Shailene Woodley is best known to audiences for her work on ABC Family, but the young actress is poised for a Hollywood breakout with some big roles coming up and favorable comparisons to Jennifer Lawrence.
Woodley seems to have come a long way since starring in the ABC Family drama The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, but many noted her potential even then, predicting a successful career in Hollywood.
But the 21-year-old actress seemed to stumble out of the gate early in her shift from television to Hollywood, with less-than-favorable reactions when she was announced to play Mary Jane in The Amazing Spider Man 2. Then, to make the situation even worse, reports came that her part ended up being cut from the film.
But Hollywood moves quickly, and Shailene Woodley seems to be back in vogue. She’s set to appear in the indie romance film The Spectacular Now and next year will appear in Divergent.
It helped Woodley’s cause that she has an award-season film under her belt with The Descendents, a role that drew comparisons to Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone.
A lot of people seem to see some of Lawrence in Shailene Woodley. Los Angeles Times film critic Amy Kaufman noted that the young actresses “seem to share the same kind of offbeat, carefree attitude that fans find endearing these days.”
“They also go out of their way to accommodate the media,” Kaufman noted. “Woodley arrived at The Spectacular Now screening Wednesday night, she greeted each reporter on the short red carpet with a hug. Sure, she and Lawrence make fun of the corsets and stilettos they’re expected to wear at premieres — but they’ll still happily attend them.”
She has also earned praise within Hollywood for her strong spirit.
“She has a complete sense of who she is,” James Ponsoldt, who directed Spectacular Now, said of Shailene Woodley. “I don’t think she needs a career to define her. You don’t get the sense that she’s hyper-needy and needs people to like her desperately.”