Q&A

Shailene Woodley on Stalking Directors, Futuristic Dystopias, and The Spectacular Now


Stealing scenes from George Clooney wasn't enough. Now the 21-year-old is running off with the show in The Spectacular Now and in next year's big-budget dystopian thriller Divergent.

DETAILS: George Clooney, Your costar in The Descendants, once said you're a "50-year-old scientist in a 20-year-old body." What does that mean?

SHAILENE WOODLEY: I don't think he meant nerdy like a scientist. I think maybe he meant more mature? I guess …

DETAILS: You were the popular girl in high school, but in The Spectacular Now you play a shy, awkward teen. It's very John Hughes.

SHAILENE WOODLEY: That's what I love about it, that it's a modern-day eighties movie. It's so real and so raw and not played up to anything dramatic or oversized.

DETAILS: Next year, you're going to star in the much-anticipated, big-budget movie Divergent. Are you prepared for that kind of celebrity?

SHAILENE WOODLEY: I don't abide by the C-word. I think that people are interested in you if you give them something to be interested in. I don't give them anything to talk about—I lead a boring life.

DETAILS: But the Internet was very interested in your rumored relationship with Shiloh Fernandez. That stuff is only going to get worse.

SHAILENE WOODLEY: Yeah … but, I mean, I have a very different life outside of this industry, which is up in the mountains and studying herbalism and being connected to the planet.

DETAILS: So you're a closet hippie. What does that entail?

SHAILENE WOODLEY: There's this concept of "re-wilding"—we'll never go back to hunter-and-gatherer times, but if we can adapt to the radiation that's in the air and the drywall in our ceilings 24-7, then with that comes reconnecting to plants that grow around us too and recognizing how healing they are.

DETAILS: That's good practice for the dystopian Divergent. Do all the comparisons to that other young-adult series turned movie franchise, The Hunger Games, ever worry you?

SHAILENE WOODLEY: I don't know why it would worry me—The Hunger Games is a great success, and Jennifer Lawrence is amazing. Both take place in a futuristic dystopia … but there are thousands of movies that take place in futuristic dystopias.

DETAILS: People say you're very take-no-prisoners when you want a role. Do you still stalk directors?

SHAILENE WOODLEY: I'll contact directors and write them very long e-mails—"I would do anything to audition for you!"

• • •

Also on Details.com:
The Bling Ring's Dirty, Rotten Emma Watson
Kate Mara on House of Cards, Working With Kevin Spacey, and Why Cory Booker Is the Real Deal
Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany on Playing Multiple Roles, Talking to Tennis Balls, and One Wild Sex Scene

Photograph courtesy of Marc Cartwright/Corbis Outline.
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