throw on a red carpet.
— The idea of fashion is exciting again because I can now curate a look that’s authentically myself. I suppose it really just comes down to control.
— There was a point in my life, right before Big Little Lies, where I had hit a wall with acting. I felt it was time to do something different. I called my agents and said, ‘Please don’t send me any more scripts; I need to explore other avenues.’ They respected me and didn’t send me anything for almost a year until Big Little Lies. I didn’t know what it was or who was involved, I just said, ‘Thanks, I’m still not interested.’ I read it, fell in love with it, and Laura Dern, who I had worked with on The Fault in Our Stars, called me and that was really the push.
— After Standing Rock I had this moment where so many people wanted me to do something and I had to take a step back. Why do we even have events like Standing Rock happen? It’s because there are systematic flaws, and being the emotional creature that I am, I can’t help but think if you want to change legislation then we have to change minds and hearts. We have to become people who are willing to look at our own s**t before we point the finger at someone else and we have to hold one another accountable.
— Activism is important, but I think oftentimes it services as a band aid rather than figuring out how to change the root of the issue. I honestly think everything could be solved if empathy was taught to young people. A lot of people think it’s a very idealistic way of looking at the world, but I don’t know anything else that will work, so until someone tells me another solution I’m just going to continue to say empathy and compassion is where it’s at.
— Thank God for my friends because they are so tolerant of me, but I do want a home now. I lived a very minimalistic life for many years – toothbrush, deodorant, two pairs of jeans, a pair of leggings for yoga, sweater and jacket, really bare essentials. I was a very serious woman for so long, I didn’t allow myself the frivolous nature of being a human being and having human experiences.
— I love getting older; it’s the most exciting thing. Every year I love myself a little more and dig life a little more. Sometimes you’re in highs and sometimes lows, but life is really, really good right now.
— Taking away the trees on our planet and ruining our ocean will leave us without oxygen to survive. Practically, I don’t know how that fact doesn’t rub people harder. If we don’t protect our planet, we cannot survive. It’s basic human instinct to survive.
— For me, nudity in any film is a matter of what is realistic and authentic, not exploitative or unnecessary.
— When I think of the #MeToo movement, I think of it from a place of humanity instead of the label of Hollywood. It’s easy to forget it was started by an African-American woman and that this has been something that’s been going on for a very long time, now that it’s in the media and is talked about more. But I absolutely have seen shifts. Just the fact that so many women feel safe to share stories in their own personal communities is a huge step in the right direction. I hope that moment can continue.
Quotes from 2017
— on her arrest at Standing Rock: I was strip-searched. Like get naked, turn over, spread your butt cheeks, bend over. They were looking for drugs in my ass. When you’re in a jail cell and they shut that door, you realize no one can save you. If there’s a fire and they decide not to open the door, you’ll die. You are a caged animal.
— A bully generally is not bullying just to bully. They’re bullying out of pain and internal conflict and brokenness. Obviously there is no complacency on my end for any act of violence. But it’s worth looking at why we have so many rapes and acts of sexual violence. Many young men and women feel out of control or that they don’t have support for the traumas they’re experiencing, and I think paying attention to that and providing support would create a world where we have less acts of violence.
— Every parent is afraid of their kid. Parents are so afraid of their kids they won’t tell them to go to sleep at night. Think of helicopter parenting: All that is is fear. Fear dominates this world.
Quotes from 2016
— on her training for Allegiant: 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 ass. But they’re only 20 minutes. It’s fantastic. I use this app called Tabata Timer. It’s high interval training.
— on watching her own performances: It’s sort of like my report card. Everyone else has their own opinions of your performance. I like to watch it and say, “Oh, I could have done that better” or, “Oh, that was actually pretty good.” It’s my way of judging and critiquing, so I can grow as an artist.
— As a young woman you don’t learn how to pleasure yourself, you don’t learn what an orgasm should be, you don’t learn that you should have feelings of satisfaction. I’ve always had a dream of making a book called ‘There’s No Right Way to Masturbate.’
