Woodley in 2014
|Born||Shailene Diann Woodley
November 15, 1991
San Bernardino County, California, U.S.
Shailene Diann Woodley (born November 15, 1991) is an American actress. Born in San Bernardino County, California and raised in the Simi Valley, she took acting classes with Anthony Meindl and made her screen debut in the television film Replacing Dad (1999), followed by numerous guest roles on television, including as Kaitlin Cooper on The O.C. (2003-04), and several television films. Her leading roles as California Ford in A Place Called Home (2004) and Felicity Merriman in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005) both earned her Young Artist Award nominations and she gained recognition for her starring role as Amy Juergens on the ABC Family television series The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008-2013).
Woodley rose to stardom for performances in various popular and critically acclaimed films such as The Descendants (2011), for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture and won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female and was awarded the Cannes Trophée Chopard, The Spectacular Now (2013), for which she won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Acting, and The Fault in Our Stars (2014), for which she earned both popular and critical praise. Her role as Beatrice "Tris" Prior in The Divergent Series (2014–2016) garnered her international recognition. In addition, she portrayed Edward Snowden's girlfriend Lindsay Mills in Snowden (2016), and received critical acclaim for her performance as a single mother on the HBO miniseries Big Little Lies (2017).
Woodley was born in San Bernardino County, California, but grew up in Simi Valley, California. Her mother, Lori (née Victor), is a school counselor, and her father, Lonnie Woodley, is a school principal. She also has a younger brother.
At the age of fifteen, she was diagnosed with scoliosis and was put in a chest-to-hips plastic brace to stop her spine from curving further. Woodley attended Simi Valley High School and modeled at the age of four. She also took some acting classes with Anthony Meindl.
Woodley began her acting career in 2001 with minor television roles in The District and Crossing Jordan (in the latter, she acted out the ten-year-old version of Jill Hennessy's title character). She followed with a leading role in the television film A Place Called Home (2004) as California Ford, which earned her a nomination for a Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actress in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special.
She also originally played the young Kaitlin Cooper in The O.C. and appeared as the titular character Felicity Merriman in the television film Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005). Her performance received another Young Artist Award nomination, this time for Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special (Comedy or Drama). Following this, Woodley appeared in numerous guest roles in other television series, including Everybody Loves Raymond, My Name is Earl, CSI: NY, Close to Home, and Cold Case.
Woodley was then cast as the main character, Amy Juergens, in the ABC Family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008–13); about a 15-year-old girl who learns 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. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly praised her performance stating that "Woodley's performance lifts a well-meaning, rather brave, but ramshackle show a notch." Popular among viewers, the show became one of ABC Family's most watched telecast throughout its five-season run, spanning over 121 episodes.
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]..one of the toughest, smartest, most credible adolescent performances in recent memory." 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." Receiving accolades for her performance, Woodley received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, and won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female. People named her one of 2012 "Most Beautiful at Every Age." Woodley was also considered one of the 55 faces of the future by Nylon Magazine's "Young Hollywood Issue".
Woodley starred in the film adaptation of Tim Tharp's novel, The Spectacular Now, as Aimee Finecky, an innocent, bookish teenager who begins dating the charming, freewheeling high-school senior (played by Miles Teller). The film premiered at Sundance on January 18, 2013. Her portrayal of Aimee gained praise from critics; Los Angeles Times' critic Betsy Sharkey said that Woodley and Teller "bring such an authentic face of confidence and questioning, indifference and need, pain and denial, friendship and first love," while another critic from The Guardian said that they gave "remarkably strong performances" that "display a depth of feeling that's breathtaking in its simplicity and honest[y]." Additionally, Woodley won the Special Jury Award for Acting, alongside Teller, at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and received a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. She had also signed on to star in White Bird in a Blizzard, directed by Gregg Araki. Although filming took place in October 2012, the film was not released until January 20, 2014 at the Sundance Film Festival and then on October 24, 2014 to wider audiences, where it received mixed reviews. In the film she plays teenager Katrina "Kat" Connors, whose life is thrown into chaos when her mother disappears. Critic Moira MacDonald commended her by saying that "Woodley's depiction of Kat is low-key, natural and utterly unaffected; as she has in every role, she makes the character her own, with her scratchy little voice and level gaze."
In October 2012, it was announced that Woodley was offered the role of Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. 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. In 2014, Woodley starred as Beatrice "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. Set in a dystopian and post-apocalyptic Chicago. 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." Divergent reached the No. 1 spot at the box office during its opening weekend and was a financial success.
