Shailene Woodley on Stalking Directors, Futuristic Dystopias, and The Spectacular Now

August 6, 2013

DETAILS – Stealing scenes from George Clooney wasn’t enough. Now the 21-year-old is running off with the show in The Spectacular Now and in next year’s big-budget dystopian thriller Divergent.

DETAILS: George Clooney, Your costar in The Descendants, once said you’re a “50-year-old scientist in a 20-year-old body.” What does that mean?
SHAILENE WOODLEY: I don’t think he meant nerdy like a scientist. I think maybe he meant more mature? I guess…

DETAILS: You were the popular girl in high school, but in The Spectacular Now you play a shy, awkward teen. It’s very John Hughes.
SHAILENE WOODLEY: That’s what I love about it, that it’s a modern-day eighties movie. It’s so real and so raw and not played up to anything dramatic or oversized.

DETAILS: Next year, you’re going to star in the much-anticipated, big-budget movie Divergent. Are you prepared for that kind of celebrity?
SHAILENE WOODLEY: I don’t abide by the C-word. I think that people are interested in you if you give them something to be interested in. I don’t give them anything to talk about—I lead a boring life.

DETAILS: But the Internet was very interested in your rumored relationship with Shiloh Fernandez. That stuff is only going to get worse.
SHAILENE WOODLEY: Yeah.. but, I mean, I have a very different life outside of this industry, which is up in the mountains and studying herbalism and being connected to the planet.

DETAILS: So you’re a closet hippie. What does that entail?SHAILENE WOODLEY: There’s this concept of “re-wilding”—we’ll never go back to hunter-and-gatherer times, but if we can adapt to the radiation that’s in the air and the drywall in our ceilings 24-7, then with that comes reconnecting to plants that grow around us too and recognizing how healing they are.

DETAILS: That’s good practice for the dystopianDivergent. Do all the comparisons to that other young-adult series turned movie franchise, The Hunger Games, ever worry you?
SHAILENE WOODLEY: I don’t know why it would worry me—The Hunger Games is a great success, and Jennifer Lawrence is amazing. Both take place in a futuristic dystopia… but there are thousands of movies that take place in futuristic dystopias.

DETAILS: People say you’re very take-no-prisoners when you want a role. Do you still stalk directors?
SHAILENE WOODLEY: I’ll contact directors and write them very long e-mails—”I would do anything to audition for you!”