— I had crazy, horrific acne when I filmed Divergent. But you would never know because they touch you up. Yes, it’s a movie, it’s their product and I am playing a character, but, as a human being, why wouldn’t you just let my zits show?
— I have a hard time having political conversations in Hollywood. Most people there are so privileged, they don’t see the 99% of America, because they don’t have to. It’s hard for people like that to see another perspective.
— My family is super messed up in many ways, but they are also my everything. They would do anything for me, and I would do anything for them. That’s a lot more than most people can say about their families. I’m grateful for the s**t that happened.
— I often see movies where the actor is great, but I feel like someone else would have done a better job. So I love auditioning because you know you were chosen out of hundreds of people, and you are exactly what they need. The first time I did a movie with a straight offer, I was nervous the entire time. The director never made me feel that way, but he didn’t have the perspective of seeing hundreds of women try to play the role, just me.
— I just want to constantly grow, constantly learn, be a little bit different every day.
— I don’t take photos on the street. I only take photos if I’m doing some sort of political rally or on the front lines or if I’m working. The reason for that is it’s easy to lie and represent our experiences in a two dimensional way that says, “I met Shailene Woodley,” when in all reality, you didn’t meet me. You actually didn’t even ask if it was me. I could just be someone who looks like me and took a photo, and now all the sudden on Instagram your story that you’re telling the world is that “I met Shailene Woodley, we hung out, and now here’s a photo of us.” But something I wish people understood even more about privacy in general is that it’s not just actors or musicians or athletes who struggle with privacy—it’s that privacy is not a human right anymore. Privacy is a privilege, but it’s only a privilege if you’re aware that it’s a privilege.
— With social media, so much of our lives I feel like is a projection of who we want to be or who we wish we were. And I refuse to buy into that, especially for younger generations. The more we allow a certain projection, the more we’re feeding a generation to distance themselves from self-awareness and self-realization, which I think will create a lot of issues for them on a personal level later on in life.
— Everyone defines feminism differently. One thing that’s been beautiful to witness over the last few years is that feminism seems more all-encompassing. It’s embracing the fact that we must come together. I only hope we continue to come together, not only for those of us in this country but for those around the world. Women are getting acid thrown on them in other countries for being a woman.
— It’s easy to say the word “celebrity” and say the word “famous” and use the words “movie star.” And for some reason, it’s much harder to call an actor an artist. If you strip all those fabrications away you’re left with someone who just likes to create.
— We forget what a luxury it is to live in America where we have the right to vote. I think it’s easy for the young generation to feel like we don’t have a lot of power. Just register. Go to the polls. Stand up for what you believe in.
— I try not to judge whether or not I’ll do a film based on the budget. I try and judge it on how I feel artistically fueled and creatively triggered by a particular project.
— There was a movie last year, I loved the script, I loved the character, I loved the director, I really wanted to do it. But I was in a place in my personal life where I wasn’t feeling very well, I was overworked, I was really tired. Having to choose to give myself time to breathe and take a break and recover, again, on a personal level, instead of taking on this project that would have been an incredible experience, that was a really rough decision. But you have to take care of yourself. You can’t be a very good artist if you’re suffering in your own body and your own mind.
Quotes from 2015
— on the advice she received from George Clooney: George said to me, ‘Whoever is number one on the call sheet, and whoever the director is, it’s their responsibility to set the tone for the crew. If they come in in a pissed-off, angry mood, it’s gonna trickle down, and everyone on the set is going to be miserable. But if they come in with a smile on their face, on time, ready to engage and take on the day, then you’re going to have a brilliant, beautiful film set.’
— on signing on to Divergent: I was a little trepidatious saying yes to a franchise, simply because I’d just come off a television show where I had a six-year contract. So the thought of signing another four-year contract was quite daunting. Also I had said, growing up as a child actor, that I’d never be a part of a big studio franchise, because I never wanted that sort of recognition around the globe. I liked doing smaller roles and I really just love acting because I like being on a movie set and that’s it. So I definitely had my doubts, but having said yes, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
— I live a chosen homelessness. I never know where I’m going to sleep. Tonight? I’ll lay my head on a friend’s pillow.
