Shailene is featured in the latest issue of V Magazine–looking beautiful in a photo taken during this year’s Sundance Film Festival in January.
V MAGAZINE – Shailene Woodley’s starring role in this spring’s Divergent might have catapulted her from buzzworthy-critical-darling status to full-fledged movie stardom, but the 22-year-old actress is still an indie cinephile at heart. “I find Sundance to be nothing but pure magic every year,” she says. “I’ve been going for a while, whether I’m with a film or not. The weather, the people, the dance moves, the films, the cozy attire… it’s swoon-worthy.”
And she should know. In a few short years, Woodley has won the hearts of critics and audiences alike as one of Hollywood’s most magnetic young talents by giving tearful reality checks to George Clooney in the art house (The Descendants) and throwing knives and jumping off buildings on IMAX screens (Divergent). “I love indie films, because there’s no slacking off,” she says. “The budget is so tight and the shooting schedule is so precise, there’s no room for error. Everyone is there for the love of the craft. [Indie films] are able to explore beyond the boundaries of what studios will allow. They take risks and diverge from mediocrity—by being sexual, mysterious, dangerous, or crude. I love them because the freedom is unbridled.”
Perhaps no director embodies these characteristics better than Gregg Araki, whose latest film, White Bird in a Blizzard, brought Shailene back to Park City this year. “I’ve been a major fan of Gregg’s work for a while now,” Shailene says. “My first impression of him was, Wow. This man does it all himself. He moves to his own rhythm… dances to his own unique tune. He owns himself. That isn’t necessarily the norm during this age of megafilms and studio franchises. He doesn’t make very many films, so when the opportunity arose, I jumped on it. I feel like being a part of the Araki clan is a rite of passage.”
In the central role of Kat Connor, a late-’80s alterna-teen on a quest to find her vanished mother, Shailene relished the chance to amp up the sex factor. “I connected with Kat because of her confidence and her way of coping with pain by masking it through her sexuality. I loved her strength and power to own her skin and to explore herself through her relationships with men.”
Next, the ingenue will tug at audience’s heartstrings in the much-anticipated The Fault in Our Stars. “It’s a beautiful cancer movie that isn’t about cancer,” she says. It’s about internal exploration, eternal connection, and universal, unconditional love.” Following that, she’s content to keep waiting for another fabulous script. “I’m going to lie low and explore some of life’s other artistic facets.”