VULTURE – The stars have aligned, and season two of Big Little Lies is finally here. After Sunday night’s premiere, Shailene Woodley, a student of astrology, explained that she actually considers the stars in how she approaches her characters. In a conversation at 92nd Street Y on Monday night, Woodley told the audience that ever since she started studying astrology a few years ago, she builds an entire star chart for her characters, including Monterey’s favorite newcomer and secret keeper, Jane Chapman. “It really helps me understand their psychology. I’m like, Oh, that’s why she’s so shy,” she said.
So what’s on Jane’s chart? Taurus with a touch of Sagittarius and Aquarius. “I really see her sun sign as a Taurus,” said Woodley, “but then having some Sag in there somewhere. I think she can be really funny. I think she’s got some Aquarius in there as well because I think the way she sees the world and its possibilities is a little different. The biggest thing for her that is interesting in building a chart is that she — because of the trauma that she had and the trauma that she still has, it changes the way that those things are fired off.”
Woodley laughed off any haters to her process. “I love it so much. It’s such a woo-woo thing,” she says. “Sometimes people think it is, but I think it’s actually really cool.” Woodley says that she had her own chart read when she was in a major moment of depression. “I was like, ‘You, witch lady, are not teaching me anything,’” she says, “and she knew me better than anyone, and it really freaked me out. But to me, astrology just gives you permission to be yourself without judgment. That’s what I’ve been able to help build my characters from.”
But did the stars reveal anything about Jane’s new hairdo? Woodley says she actually suggested Jane get bangs in season two. “After what happens in season one, I sort of felt like Jane had this cataclysmic release,” says Woodley. “I feel like for myself when something extreme happens, I’ll get a piercing or I’ll cut my hair or I’ll do some weird body-morphing thing. It’s a way to mark my new territory of self within my own psyche. I felt like for her, it was a way to redefine her identity as her own identity separate from the event that occurred in season one.”
Woodley says she couldn’t dye her hair because of a project she was doing after BLL, “so I was like, ‘What if we give her bangs?’ because it’s dramatic.
It’s a big change, and also something that when you have these breakup haircuts sometimes you look in the mirror two weeks later and you’re like, What the fuck did I do with my hair? I wanted to do something where in a couple of weeks she could have had the opportunity to be like, That was dumb, but glad I have these bangs now. Cool.”
Another day, another new photoshoot! Shailene is featured this time on the cover of lifestyle and fashion publication, S/ magazine. In addition to a brand new set of photos, she discusses the second season of Big Little Lies and her campaign efforts to help the environment.
S/ MAGAZINE – Domestic abuse. The hardships and blessings of motherhood.Psychological damage as a result of sexual violence. This is just a sampling of the heavy, real-life topics explored throughout HBO’s TV phenomenon Big Little Lies.
An adaptation of Australian author Liane Moriarty’s 2014 bestselling book of the same name, the award-winning dark comedy-drama is set in the affluent oceanside town of Monterey, California, and revolves around five mothers struggling with ethical and emotional issues. The women suddenly find themselves right at the centre of a murder investigation that rocks the quaint, but rather toxic, beachfront community.
Peppered throughout with scenes that flash back and forward, the murder-mystery narrative of season one—which premiered in 2017— pulsates constantly with secrets, parenting insecurities, and competitive streaks between working, stay-at-home, and tiger moms. All these elements have become Big Little Lies’ indispensable pleasures, making it a tale that has left viewers disturbed and hooked on the seven-hour whodunit quest to the season’s finale.
But engrossing rivalries and feuds aside, there is more surrounding Monterey’s grudge-holding club of mothers. The show, which was created by American writer and producer David E. Kelley and directed by Montreal’s Jean-Marc Vallée, also turned out to be a powerful onscreen depiction of female strength, compassion, and, most importantly, solidarity.
“I love that we have the opportunity to explore the psychological relationships between women, because often we see [the] presentation of females as being either completely for or against one another,” says Shailene Woodley. The American actor stars as one of the leading characters, alongside Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman (Witherspoon and Kidman executive produce in addition to starring), Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz. “In this show, you really get to explore the inner dynamics of jealousy, insecurity, comparison, real friendship, forced friendship, and loneliness. All the aspects that make up real-life relationships are at the core of this show.”
DEADLINE – The Shailene Woodley serial killer thriller Misanthrope has presold around the world for FilmNation here in Cannes following a buyer presentation that included the Big Little Lies actress and director Damian Szifron (Wild Tales).
Woodley will star as a talented but troubled cop recruited by the FBI to help profile and track a murderer. Szifron has scripted with Jonathan Wakeham, with additional casting underway and filming due to take place in Atlanta later this year.
Deals have closed with France (Metropolitan), Germany (Tobis), Italy (BIM), Spain (Vertigo), Eastern Europe (Vertical), CIS (Volga), Benelux (via the company’s output deal with The Searchers), Greece (Feelgood), Iceland (Sam Films), Israel (Lev), Middle East (Italia), Portugal (Nos), Switzerland (Pathé) and Latam (Sun).
Terrence Malick’s ‘A Hidden Life’ Snapped Up By Fox Searchlight In 8-Figure Deal After Late-Night Bidding War – Cannes
Also closed were Hong Kong (Edko), India (PVR), Indonesia (PT Prima), Japan (Gaga), Philippines (Pioneer), Singapore (Shaw), South Korea and Thailand (Joyncinema), Taiwan (Moviecloud), Vietnam (Blue Lantern), Pan Asia Pay TV (Fox Networks Group), Australia/NZ (Roadshow, also via an output) and South Africa (Empire). UK is under negotiation.
FilmNation once again rode high on the Croisette and for a second successive year had three movies pitch sellouts in the shape of Down Under Cover, sold to Paramount for the world; Mincemeat, which sold to Warner Bros for a handful of markets and to indies in others; and Misanthrope, which went the indie route.
In 2018, the company saw excellent business on 355, Ironbark and this year’s well-received Cannes competition drama Pain and Glory.
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.
We have updated the gallery with Shailene’s various appearances throughout this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival. The festival also marked some great news for her upcoming role in Misanthrope, which received a worldwide distribution deal with FilmNation as a result of its presentation earlier in the week. We still don’t know a lot about the film, but it promises to be a complete departure from anything Shailene has done before.
Shailene attended the The Art of Elysium’s 11th Annual Celebration last night and wore black as part of the Time’s Up campaign. Here are the photos.