— I was born into a family of warriors, really strong people. It doesn’t mean that it was an easy childhood and we didn’t have our shit, because every family does behind closed doors. But even though my parents are divorced, they get along. I have a family who every day strives to do the right thing.
— This whole concept of detoxing is so fascinating to me, detoxing to get things out of your system—like the radiation from the phones—instead of empowering your body and learning how to live with the radiation and live with the drywall chemicals and whatnot. So it’s adapting to modern industrialization in order to live a healthier life.
— As an actor you get to try all sorts of different hats on and share hats and own hats and rent hats and give them back. And have them taken from you. And I think that’s wonderful.
— I’m all-loving. I fall in love with people based on who they are. When you’re truly in love, for me, it’s… you’re my lighthouse! You’re somebody who holds me high, keeps me safe, you’ve got my fuckin’ back. You also love me whole, wild, and free. You let me do me, and I’m gonna let you do you! And I’ll be the home that you return to.
— I have a great relationship with myself; it doesn’t mean we get along every day.
— I have always felt it’s important to say what you mean and then mean what you say. If you are going to talk something, walk it. And that being said, don’t say anything without compassion. My mom once told me ‘truth without compassion is cruelty.’ You can’t say something that’s one hundred percent truthful, knowing that it’s going to hurt someone and do serious damage. And so for me, it’s always a matter of integrity. And if I believe something, and if somebody asks me a question, I have to answer with the truth; it’s all we have. Say what you mean, mean what you say.
— When somebody’s doing a sex scene and they’re wearing a bra and underwear that’s not how it happens in real life. If I’m going to say yes to a movie where this is necessary then I’m going to bring truth to that situation. Nudity’s not difficult because when I am changing clothes that happens, so I feel like it’s pretty normal.
— Partnership should not take away from your life, it should add to your life, right?
— I have the luxury of having been an actor since I was five. So I know that nothing comes overnight and I know that you have to work really hard in order to be successful. I know if I don’t work for five or six years, maybe it will be harder to get a film, but if I’m not booking films, I will bust my ass at acting classes because if it’s something I’m still that passionate about, then why wouldn’t I want to continue to improve my craft? But if I’m being hired simply because my name is a name, that doesn’t feel good.
— Being on a movie set to me is one of the greatest things. I could sleep on set. It’s like 200 people, and everyone has their own story. Everyone comes from somewhere different, and yet they’re all there together collaborating. It’s sort of like a living, breathing amoeba, how it’s constantly moving and shape-shifting. And without all of its parts, it wouldn’t be able to flourish.
Quotes from 2014
— on her admiration of George Clooney: He’s like my second dad. He’s got my back. I’ve never met somebody in the industry who’s more grateful, who pays it forward without talking about it in the press or speaking about it to anyone else. That to me was the best advice, just learning through his actions.
— I admire Jennifer Lawrence, but she’s everyone’s favorite person to compare me to. Is it because we both have short hair and a vagina?
— I would never give anyone else the power to change my personal virtues.
— I was a pretty typical teenager. I did go through an angsty period, but it was pretty short—only like a year. I was never the crazy girl, but I was never the quiet one who just stayed home. I’m sort of a mix of all the characters I’ve played.
— Sexuality is so taboo in America. When it’s visually brought to the screen it’s shocking for a lot of people. You look at French films, and sex, nudity, and all that exists in almost every French film. It’s no big deal and not hidden in the public society.
— I listen to everything from Little Richard to Cocteau Twins to Bon Iver and Depeche Mode. I love all types of music.
— Red lipstick makes me feel sexy. And I wear it for me, not for you. My new mantra is: ‘You do you, and I’ll do me.’
— My mother was a school counselor, and my father was a high school principal. I grew up with not, ‘Go say you’re sorry.’ It was, ‘How does that make you feel?’ or ‘If you were in his shoes, how do you think that would make him feel?’ It was all very cerebral, and there was a lot of analyzing, a lot of breaking down situations from a place of compassion and empathy. I think that made me who I am today.
