Shailene Diann Woodley

Shailene Diann Woodley

Shailene Diann Woodley (born November 15, 1991) is an American actress and activist. After early acting roles that earned her two Young Artist Award nominations, Woodley rose to fame for her leading role as Amy Juergens on the ABC Family television series The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008–13). She garnered praise for her performances in The Descendants (2011) and The Spectacular Now (2013). The former brought her a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, while winning the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress, an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female, and Cannes Trophée Chopard while the latter brought her nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead and winning the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Acting. Woodley achieved global recognition with leading roles in The Fault in Our Stars (2014) and The Divergent series (2014–16).

Since 2017, she portrays Jane Chapman in the HBO limited series Big Little Lies (2017–present) for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series. Besides acting, Woodley is an environmental activist and has served as a board member of Our Revolution.

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 Meind

Woodley began her acting career in 2001 with minor television roles in The District and Crossing Jordan (in the latter, she portrayed 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.

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