After her breakout performance in The Descendants, Shailene Woodley could be forgiven for getting swept up in a whirl of red carpets, glittering parties and fashion events. But whenever you see a photograph of the actress at an awards show or gala, know this: shed rather be in the woods.
Right now Im studying herbology, she says, which is the study of plants medicinally. I study indigenous cultures, and Im really into the outdoors and foraging for food or collecting spring water, hikinganything outdoors.
The 20-year-old actress, who played Alexandra King, daughter of George Clooneys Matt in the 2011 film, has been acting since she was five years old. An agent discovered her through her participation in local theatre productions; roles in TV movies, The O.C. (young Kaitlin Cooper, anyone?) and a multi-season role in The Secret Life of an American Teenager followed.
Throughout, acting has never felt like a career or anything other than a fun hobby, she says. And to be honest, it still doesnt. It feels like something I do because Im passionate about it, not because I have to.
The role that changed everything arrived in the form of The Descendants. The story of a father and two daughters grappling with the loss of their wife and mother involved filming on a remote Hawaiian island for months on enda setting that brought Woodley closer to co-star Clooney and director Alexander Payne, who she has described as big brothers.
I like to call it the four months of my spiritual awakening, she says. We were on an island and I was surrounded by the most positive, incredible people Ive ever met in my life. I really came into my own.
She also came into critical acclaim, earning a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for her portrayal of the guarded-yet-vulnerable Alexandra. For More