— For the first time, I feel like I’m entering my womanhood. I’ve decided to take a few months off, just to see who I am as that woman in the world, because I’ve never been able to experience it outside of this industry.
— My whole life I’ve been so self-conscious about being skinny. And just recently I don’t care anymore. All insecurities are projected because of what you think others are saying about you, but they don’t really matter at all. My only real insecurities in high school were having such long legs and thick hair—things I’m so very grateful for now.
— Nothing teaches you that worry is the product of a future we can’t guarantee, and guilt is a product of a past that we cannot change.
— I’m very particular about my lifestyle and food that I eat. I eat everything, I just eat it in its purest form.
— I’ve done shoots where I felt uncomfortable. I’ll never do that again. I keep my clothes on.
— Somebody told me a long time ago it’s none of my business what other people think of me and it has changed everything. The same way it’s none of your business what anyone thinks of you. It’s sort of a game changer when you think about it like that.
— My acting style is just showing up, and just being very present to those in front of me and actively reacting to what they are saying.
— I learned a lesson a long time ago that Googling yourself is just not a good idea. So I guess I can assume what maybe people are saying, but for the most part I don’t read anything or look at anything because you never know and it’s easy to let a lot of voices in your head and then sort of drown in them instead of keeping your own voice. I don’t enjoy that.
— We’ve got a set amount of time in our lives, you know. You might as well make every conversation count. So that’s like the hug. It’s kind of like, ‘Hey, I’m real. You’re real. Let’s connect.’
— Sundance is reserved for cozy times. It’s more about snuggling up in front of the fireplace and having a nice glass of wine with your buddies and then seeing a movie.
— The thing with privacy is I’m just going to make sure that whatever I hold sacred stays sacred. What I hold dear to my heart is nobody’s business in the same way whatever you hold dear to your heart is nobody’s business, unless you’re willing to share that.
— I either have butterflies in my stomach when I read a script, or I don’t. If I do have butterflies, I do everything in my power to be in that film, because it’s something my soul asked me to do.
— I love being on an indie set where everyone’s exhausted, no one’s making money, there’s no vanity, and there’s no glitz. You’re all there for art. On a big film, the art aspect sort of disappears and more of the machine aspect comes into play, but it’s fun to explore both worlds. It’s all about the passion.
— I started acting when I was 5. It was something that I always wanted to do, and something that my parents were so great and supportive about. I had three rules growing up. I had to stay the person they knew I was, have fun and do good in school. And as long as I did all of those, then I could continue to act.
— You can say dreams don’t mean anything, because they’re wacky and crazy. But sometimes I’ll have a dream where… I’ll see something, and it will happen. It’s one of those things that you have to have fun with. It’s like spirituality, and religion: It’s very different for every person.
Quotes from 2013
— on working on The Secret Life of the American Teenager: I’m extremely grateful for it; it was a fantastic five years of my life, but towards the end, morally, the things that we were preaching on that show weren’t really aligned with my own integrity. So that was a bit hard to show up to work every day knowing that we were going to project all of these themes to thousands—millions—of young adults across the country, when in fact they weren’t what I would like to be sending out.
— on her relationship with her mother: When I was 15, 16, 17, we did not have a good relationship. I was constantly fighting for my freedom. When I was a freshman, I was hanging out with seniors, so I wanted to go out with them to parties and things and experience life. And for my mom, it was like, “Okay, you can go, but I’m going to call the parents first,” or “I’m going to drop you off.” So I felt like I had an amazing amount of freedom, but it was micromanaged freedom—that’s how I used to phrase it. We fought a lot. I think I was a very hard teenager to live with. But the day I turned 18, something magical happened, because suddenly I had all of the freedom that I wanted and I stopped trying to battle her and prove to her that I was an independent person. At that point, we started bonding in a way that we never had before.
