Looking incredible in a brand new (and sustainable) photoshoot, Shailene is the cover girl of this month’s edition of Who What Wear. The issue also features an exclusive interview where she discusses the challenges of finding her own personal style, mental health and her Big Little Lies co-stars.
WHO WHAT WEAR – Shailene Woodley and I are on a cross-country phone call talking about our impending “Saturn returns.” As common a Southern California expression as “June gloom” or “pilot season,” Saturn return describes an astrological event that takes place when Saturn moves back to the position in space where it was when a person was born—approximately 29.5 years later. “I’m not one for dogma or doctrine of any kind,” Woodley qualifies when I ask her how closely she adheres to astrology or spiritual ideology of any kind. “But I deeply believe that if things have been around for thousands of years, then there must be some wisdom in there.” Woodley and I, both 27, seem to agree that while the planets may not be directly impacting our destinies, there is an undeniable change that occurs in one’s late 20s. At this age, we seem to move past all the aimless tumult we experienced at the beginning of adulthood—a time of professional unpredictability, financial instability, and the awkwardness of still not having your look quite figured out. Woodley describes 27 as the start of her pilgrimage back to a more relaxed, almost childlike state. “I feel a resurrection of the freedom that I experienced when I was about 17—this beautiful 10-year cycle,” she continues. “Despite the raging hormones and not-so-great boyfriend I had at the time, I still had a sense of wonder. I feel like I allowed that wonder to be crushed. But it’s being brought up from the ashes at the moment.”
Today, Woodley is best recognized for her role on the hit HBO series Big Little Lies, in which she stars alongside Hollywood powerhouses like Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and, as of season two (premiering June 9), Meryl Streep. The Simi Valley, California native first rose to fame in 2008 as the 16-year-old protagonist of the ABC Family TV drama The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Lead roles in big-screen blockbusters like 2011’s The Descendants, starring George Clooney; the sci-fi action Divergent trilogy; and The Fault in Our Stars positioned Woodley, with her openhearted quality of performance and charm, as one of the most prominent ingenues in mainstream entertainment. But offscreen, Woodley was cultivating a quirkier reputation. Throughout her early 20s, the actress flummoxed reporters and talk show hosts with her bohemian, profoundly un-Hollywood approach to beauty and lifestyle. Flower child–ish, Goop-esque practices like oil pulling, DIY’ing toothpaste from clay, and using spirulina as eye shadow were among the Woodley-isms that made the news. “Are Shailene Woodley’s Natural Beauty Hacks Safe?” a 2017 StyleCaster headline read. “‘Divergent’ Star Shailene Woodley Is a Queerish Hippie Who Believes in Trees,” read an Autostraddle title from a few years earlier.