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Shailene Woodley

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Shailene Woodley
Shailene Woodley 2014.jpg
Woodley at the premiere of White Bird in a Blizzard in October 2014
Born Shailene Diann Woodley
(1991-11-15) November 15, 1991 (age 23)
Simi Valley, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1999–present

Shailene Diann Woodley (born November 15, 1991)[1] is an American actress. Her first roles included Felicity Merriman in the 2005 television film Felicity: An American Girl Adventure and Amy Juergens in The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008–13).

Woodley found breakthrough success in The Descendants (2011). Her performance as Alexandra King received praise from critics and award recognition, including the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female and a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture. In 2013, she played Aimee Finecky in the independent film The Spectacular Now, her performance gained recognition from critics, and won the Special Jury Award for Acting at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead.

Woodley gained prominence when cast as the main protagonist, Beatrice "Tris" Prior, in The Divergent Series, based on the best-selling series of novels by author Veronica Roth, and Hazel Grace Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars, based on the novel of the same name by John Green.[2]

Early life

Woodley was born in Simi Valley, California.[1] Her mother, Lori (née Victor),[1] is a middle school counselor, and her father, Lonnie Woodley, is a school principal.[3] She has a younger brother.[4] She modeled at the age of four. When she was 15 she was diagnosed with scoliosis.[5] She was put in a chest-to-hips plastic brace to stop her spine from curving further.[6]

Woodley attended Simi Valley High School.[7] Before landing a role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Woodley considered studying interior design at New York University.[8]



Woodley attending the 19th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival Baume & Mercier Party in October 2011

In 2002, Woodley appeared in small television roles on Without a Trace and The District. In 2005, she was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actress in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special for her role in A Place Called Home as California Ford.[9] She also originally played Kaitlin Cooper in The O.C.[5] She appeared as Felicity Merriman in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, for which she received a Young Artists award nomination in the Category: Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special (Comedy or Drama). This is one of two TV specials that Woodley appeared in with John Schneider. She did some acting classes with Anthony Meindl.[10] She appeared on Crossing Jordan as a young Jordan, as well as other television series including Everybody Loves Raymond, My Name is Earl, CSI: NY, and Close to Home. In 2007, Woodley appeared in Cold Case as Sarah Gunden, a murder victim's younger Amish sister, who originally brings the case to the investigators' attention. Woodley starred in the ABC Family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager as Amy Juergens, a 15-year-old who discovers she is pregnant. The show explores the effects of her pregnancy on her family, friends and herself as well as life at Ulysses S. Grant High School in California.


In 2011, Woodley made her feature film debut in The Descendants, where she played Alex, the troubled elder daughter of Matt King (played by George Clooney). Her performance received positive reviews from critics. A.O. Scott from The New York Times said, "Ms. Woodley..[gives] of the toughest, smartest, most credible adolescent performances in recent memory".[11] Peter Debruge from Variety said that her performance is a "revelation" and that "in the role of Alex, [she is] displaying both the edge and depth the role demands".[12] Receiving accolades for her performance, Woodley received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture,[13] and won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female.[14] People named her one of 2012 "Most Beautiful at Every Age."[15] Woodley was also considered one of the 55 faces of the future by Nylon Magazine‍‍ '​‍s "Young Hollywood Issue".[14]

Woodley starred in the film adaptation of Tim Tharp's novel, The Spectacular Now, as Aimee Finecky, a social outcast trying to plan for the future while falling for a boy who lives in the moment. Production of the film occurred in the summer of 2012 and it premiered at Sundance in January 2013.[16][17] Her portrayal of Aimee gained praise from critics and she won the Special Jury Award for Acting, alongside Miles Teller, at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and received a nomination for Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. She had also signed on to star in White Bird in a Blizzard, an independent film about a troubled young woman whose life is upended following the mysterious disappearance of her mother, directed by Gregg Araki. Although filming took place in October 2012, the film was not released until the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2014 [18] and then on October 24, 2014 to wider audiences. In October 2012, it was announced that Woodley was offered the role of Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.[19] On June 19, 2013, it was announced that she was cut from the film. Director Marc Webb told The Hollywood Reporter that the cut was "a creative decision to streamline the story and focus on Peter and Gwen and their relationship," and that everyone loved working with Woodley.[20]