— This town runs on fear. People don’t talk about that. People are so afraid that if they look a certain way, or talk a certain way, they’re never going to work again. That’s so sad. This is about creating art, and if you’re afraid to do something like not wear makeup, what does that say about our culture?
— In high school, a lot of my friends didn’t know I was an actor because I didn’t talk about it. They would come to school and be like, ‘Wait, were you on My Name is Earl last night?’ It was something I kept under wraps because I did it for myself and not for anybody else.
— If I didn’t have acting, I would be just as happy. I would probably be an herbalist, or maybe I would open a fruit stand on a Hawaiian island.
— I’m a Star Wars freak. I thought I was Princess Leia in kindergarten and first grade.
— The thing that’s most grounding for me before bed is when I wash my face. To wash my face and nourish my skin and cleanse myself of everything that happened through the day, and then to sit in bed with my journal or a book of poems or a novel and a cup of tea, is the perfect way for me to ensure a good night’s rest.
— With awards, I think, on one hand, it’s so deeply flattering and extremely humbling and you don’t really know what to say. But I don’t act for anyone else—I do it for myself. So when people recognize you for your work, it feels very awkward and intimidating. I remember after The Descendants, I won an Independent Spirit Award—which was amazing. But then it also led me to this moment of feeling a pressure that I’d never felt before.
— I want to do a role that I’ve never done before. I’ve never been a funny girl, so I think I would like to do a quirky dark comedy.
— “Everything is sacred and nothing is sacred.” I say that to myself every day because it reminds me that life is beautiful and we should take it seriously, but then, on the other end of the spectrum, you can’t take everything so seriously that you’re ignoring the present moment. I think it’s about finding a happy medium between seriousness and play that will lead to great things in life.
Quotes from 2012
— on George Clooney: I am so fortunate to have got to know him as a person, and continue to get to know him. He is so incredibly down to earth, and he knows that it’s probably intimidating to work with him if you’re a young actor. He goes out of his way to make you feel comfortable, wanted and necessary, and I’m so grateful for that. He really is an amazing guy from Kentucky with a heart of gold, who would never hurt a fly.
— I love dark roles – roles that appear scary. Not in a horror film way, but like Black Swan or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Films that take the audience on an emotional journey. And I would love to play Patti Smith in a film one day – I’m re-reading her autobiography, I’m obsessed with it.
— I would love to act for the rest of my life, but I also know that it could be taken away in a day. It’s something I’ve always loved, but it’s nothing I’ve ever revolved my entire life around. I have many other passions as well.
— You know why I like Hawaii so much? It’s because I went there right after I saw Avatar, and I felt like an avatar when I was on those islands. I felt like I could cliff-jump and snorkel and skydive and hike and run, and I was invincible – I felt like an avatar. And considering that’s all I want to be when I grow up, it felt like my home.
— My issue is I really love minimalism – I like not having a lot – but I have built up a plethora of stuff in my room. I want to get rid of it but I hate throwing things away too because all I can picture is them going to the landfill.
— I love the butterflies I get when I read a good script. I love being on stage and turning red in the face because you’re so committed to a particular character.
— I think it’s ridiculous that the boundaries have been crossed between cinema and fashion. They’re both their own separate art forms. I didn’t start acting in order to wear something beautiful and wear lots of makeup. That’s not why I do this. I do this because I really love being on a film set.
— I think the stupidest thing that people my age do is judge other people. And another thing I find interesting about our culture and about my generation is we’ve kind of lost respect for our elders, but if you look at indigenous cultures the elders are the ones everyone learns from. And I know a lot of my friends, I even find myself doing it sometimes, are impatient with people who are in the senior citizen age range.
— I went to a normal high school. I never wanted to do a TV series growing up because I wanted to stay in school. I loved the social aspect of it and I really love to learn – I’m definitely that nerdy girl. And then my junior year of high school I booked Secret Life and my principal was super gracious and allowed me to stay in school. So I was working on the show, doing homework in my trailer in between takes and then a teacher from my public high school would come to my house once a week and walk me through what I had missed, so I finished school that way. And the really cool thing was I got to go to prom and I got to walk with my class. It was really good.
