Shailene Woodley Only Says Yes Roles That Give Her Butterflies

Shailene Woodley is only 30, but she’s been acting for 25 years. She developed a passion for acting at a young age and, over time, she has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry. Woodley’s resume is pretty eclectic. She’s done everything from huge blockbusters like Divergent to indies like The Spectacular Now. On the TV side of things, Woodley has been a part of wildly popular shows like The O.C. and Big Little Lies. But how does Woodley choose which roles to accept?

movie star Shailene Woodley in a brown suit
Shailene Woodley | Cindy Ord/Getty Images

How does Shailene Woodley pick her projects?

Unlike more unknown actors, Woodley is in a place in her career where she doesn’t have to audition for roles very often. Instead, she has meetings about potential projects with directors, producers, and others in the industry. The Fallout star also fields her share of outright offers, so it’s up to her to decide if working on the project is something she’d find worthwhile.

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So how does Woodley know which movies and TV shows she should join? In a conversation for Interview Magazine, the California native revealed the three things that are the most important when she’s considering a role. “It wasn’t always like this, but now it’s very much actors, directors, and writers,” Woodley shared. “Two of those three have to be 10 out of 10. And I’m so blessed to even be able to be in a position where I can say that.”

The ‘Big Little Lies’ alum won’t say yes to movies or TV shows that don’t give her butterflies

Woodley also is very candid about trusting her gut on things. In fact, she uses trusts her instincts over everything else when she’s considering what roles to take on. She’s even passed on some bigger movies because she didn’t feel excited about bringing the offered role to life.

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“If I’m reading a story and I have butterflies in my stomach, I’m in,” Woodley shared. “If I don’t, I’m not. There have been a few times when incredible opportunities have come around and I have not had that gut reaction, and everyone around me has said, ‘You have to do this movie, because it’s this director or it’s this actor.’ But I haven’t had that gut reaction so I passed.”

Woodley explains the importance of vulnerability in acting

Woodley also shared that working with actors who are willing to be vulnerable with her on camera is another factor that’s really important for her. According to the movie star, it’s a much rarer trait than people would expect. “The whole point of being an actor is being vulnerable, but I can’t tell you how many actors’ eyes I’ve looked into and all I see is a performance,” Woodley shared. “I don’t see them at all, which is sometimes devastating, because there’s nothing real to connect to.”

Clearly, Woodley has figured out her process for picking projects. We’re sure her fans are eager to see which TV shows and movies she stars in next.

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