The not-so-secret life of the American teenager, Shailene Woodley

Daphna Varadi ('14)/Eastside staff

Recently, Shailene Woodley has made an unbelievable breakthrough in the entertainment business.  Since the summer of 2008, Woodley has played the lead role of ABC Family’s hit television series, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”  On the popular show, Woodley plays Amy Juergens who faces the challenges that come with being a teenage mother. 

Woodley’s career took a shocking leap as she performed in the Oscar worthy film, The Descendants, which was released in November, 2011.  In an interview with The Collider, Woodley humbly said, “People always ask about the transition, but it felt like just going to a different school. You don’t really notice the transition, when you’re in the moment.”  

On her second day at work at American Apparel, in 2010, Woodley got a call after auditioning for the part of the rebellious teenager, Alexandra King.  She was booked to act alongside the renowned actor, George Clooney.  Due to her amazing performance in the tragic but hilarious film, Woodley is now honored with a prestigious nomination for a Golden Globe as the Best Supporting Actress.  Previously, Woodley won several Teen Choice Awards for her performance on the teenage drama.  This Golden Globe nomination not only proves that Woodley has great potential as an actress, but also demonstrates how she has gained prestige through experience. 

Woodley told The Collider, “I’d always wanted to do a film because film is always where my heart has been. I like diving into the character for a few months, and then leaving it behind.”

Critics of Woodley’s performance in the TV show are surprised with her performance in the film.  In the television show, Woodley seems to have no connection to her part and her character seems too scripted.  No one expected to see such an incredible and heartfelt performance from the actress who has been considered an amateur on television.  “I don’t remember the last time I was so passionate about something in my life,” she told The Black Book, admitting that this movie means so much to her.

Woodley is expected to earn an Oscar nomination as being a part of the outstanding film.  The New York Times says that Woodley delivered “one of the toughest, smartest, most credible adolescent performances in recent memory.”  Woodley has successfully been able to change the opinion that many Americans have of her as an actress by bringing more heart and emotion to her part.