— I would pay my entire savings account to be Patti Smith in a movie. I would love to play Patti Smith, that’s my dream role.
— I absolutely love Italy. I love the fact I went to a nude beach and got to be naked there – it’s so refreshing to be around people who don’t attach a stigma to sexuality. Also, the food is amazing. The first time I got to Italy I had a lasagna and the olive oil was so fresh I could taste it through the pasta layers, the tomatoes and the meat and the cheeses.
— In a non-perverted, non-weird way I’m obsessed with photographs of naked people. I think there’s something powerful about being a human and being strong in a state of vulnerability where you have no clothes on. Every single time I see a photograph or a painting or a sculpture or an artistic film that involves nudity, I think it’s beautiful and I like to apply that to my art. That probably sounds weird, but I do get a lot inspiration from that.
— I feel like I become a stronger person from acting class. When you do improv exercises, it helps your brain function quicker. When you do scenes, you learn a different color of yourself and you get to explore different emotions. I’m really lucky, too; the class I go to, everybody’s very close. It’s like a family. It’s a very safe environment in order to dive into some crazy scenes and be vulnerable.
— A lot of actors will listen to a song before they need to cry or will think about their character’s history and will break down the script and figure out where their character came from and why this scene is hard on them. For me, my approach is memorizing my lines and not practicing it too much on my own, having a small idea of what I think the scene should be like and then going in and completely surrendering myself to the moment — because you never know what a scene is going to be like until you’re there and the other actors are there.
— It’s been a slow, beautiful, natural progression. I was never pushed into acting. My parents both work in education and didn’t know anything about the film or television industry, it all happened very organically.
— I love to be outdoors, I’m happy doing anything that involves being close to nature… If I have one dream for the future it is to one day own a farm and be an actress and a farmer.
— My mom and I started a charity last year called All It Takes, and there’s three branches; health, the environment, and social awareness within schools which is our positive affirmation of anti bullying. We take middle school kids, half at-risk and the other half are high achievers, to a camp where through team building workshops and courses, they learn to accept one another, and it opens a lot of room for awareness within schools.
Quotes from 2011
— I’m not not a morning person, I’m an in betweener. I can do it when it needs to be done but I definitely don’t wake up early if I don’t have to.
— My body’s from L.A., but my heart is from Hawaii. There’s a magical energy there. It’s very … I don’t want to say spiritual. But within two seconds of getting off the plane, I immediately become centered and grounded, and listen to myself, which is easy to lose sight of when you’re involved with all the materialism of Los Angeles.
— When you’re on a film set, you’re not thinking about what other people are going to think—you’re not thinking about magazines, you’re not thinking about interviews, and you’re definitely not thinking about Oscars. At least for me. I’m just thinking about how grateful I am to be on the set and to work with such phenomenal people and to have the opportunity.
— I’m such a happy, optimistic person in real life for some reason, I have a great time taking out my alter-ego, dark side on screen. I don’t draw from real life. I go into every role as Shai through the restrictions and the rules of a particular character. That’s what works for me because that allows me to remain truthful.
— I’m very aware that in this industry, 500 out of 501 times you do not book something, and I’m a firm believer that you’re right for a role, or you’re not right for a role, so if you don’t book it there’s no sense in wallowing over why you didn’t book it. You didn’t book it because that girl was either A) better than you for the role, or B) had the right look, or C) knew someone you didn’t know. There are so many different components. Me, I’m really good about letting go once I audition.
— I don’t want to play the game of cat and mouse, where I have to do this part so I can get that part. If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. If not, I’ll be a third-grade teacher.
— You know, it’s a real funny, ironic thing. I am the happiest person; literally, I am annoyingly happy to some people. I was naturally born an optimist, I love life, even when things are not going so great. But for some reason, I guess I can tap into my dark alter-ego emotional side very easily and play these characters on the screen. Maybe that’s why I love acting subconsciously, I store all my angst and let it out.
— The first movie I remember loving was Beauty and the Beast, when I was 3.