Shailene Woodley at the Divergent premiere in Los Angeles on March 18, 2014

On March 19, 2013, Woodley was cast as protagonist Hazel Grace Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars, the film adaptation of John Green's novel of the same name. Green added via Twitter about Woodley; "There were so many amazing auditions for the role of Hazel, but Shailene's love for the book and her understanding of Hazel blew me away."[2] The film was released on June 6, 2014, and received positive reviews from critics and was also a box-office success. Woodley's performance as Hazel received critical acclaim from critics; Peter Travers from Rolling Stones called her a, "sublime actress with a résumé that pretty much proves she's incapable of making a false move on camera",[21] and Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times stated that her performance as Hazel is Oscar-worthy; and added, "she's that memorable"[22] On November 14, 2014, she received The Hollywood Film Award for Hollywood Breakout Performance – Actress for her performance as Hazel.[23]

Woodley starred as Tris Prior in the film Divergent, an adaptation of Veronica Roth's best-selling young adult novel of the same name, and the first installment in The Divergent Series; it was released on March 21, 2014.[24] The film received mixed reviews, but Woodley's performance as Tris received a positive reception; Sam Allard from Orlando Weekly said that, "with her performance as Tris Prior in Divergent, Woodley rescues and then raises up a film that could have been an utter disaster".[25] Divergent was also a financial success as the film reached the #1 spot at the box-office during its opening weekend.[26]

In November 2014, Woodley was reported to be in talks to star in a Oliver Stone's film, Snowden, alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt.[27] Filming began on February 16, 2015 and is set to be released on December 25, 2015.[28]

In 2015, Woodley reappeared as Tris in the second installment in The Divergent Series, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which began filming on May 27, 2014 and was released on March 20, 2015. Her performance once again received critical acclaim, with Daniel M. Kimmel of New England Movies Weekly writing that, "Woodley does solid work here as she's done elsewhere, and continues to be someone to watch."[29] She is set to reprise her role in the two-part finale of the franchise, titled The Divergent Series: Allegiant, with Part 1 scheduled to be released on March 18, 2016 and Part 2 on March 24, 2017.[30][31]



Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Descendants Alexandra "Alex" King
2013 The Spectacular Now Aimee Finecky
2014 White Bird in a Blizzard Katrina "Kat" Connor
2014 Divergent Beatrice "Tris" Prior
2014 The Fault in Our Stars Hazel Grace Lancaster
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Beatrice "Tris" Prior
2015 Snowden Lindsay Mills Filming
2016 The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1 Beatrice "Tris" Prior
2017 The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 2 Beatrice "Tris" Prior


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Replacing Dad Little Girl TV Movie
2001–03 District, TheThe District Kristin Debreno 3 episodes
2001–04 Crossing Jordan Young Jordan Cavanaugh 4 episodes
2003 Without a Trace Young Clare Metcalf Episode: "Clare de Lune"
2003–04 O.C., TheThe O.C. Young Kaitlin Cooper 6 episodes
2004 Everybody Loves Raymond Snotty Girl #2 Episode: "Party Dress"
2004 Place Called Home, AA Place Called Home California "Cali" Ford TV Movie
2004–05 Jack & Bobby Chloe Benedict 2 episodes
2005 Felicity: An American Girl Adventure Felicity Merriman TV Movie
2005 Once Upon a Mattress Molly TV Movie
2006 My Name Is Earl Young Gwen Episode: "BB"
2007 CSI: NY Evie Pierpont Episode: "A Daze of Wine and Roaches"
2007 Close to Home Gaby Tursi Episode: "Getting In"
2007 Cold Case Sarah Gunden Episode: "Running Around"
2007 Final Approach Maya Bender TV Movie
2008–13 The Secret Life of the American Teenager Amy Juergens 121 episodes
2014 Top Chef: Duels Herself 1 Episode

