Shailene Woodley

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Shailene Woodley
Shailene Woodley March 18, 2014 (cropped).jpg
Woodley at the Divergent premiere in Los Angeles on March 18, 2014
Born Shailene Diann Woodley
(1991-11-15) November 15, 1991 (age 22)
Simi Valley, California, U.S.
  • Actress
  • Model
Years active 1999–present

Shailene Diann Woodley (born November 15, 1991)[1] is an American actress. She is well known for her portrayal as Amy Juergens in the popular ABC Family original series The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008–2013) and played Felicity Merriman in the 2005 film Felicity: An American Girl Adventure.

Woodley found breakthrough success in the critically acclaimed film The Descendants, and co-starred alongside George Clooney. Her performance as Alexandra King received numerous accolades 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. In 2014, She portrayed Kat Conner in White Bird in a Blizzard, Beatrice "Tris" Prior in the film adaptation of Veronica Roth's novel Divergent, and as Hazel Grace Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars, based on the novel of the same name by John Green.[2]

Early life[edit]

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, Tanner.[4] She began her career through commercial modeling, at the age of four. When she was 15 and a freshman, her parents divorced and she was also diagnosed with scoliosis.[5] She was put in a chest-to-hips plastic brace to straighten her spine.[6] Before landing the role of Amy Juergens in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Woodley thought of studying interior design at New York University after high school.[7] She attended Simi Valley High School.[8]


2002–11: Early work and Secret Life[edit]

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.

2011–13: Breakthrough and critical success[edit]

In 2011, Woodley made her feature film debut in The Descendants, where she starred alongside George Clooney as his troubled daughter, Alexandra King. Her performance received positive reviews from critcs. 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 also 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, the film was released at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2014.[18] 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]

2014–present: International recognition and upcoming roles[edit]

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]

Woodley starred as Tris Prior in the film Divergent, an adaptation of Veronica Roth's young adult novel of the same name, and the first installment in The Divergent Series; it was released on March 21, 2014.[23] The film received mixed reviews, but Woodley's performance as Tris received praise. Divergent was also a financial success; it reached the the #1 spot at the box-office during its opening weekend.[24]

Woodley will reprise her role as Tris in the second installment in The Divergent Series, titled The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which began filming on May 27, 2014 and has a release date of March 20, 2015. She will reprise her role again in the two-part finale of the franchise, The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1 and Part 2, with Part 1 scheduled to be released on March 18, 2016 and Part 2 on March 24, 2017.[25][26]



Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Descendants Alexandra "Alex" King
2013 The Spectacular Now Aimee Finecky
2014 White Bird in a Blizzard Kat Connor
2014 Divergent Beatrice "Tris" Prior
2014 The Fault in Our Stars Hazel Grace Lancaster
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Beatrice "Tris" Prior Filming


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 Lead Role; 121 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Shailene Diann Woodley, Born 11/15/1991". California Birth Index. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Sara Vilkomerson (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 Danielle Zimmerman (21 March 2014). "Fifteen fun facts about Shailene Woodley and Theo James". Hypable. 
  6. ^ "Biography Today", pp.161–162
  7. ^ Stone, Emma (July 2013). "Shailene Woodley - Page - Interview Magazine". Interview Magazine. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  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 Sarah Wexler (16 November 2011). "Shailene Woodley on The Descendants, Crying Underwater, and George Clooney’s Fart Machine". Vulture. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  15. ^ Karen J. Quan (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. ^ Kit, Boyrs (October 18, 2012). "Shailene Woodley Closing in on Deal to Star in 'Divergent'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Divergent (2014)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. June 23, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  25. ^ "'Allegiant' movie release date set for March 2016". Hypable. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  26. ^ Dave McNary (11 April 2014). "Lionsgate Splitting Third ‘Divergent’ Book ‘Allegiant’ into Two Films". Variety. 

External links[edit]