Shailene Woodley is best known for playing the lead role as Amy Juergens in The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008-2013), for playing Alexandra “Alex” King in the 2011 film The Descendants, for her roles as Tris Prior in The Divergent Series.
Born Name Shailene Diann Woodley
Nick Name Shai, Shaileney Beany
Years active 1999–present
Born: November 15, 1991, 27 years and 2 months, San Bernardino County, California, U.S.
Sun Sign Scorpio
Height 5 ft 8 in or 173 cm
Measurements 34-25-36 in or 86-63.5-91.5 cm
Bra size 34C
Eye Color Green
Hair Color Light Brown
Father – Lonnie Woodley (School Principal)
Mother – Lori (née Victor) (Middle School Counselor)
Siblings – Tanner Woodley (Younger Brother)
She had attended Simi Valley High School in California.
Principato Young Entertainment
Dyes her hair red, or blonde, depending upon the movie roles.
Shailene has appeared in a LeapFrog commercial.
Born in San Bernardino County, California and raised in the Simi Valley, she took acting classes with Anthony Meindl and made her screen debut in the television film Replacing Dad (1999), followed by numerous guest roles on television, including as Kaitlin Cooper on The O.C. (2003–04), and several television films. Her leading roles as California Ford in A Place Called Home (2004) and Felicity Merriman in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005) both earned her Young Artist Award nominations and she gained recognition for her leading role as Amy Juergens on the ABC Family television series The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008–13). She also played Jane Chapman in the HBO limited series Big Little Lies for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series.
Woodley’s breakthrough came through her performances in a number of films such as The Descendants (2011), for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture and won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female and was awarded the Cannes Trophée Chopard, The Spectacular Now (2013), for which she won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Acting.
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. She also has a younger brother.
At the age of fifteen, she was diagnosed with scoliosis and was put in a chest-to-hips plastic brace to stop her spine from curving further. Woodley attended Simi Valley High School and modeled at the age of four. She also took some acting classes with Anthony Meindl.
2001–08: Career beginnings and The Secret Life
Woodley began her acting career in 2001 with minor television roles in The District and Crossing Jordan (in the latter, she acted out the ten-year-old version of Jill Hennessy’s title character). She followed with a leading role in the television film A Place Called Home (2004) as California Ford, which earned her a nomination for a Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actress in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special. She also originally played the young Kaitlin Cooper in The O.C. and appeared as the titular character Felicity Merriman in the television film Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005). Her performance received another Young Artist Award nomination, this time for Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special (Comedy or Drama). Following this, Woodley appeared in numerous guest roles in other television series, including Everybody Loves Raymond, My Name is Earl, CSI: NY, Close to Home, and Cold Case.
Woodley was then cast as the main character, Amy Juergens, in the ABC Family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008–13), about a 15-year-old girl who learns she is pregnant. The show explores the effects of her pregnancy on her family, friends and herself as well as life at Ulysses S. Grant High School in California. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly praised her performance stating that “Woodley’s performance lifts a well-meaning, rather brave, but ramshackle show a notch.” Popular among viewers, the show became one of ABC Family’s most-watched telecast throughout its five-season run, spanning over 121 episodes.
2011–14: Film debut and breakthrough
In 2011, Woodley made her feature film debut in The Descendants, where she played Alex, the troubled elder daughter of Matt King (played by George Clooney). Her performance received positive reviews from critics. A. O. Scott from The New York Times said, “Ms. Woodley gives one of the toughest, smartest, most credible adolescent performances in recent memory.” Peter Debruge from Variety said that her performance is a “revelation” and that “in the role of Alex, she is displaying both the edge and depth the role demands.” Receiving accolades for her performance, Woodley received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, and won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female. People named her one of 2012 “Most Beautiful at Every Age.” Woodley was also considered one of the 55 faces of the future by Nylon Magazine’s “Young Hollywood Issue”.
Woodley starred in the film adaptation of Tim Tharp’s novel, The Spectacular Now, as Aimee Finecky, an innocent, bookish teenager who begins dating the charming, freewheeling high-school senior (played by Miles Teller). The film premiered at Sundance on January 18, 2013. Her portrayal of Aimee gained praise from critics; Los Angeles Times’ critic Betsy Sharkey said that Woodley and Teller “bring such an authentic face of confidence and questioning, indifference and need, pain and denial, friendship and first love,” while another critic from The Guardian said that they gave “remarkably strong performances” that “display a depth of feeling that’s breathtaking in its simplicity and honesty.” Additionally, Woodley won the Special Jury Award for Acting, alongside Teller, at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and received a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead.
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. 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, where it received mixed reviews. In the film she plays teenager Katrina “Kat” Connors, whose life is thrown into chaos when her mother disappears. Critic Moira MacDonald commended her by saying that “Woodley’s depiction of Kat is low-key, natural and utterly unaffected; as she has in every role, she makes the character her own, with her scratchy little voice and level gaze.”
In 2014, Woodley starred as Beatrice “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. Set in a dystopian and post-apocalyptic Chicago. 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 reached the No. 1 spot at the box office during its opening weekend and was a financial success.
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. She portrayed a 16-year-old cancer patient who meets and falls in love with Augustus Waters (played by Ansel Elgort)(and also her brother in the Divergent series), a similarly afflicted teen from her cancer support group. 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 blockbuster success, grossing over $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.
