Movies

Published: Thursday March 20, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday March 20, 2014 MYT 10:01:51 AM

Shailene Woodley is surfing the crest

A scene from 'Divergent'. With the release of the film, Shailene Woodley is afraid of all the attention that will be focused on her.

A scene from 'Divergent'. With the release of the film, Shailene Woodley is afraid of all the attention that will be focused on her.

Shailene Woodley has her feet planted firmly on the ground as she stars in Divergent.

SHAILENE Woodley is not only Hollywood’s next big thing, but she is a serial hugger. The 22-year-old star hugged a journalist at the start of an interview, and then offered another hug at the end of the interview. Julia Roberts never hugged an interviewer.

There seems to be no other explanation except that the young actress is a very nice person. Apparently, she hugs everyone she meets, not just incredibly handsome print journalists.

Although a younger generation knows her from a five-season star turn on The Secret Life Of The American Teenager and a two-season run on The O.C., an older generation was introduced to her as George Clooney’s daughter in the 2011 film The Descendants.

Everyone will be familiar with Woodley after Divergent, a 2014 movie that is expected to launch a new film franchise similar to Twilight and The Hunger Games. She also starred in the indie-film The Spectacular Now and will star in the film adaptation of the bestselling novel The Fault In Our Stars.

The first time I interviewed Sharon Stone was a few days before the opening of Basic Instinct. Even though this town is notorious for not guaranteeing anything, she believed that she was on the brink of a major career breakthrough. Do you have that same feeling of being on the precipice of something big?

I feel like if Divergent does real well, things will definitely change. Just using Jen Lawrence (Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence) as an example, things changed for her (after The Hunger Games). Divergent doesn’t open until end of March, so I don’t expect any changes until then.

Jennifer Lawrence is someone who balances small films with blockbusters. Most actresses do not make that decision. Why did you make it?

It was a giant decision. I’ve been acting since I was five, so it’s not overnight for me. It was 15 years before someone offered me a blockbuster. I struggled with the offer of Divergent, and I even told my agents that I wasn’t going to do it. I never wanted this. I love the life I lead. I never wanted to give up my anonymity. I don’t want to have to worry about going to a farmer’s market and worry about paparazzi. I don’t want this in my life.

If you really feel that way, why would you agree to star in a potential blockbuster like Divergent?

I talked to a lot of people I respect, like George Clooney and Alexander Payne (director of The Descendants), and they all said to do it. Not one person hesitated. But no one said to do it because it would make me famous. They all said to do it because it would allow me to do small, personal movies.

What about the loss of anonymity?

It’s frightening. I kept thinking all the reasons against doing it had to do with what other people might think of my decision. I didn’t want to give that power to strangers. And the truth is that I love the character in Divergent, and my mother reminded me that I have never turned down a role based on the size of the budget. It’s still a little terrifying to be in a movie like that, but life is short. – The Orange County Register/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment, Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now, Divergent, Movie, Actress, It Girl

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