Shailene Diann Woodley (born November 15, 1991)[2] is an American actress. She is best known for playing Amy Juergens on the ABC Family television series Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008–13), Alexandra "Alex" King in a Golden Globe-nominated performance inThe Descendants (2011), Aimee Finecky in The Spectacular Now (2013), Hazel Grace Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars (2014), and Beatrice "Tris" Prior inThe Divergent Series (2014–17). She will play Lindsay Mills in Snowden (2016) and Jane Chapman in the upcoming HBO miniseries Big Little Lies.



Early life

Woodley was born in San Bernardino County, California,[2] but grew up in Simi Valley, California. Her mother, Lori (née Victor),[2] is a school counselor, and her father, Lonnie Woodley, is a school principal.[3] She also has a younger brother. At the age of fifteen, she was diagnosed with scoliosis[4] and was put in a chest-to-hips plastic brace to stop her spine from curving further. Woodley attended Simi Valley High School[5] and modeled at the age of four. She also did some acting classes with Anthony Meindl.[6]


2001–12: Career beginnings, Secret Life and film debut

Woodley began her acting career in 2001 with minor television roles in The District and Crossing Jordan. She followed it 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.[7] She also originally played the young Kaitlin Cooper in The O.C.[4] 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 she 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."[8] Popular among viewers, the show became one of ABC Family's most watched telecast throughout its five season run, spanning over 121 episodes.

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] of the toughest, smartest, most credible adolescent performances in recent memory".[9] 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".[10] Receiving accolades for her performance, Woodley received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture,[11] and won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female.[12] People named her one of 2012 "Most Beautiful at Every Age."[13] Woodley was also considered one of the 55 faces of the future by Nylon Magazine's "Young Hollywood Issue".[12]

2013–present: Critical success and The Divergent Series

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).[14] The film premiered at Sundance on January 18, 2013.[15] 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",[16] 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 honest[y]."[17] 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. 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[18] and then on October 24, 2014 to wider audiences, where it received mixed reviews. In the film she plays teenager Katrina "Kat" Connors who's 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."[3]

In October 2012, it was announced that Woodley was offered the role of Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.[3] 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.[3] 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.[3] Set in a dystopian and post-apocalyptic Chicago where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues, Prior is warned that she is Divergent and thus will never fit into any one of the factions. 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".[3] 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 $288.7 million at the international box-office.[24]

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. Her character is a 16-year-old cancer patient who meets and falls in love with Augustus Waters (played by Ansel Elgort), 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."[25] The film was a block-buster success, grossing over $307 million worldwide.[3] 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",[3] and Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times stated that her performance as Hazel is Oscar-worthy; and added, "she's that memorable"[3] On November 14, 2014, she received The Hollywood Film Award for Hollywood Breakout Performance – Actress for her performance as Hazel.[29]

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 that, "Woodley does solid work here as she's done elsewhere, and continues to be someone to watch."[30] 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.[31] 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[32] and a box-office bomb.[33]

Upcoming projects

As of June 2016, Woodley has three upcoming projects. She was reported to be in talks to star in an Oliver Stone film, Snowden, alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt.[34] Filming began on February 16, 2015 and it's set to be released on September 16, 2016.[35] She will also reprise her role as Tris in the final film of the Divergent franchise, Ascendant, scheduled to be released on June 9, 2017 in US.[36][37] 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.[38]




2011The DescendantsAlexandra "Alex" King 
2013The Spectacular NowAimee Finecky 
2014White Bird in a BlizzardKatrina "Kat" Connor 
2014The Amazing Spider-Man 2Mary Jane WatsonDeleted scenes
2014DivergentBeatrice "Tris" Prior 
2014The Fault in Our StarsHazel Grace Lancaster 
2015The Divergent Series: InsurgentBeatrice "Tris" Prior 
2016The Divergent Series: AllegiantBeatrice "Tris" Prior 
2016SnowdenLindsay MillsPost-production 
2017The Divergent Series: AcsendantsBeatrice "Tris" PriorFilming 
1999Replacing DadLittle GirlTelevision film
2001–03District, TheThe DistrictKristin Debreno3 episodes
2001–04Crossing JordanYoung Jordan Cavanaugh4 episodes
2003Without a TraceYoung Clare MetcalfEpisode: "Clare de Lune"
2003–04O.C., TheThe O.C.Young Kaitlin Cooper6 episodes
2004Everybody Loves RaymondSnotty Girl #2Episode: "Party Dress"
2004Place Called Home, AA Place Called HomeCalifornia "Cali" FordTelevision film
2004–05Jack & BobbyChloe Benedict2 episodes
2005Felicity: An American Girl AdventureFelicity MerrimanTelevision film
2005Once Upon a MattressMollyTelevision film
2006My Name Is EarlYoung GwenEpisode: "BB"
2007CSI: NYEvie PierpontEpisode: "A Daze of Wine and Roaches"
2007Close to HomeGaby TursiEpisode: "Getting In"
2007Cold CaseSarah GundenEpisode: "Running Around"
2007Final ApproachMaya BenderTelevision film
2008–13The Secret Life of the American TeenagerAmy JuergensMain role (121 episodes)
2016Big Little LiesJane ChapmanUpcoming series; filming