Born: Shailene Diann Woodley
Birth Date: November 15, 1991
Birth Place: Simi Valley, California, USA
Shailene Diann Woodley (born November 15, 1991) is an American actress. She is known for roles such as Amy Juergens in the ABC Family television series The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008–13), Beatrice Prior in The Divergent Series, Hazel Grace Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars (2014), and Alexandra “Alex” King in The Descendants (2011), for which she won an Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
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. Her father is of English descent and her mother has African American, Creole, English, and Swiss ancestry. She has a younger brother. Shailene modeled at the age of four. At the age of fifteen, she was diagnosed with scoliosisand was put in a chest-to-hips plastic brace to stop her spine from curving further.
Woodley attended Simi Valley High School. Before landing a role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Woodley considered studying interior design at New York University.
Woodley starred in the film adaptation of Tim Tharp’s novel, The Spectacular Now, as Aimee Finecky. The film premiered at Sundance on January 18, 2013. Her portrayal of Aimee gained praise from critics and she won the Special Jury Award for Acting, alongside Miles 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. 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 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. 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 was also a financial success as the film reached the No. 1 spot at the box-office during its opening weekend, and has since grossed US$ 288.7 million at the international box-office.
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. 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 block-buster success, grossing over US$ 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. The film was commercially successful, making nearly US$100 million in its worldwide debut and grossed US$295.2 million worldwide. Her performance once again received critical acclaim, with Daniel M. Kimmel of New England Movies Weekly writing that, “Woodley does solid work here as she’s done elsewhere, and continues to be someone to watch.”
Woodley was reported to be in talks to star in an Oliver Stone film, Snowden, alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Filming began on February 16, 2015 and is set to be released in 2016. She reprised her role as Tris in the final two films of The Divergent Series, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, released on March 18, 2016, and The Divergent Series: Ascendant, scheduled for June 9, 2017. Nicole Kidman confirmed in an interview that Woodley will return to TV to star in the HBO limited series Big Little Lies, which Kidman and Reese Witherspoon will star in and produce.