2015–present: Further film and television work
In 2015, Woodley reprised her role as Tris in The Divergent Series: Insurgent, the second installment in The Divergent Series. Her performance once again received critical acclaim, with Daniel M. Kimmel of New England Movies Weekly writing, “Woodley does solid work here as she’s done elsewhere, and continues to be someone to watch.” Despite a more negative critical reception than the previous film, Insurgent was commercially successful, making nearly US$100 million in its worldwide debut and grossed $295.2 million worldwide. She reprised her role again in the penultimate film of the franchise, Allegiant, which was released on March 18, 2016. The film, however, was panned by critics and a box office bomb. Lionsgate had planned for the final film in the series to be made for television, but Woodley announced that she would not be a part of it.
Woodley starred opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Oliver Stone’s biographical thriller Snowden, in which Gordon-Levitt portrayed Edward Snowden. Filming began on February 16, 2015, and Snowden was released on September 16, 2016. Owen Gleiberman’s review said that Woodley “gives a performance of breathtaking dimension: As the movie goes on, she makes Lindsay supportive and selfish, loving and stricken.”
In 2017, Woodley starred next to Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon in the HBO limited series Big Little Lies. Woodley was also slated to star in the film Adrift, with Baltasar Kormákur as director.
Woodley was nominated for an Emmy in 2017 for ‘Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie’ for her role of Jane in the HBO series Big Little Lies.
When asked, Woodley has repeatedly asserted that she does not consider herself a feminist: “No because I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance… My biggest thing is really sisterhood more than feminism. I don’t know how we as women expect men to respect us because we don’t seem to respect each other.”
Woodley is an avid environmental activist and climate advocate. She and her mother co-founded the All it Takes non-profit organization in 2010. All it Takes is a youth leadership program that aims to educate young people to practice empathy, compassion, responsibility, and purpose in hopes to foster sustainable, positive change for themselves, others and the environment. She supported Bernie Sanders for president in 2016.
In 2016, she protested against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a US$3.87 billion underground petroleum transport pipeline being built by Dakota Access LLC. On October 10, she was arrested for criminal trespassing in Saint Anthony, North Dakota. Woodley pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year of probation.
In mid-2016, Woodley joined the board of Our Revolution, a political organization aimed to educate voters about issues, get people involved in the political process, and work to organize and elect progressive leaders.
On September 29, 2016, Woodley was honored at the 20th Anniversary Global Green Environmental Awards receiving the Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Award for co-founding the All it Takes organization. In October 2016, she was given the Female EMA Futures Award during the 26th Annual Environmental Media Association (EMA) Awards.
In 2018, Woodley took activist Calina Lawrence to the 75th Golden Globe Awards as her guest; they first met at Standing Rock while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Descendants Alexandra “Alex” King
2013 The Spectacular Now Aimee Finecky
2014 White Bird in a Blizzard Katrina “Kat” Connor
Divergent Beatrice “Tris” Prior
The Fault in Our Stars Hazel Grace Lancaster
9 Kisses Boxing Girl Short film
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Beatrice “Tris” Prior
2016 The Divergent Series: Allegiant Beatrice “Tris” Prior
Snowden Lindsay Mills
2018 Adrift Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Replacing Dad Little Girl Television film
2001–2003 The District Kristin Debreno Guest role; 3 episodes
2001–2004 Crossing Jordan Young Jordan Cavanaugh Recurring role; 4 episodes
2003 Without a Trace Young Clare Metcalf Episode: “Clare de Lune”
2003–2004 The O.C. Kaitlin Cooper Recurring role; 6 episodes
2004 Everybody Loves Raymond Snotty Girl #2 Episode: “Party Dress”
2004 A Place Called Home California “Cali” Ford Television film
2004–2005 Jack & Bobby Chloe Benedict Guest role; 2 episodes
2005 Felicity: An American Girl Adventure Felicity Merriman Television film
2005 Once Upon a Mattress Molly Television film
2006 My Name Is Earl Young Gwen Episode: “BB”
2007 CSI: NY Evie Pierpont Episode: “A Daze of Wine and Roaches”
2007 Close to Home Gaby Tursi Episode: “Getting In”
2007 Cold Case Sarah Gunden Episode: “Running Around”
2007 Final Approach Maya Bender Television film
2008–2013 The Secret Life of the American Teenager Amy Juergens Main role; 121 episodes
2017 Big Little Lies Jane Chapman Main role; 7 episodes
Year Title Role Artist
2011 “Our Deal” Day Trotter Best Coast
2016 “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL” Singer Taboo
Year Title Role Notes
2016 Allegiant: VR Experience Beatrice “Tris” Prior (voice)
She played the Young Janey Briggs in the 2001 American comedy film Not Another Teen Movie. Her role is uncredited and her scene also has been deleted from the movie.
First TV Show
Her debut television appearance was in CBS’ The District, where she played the role as Kristin Debreno in 3 episodes from 2001 to 2003.
Shailene Woodley does not follow a specific type of diet such as the ones likes Paleo Diet, Mediterranean Diet, and others.
She forages for 35% of her diet wild foods.
Shailene Woodley Favorite Things
TV Shows – Kyle XY (2006-2009), House (2004-2012), Prison Break (2005-2009)
Actors – Jake Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor
Actresses – Reese Witherspoon, Marcia Gay Harden
Sport – Basketball
Movies – Dirty Dancing (1987), Moulin Rouge (2001), Rent (2005), Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Shailene Woodley Facts
Her parents divorced when she was 15 years old.
During her freshman year, she was diagnosed with scoliosis (abnormal curving of the spine).
Shailene has worked at American Apparel as a sales associate.
As per HuffingtonPost, Shailene does not wear makeup during events.
For the Nylon magazine’s Young Hollywood Issue, she was considered as one of the 55 faces of future.
She donated her long brunette hair to an organization, Children With Hair Loss in August 2013.
She believes in a drug-free lifestyle.