To say Shailene Woodley is a hugger is an understatement. Over the course of her career, she’s been candid about how much she enjoys the physical endearment. She feels that it helps her to connect with people on a deeply human level. The Endings, Beginnings actor even has a specific method of hugging. She likes to hug on the left side so that she can feel a true heart-to-heart connection with people.
Shailene Woodley use to give hugs to the reporters who interviewed her
But Woodley doesn’t just limit her hugs to friends and family. She’s fond of embracing those she works with as well. And, for years, the actor was up for hugging hundreds of strangers. The Divergent alum used to hug all of the reporters who interviewed her on the red carpet.
‘The Divergent’ star had to take steps to protect her immunity
In the age of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, hugs between strangers are a bit rarer. However, Woodley gave up hugging reporters years prior to 2020 in order to stay healthy. In an interview with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Woodley admitted that hugging hundreds of people began negatively affecting her immunity.
Of course, there was another reason that Woodley gave up hugs on the red carpet that had nothing to do with her health. According to The Secret Life of the American Teenager alum, retiring her red carpet hugs had a lot to do with smells rubbing off on her as well.
Woodley started limiting her hugs to protect her natural scent
“But also because, this might sound crazy, but have you ever hugged someone and walked away smelling like them for the rest of the day?” she inquired. “And all of a sudden at night you’re like ‘Why do I still smell like this person, 8 hours later? The cologne guy or the perfume lady.”
Continuing on, Woodley shared that she felt she couldn’t back out of a hug once she decide to go for it. This was true even when she knew someone carried a super strong scene. “The worst part is when you start to smell it and you’re coming in and you’re like ‘Oh no!’ and you like can’t retract because you’re already starting so you have to commit,” she explained. “And you’re like ‘Well there goes my smell for the rest of the day.'”
Why does the ‘Divergent’ alum feel so strongly about hugs?
We can see why Woodley stopped hugging so many strangers. However, in her personal life, she still seems to be very much a hugger. “We’ve got a set amount of time in our lives, you know,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “You might as well make every conversation count. So that’s like the hug. It’s kind of like, ‘Hey, I’m real. You’re real. Let’s connect.’”