Afterwards in 2014, Woodley starred as Hazel Grace Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars, the film adaptation of John Green's novel of the same name. Her character is a 16-year-old cancer patient who meets and falls in love with Augustus Waters (played by Ansel Elgort), a similarly afflicted teen from her cancer support group. 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." The film was a blockbuster success, grossing over $307 million worldwide. Woodley's performance received critical acclaim from critics; Peter Travers from Rolling Stone called her a, "sublime actress with a résumé that pretty much proves she's incapable of making a false move on camera", and Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times stated that her performance as Hazel is Oscar-worthy; and added, "she's that memorable" On November 14, 2014, she received The Hollywood Film Award for Hollywood Breakout Performance – Actress for her performance as Hazel.
In 2015, Woodley reprised her role as Tris in The Divergent Series: Insurgent, the second installment in The Divergent Series. Her performance once again received critical acclaim, with Daniel M. Kimmel of New England Movies Weekly writing, "Woodley does solid work here as she's done elsewhere, and continues to be someone to watch." Despite a more negative critical reception than the previous film, Insurgent was commercially successful, making nearly US$100 million in its worldwide debut and grossed $295.2 million worldwide. She reprised her role again in the penultimate film of the franchise, Allegiant, which was released on March 18, 2016. The film, however, was panned by critics and a box office bomb. Lionsgate had planned for the final film in the series to be made for television, but Woodley announced that she would not be a part of it.
Woodley starred opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Oliver Stone's biographical thriller Snowden, in which Gordon-Levitt portrayed Edward Snowden. Filming began on February 16, 2015, and Snowden was released on September 16, 2016. Owen Gleiberman's review said that Woodley "gives a performance of breathtaking dimension: As the movie goes on, she makes Lindsay supportive and selfish, loving and stricken."
Nicole Kidman confirmed in an interview that Woodley would return to TV to star in the HBO limited series Big Little Lies, which both Kidman and Reese Witherspoon would star in and produce. Woodley was also slated to star in the film Adrift, with Baltasar Kormákur as director.
When asked, Woodley has repeatedly asserted that she does not consider herself a feminist: "No because I love men, and I think the idea of 'raise women to power, take the men away from the power' is never going to work out because you need balance...My biggest thing is really sisterhood more than feminism. I don't know how we as women expect men to respect us because we don't seem to respect each other."
In 2016, she protested against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a US$3.87 billion underground petroleum transport pipeline being built by Dakota Access LLC, which is over 87% complete in the State of North Dakota and 99% complete overall. On October 10, she was arrested for criminal trespassing in Saint Anthony, North Dakota. Woodley pleaded guilty and was sentenced a year of probation.
In mid 2016, Woodley joined the board of Our Revolution, a political organization aimed to educate voters about issues, get people involved in the political process, and work to organize and elect progressive leaders.
|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||9 Kisses||Boxing Girl||Short film|
|2014||The Fault in Our Stars||Hazel Grace Lancaster|
|2015||The Divergent Series: Insurgent||Beatrice "Tris" Prior|
|2016||The Divergent Series: Allegiant||Beatrice "Tris" Prior|
|1999||Replacing Dad||Little Girl||Television film|
|2001–03||District, TheThe District||Kristin Debreno||Guest role; 3 episodes|
|2001–04||Crossing Jordan||Young Jordan Cavanaugh||Recurring role; 4 episodes|
|2003||Without a Trace||Young Clare Metcalf||Episode: "Clare de Lune"|
|2003–04||O.C., TheThe O.C.||Kaitlin Cooper||Recurring role; 6 episodes|
|2004||Everybody Loves Raymond||Snotty Girl #2||Episode: "Party Dress"|
|2004||Place Called Home, AA Place Called Home||California "Cali" Ford||Television film|
|2004–05||Jack & Bobby||Chloe Benedict||Guest role; 2 episodes|
|2005||Felicity: An American Girl Adventure||Felicity Merriman||Television film|
|2005||Once Upon a Mattress||Molly||Television film|
|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||Television film|
|2008–13||The Secret Life of the American Teenager||Amy Juergens||Main role; 121 episodes|
|2017||Big Little Lies||Jane Chapman||Main role; 7 episodes|
|2016||Allegiant: VR Experience||Beatrice "Tris" Prior (voice)|
|2011||"Our Deal"||Day Trotter||Best Coast|
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