Awards and nominations

Woodley's performance in the 2011 American comedy–drama The Descendants won her significant recognition, including the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female, the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress, and breakthrough awards such as the Trophée Chopard and the MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance. She received dozens of other award nominations, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture and nomination by numerous film critic groups. She has also received numerous awards and nominations for her performance in The Spectacular Now, including the Sundance Film Festival U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting, a nomination for the Gotham Award for Best Actress, and a second nomination for Independent Spirit Award.

Her performance as Hazel in The Fault In Our Stars received the Hollywood Breakout Performance – Actress award at the 18th Hollywood Film Awards.[32]


  1. ^ a b c "Shailene Diann Woodley, Born 11/15/1991". California Birth Index. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Vilkomerson, Sara (March 19, 2013). "Shailene Woodley offered lead role for 'The Fault in Our Stars'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Shailene Woodley of Simi Valley stars with George Clooney in 'The Descendants' » Ventura County Star Mobile". M. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  4. ^ Biography Today. Detroit, Michigan: Omnigraphics. 2009. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7808-1052-5. 
  5. ^ a b Zimmerman, Danielle (21 March 2014). "Fifteen fun facts about Shailene Woodley and Theo James". Hypable. 
  6. ^ "Biography Today", pp.161–162
  7. ^ Strauss, Bob (July 29, 2013). "Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller experience the coming of age without stereotypes in 'The Spectacular Now'". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ Stone, Emma (July 2013). "Shailene Woodley — Page — Interview Magazine". Interview Magazine. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ "26th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Anthony Meindl Actor's Workshop — Los Angeles Actors Testimonials". Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  11. ^ "The Descendants (2011)". Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Review: ‘The Descendants’". Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Golden Globes 2012: The Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. 15 January 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Wexler, Sarah (16 November 2011). "Shailene Woodley on The Descendants, Crying Underwater, and George Clooney’s Fart Machine". Vulture. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  15. ^ Quan, Karen J. (April 20, 2012). "2012 Most Beautiful at Every Age – Shailene Woodley". People. Retrieved April 25, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Shailene Woodley Living In ‘The Spectacular Now’ With ‘Smashed’ Director James Ponsoldt". Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  17. ^ McCarthy, Todd. "The Spectacular Now: Sundance Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  18. ^ Sneider, Jeff (2012-06-28). "Woodley flies to 'White Bird' – Entertainment News, Top News, Media". Variety (magazine). Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  19. ^ "The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Has Minor Role For Mary Jane". 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  20. ^ "Shailene Woodley Cut From 'Amazing Spider-Man 2'". The Hollywood Reporter. 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  21. ^ "'The Fault in Our Stars' Movie Review"". Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  22. ^ "'The Fault in Our Stars': A lovely work led by the transcendent Shailene Woodley". Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Hollywood Breakout Performance Award: Shailene Woodley". Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  24. ^ Kit, Boyrs (October 18, 2012). "Shailene Woodley Closing in on Deal to Star in 'Divergent'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Divergent". Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Divergent (2014)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. June 23, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Shailene Woodley in Talks to Star in Oliver Stone's Snowden Film (Exclusive)". Retrieved March 21, 2015. }
  28. ^ "On The Set For 2/16/15: David O. Russell Starts Lensing ‘Joy’, ‘Maze Runner 2′ Wraps & More". February 16, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Review – Insurgent". Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  30. ^ "'Allegiant' movie release date set for March 2016". Hypable. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  31. ^ McNary, Dave (11 April 2014). "Lionsgate Splitting Third ‘Divergent’ Book ‘Allegiant’ into Two Films". Variety. 
  32. ^ "Hollywood Breakout Performance Award: Shailene Woodley". Retrieved November 30, 2014. 

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