Many kids who start out acting at a young age sometimes struggle to keep momentum into their adult years. Actress Shailene Woodley experienced this conflict firsthand. When she was just 10 years old she started playing minor roles on television shows.
Woodley always had an idea that she didn’t want to be too consumed by the industry and business, even as a child.
She even told herself that once she was on the cover of a magazine, she’d immediately take a break and have other life experiences that weren’t tied to acting.
After much success in her teenage and young adult years, she started to struggle a bit with her profession, her choices and whether she wanted to continue to go down this specific road.
She wasn’t sure that any particular role would help her to fall in love with acting again.
But the role of Jane in Big Little Lies came along and completely shifted how she felt about acting. Woodley actually declined the script the first time because she didn’t feel like she wanted to act.
Her agents persisted, she read the script and immediately fell in love.
Woodley reveals that so many parts of being an actress when you do popular films are the magazines, press lines, fashion and red carpet events that come with it.
She was often overwhelmed and consumed with this notion that she had to be this perfect person or portray this image as an actress or celebrity and that made her shut down.
Woodley, even as a child, was more interested in the art form itself and the ways in which she conveys characters in a story, the Hollywood and celebrity element of it all made her very uneasy.
When she was only 18 years old, she had studios asking her to dress more “cosmopolitan” which she found to be disingenuous, fake and disconcerting.
She didn’t feel like she wanted to be this mannequin that people could dress up and walk a red carpet, to say this or do that because of some type of image others wanted her to portray while she was just being herself, completely out of character.