Shailene Woodley earned Hollywood acclaim and sudden success with her feature film debut in 2011′s “The Descendants,” but she nearly quit acting afterward.
“Somebody came to me and said, ‘I can’t wait to see what you do next.’ I took that as pressure – that I had to live up to somebody else’s expectations,” she recalled to the July issue of Vanity Fair. “There were a few months where I was like, ‘I don’t want to act anymore.’ And then I got over it and realized it’s none of my business what other people think of me.”
Woodley’s refreshing sensibility has helped her deal with the inevitable disappointments of Hollywood, like her role as Mary Jane Watson being ultimately cut from “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”
“For a few hours it was literally like, ‘Oh, my God, was I awful? Why did they cut me? What are people going to think?’” she told Vanity Fair. “I woke up the next morning and I was like, ‘OK, it makes total sense.’ I’m a pretty spiritual person, so I can just sit back and trust that everything happens for a reason, even if my ego doesn’t like it.”
At 22, the “Divergent” star is quickly earning a reputation as an actress with a conscience, but even she knows not everyone wants to hear about it all the time.
“Maybe the only thing that I’m supposed to do is just show up and be me in every moment. Because I do feel like one of my gifts is to be open and lovely – simple things like smiling at strangers and having kind, small interactions,” she told the magazine. “I think that is what’s going to ultimately shift things.”
It’s those interpersonal interactions that have earned her the admiration of her co-stars, including George Clooney, who told Vanity Fair, “Shailene can do whatever she wants. If she wants to be a movie star, she has it. If she wants to change the world, she will. Her talent and kindness go hand in hand.”
Changing the world, however, could get in the way of her love life, at least as far as dating a fellow actor.
“I’m never going to say never. I love acting, but I also really love nature and most actors don’t want to get dirty,” the currently single gal told Vanity Fair.
Whether she’s acting or saving the world, Clooney has no doubt that “we’ll be talking about Shailene Woodley 40 years from now.”
He said, “I’ve never seen anyone so young that has so much together.”