Shailene Woodley Said She Was ‘Stuck’ in ‘Secret Life of the American Teenager’
Sometimes fans don’t know how stars really feel about their roles until they’re done with them. Secret Life of the American Teenager ended years ago and Shailene Woodley has no problem saying she felt “stuck” in the role by the end of it. Find out why she struggled with playing Amy Juergens and more.
‘Secret Life of the American Teenager’ had a cliffhanger ending
The show started with Amy being pregnant. She had her son, little John and tried to figure out continuing school and dating from there. It ended in 2013 with a cliffhanger ending. Amy decided to leave for New York while Ricky (Daren Kagasoff) stayed behind with John.
Show creator Brenda Hampton explained what happened after the cliffhanger. “Amy did not come back from New York,” she told MTV News. “After a couple of years, Ricky and John moved to New York, along with George, Amy’s dad and John’s grandpa. The cross-country travel while taking on college was just too stressful for Amy, but no one wanted to see her abandon her dreams so everyone came to her.”
Hampton also revealed whether Amy and Ben (Ken Baumann) get back together. “As far as Amy and Ben, it only took her a short time to realize that she really did love Ben, but only as a friend, what might have been had she not gotten pregnant wasn’t what she wanted at all,” said the creator. “And yeah, I think they did have sex to find that out.”
Shailene Woodley previously said the show went against her integrity
The star has spoken out against the show recently. She told Flaunt that she wasn’t happy with how the role changed.
“I’m extremely grateful for it,” she said. “It was a fantastic five years of my life, but towards the end, morally, the things that we were preaching on that show weren’t really aligned with my own integrity.”
Woodley continued, “So that was a bit hard to show up to work every day knowing that we were going to project all of these themes to thousands—millions—of young adults across the country, when in fact they weren’t what I would like to be sending out.”
Woodley said she was stuck
The actress talked about not always agreeing with the script of the show. She still had to continue doing it given her contract.
“When I signed onto Secret Life, I read [three] episodes and I signed a contract for six years,” Woodley told Bustle. “[Those episodes] all hit home. I had friends in high school who were pregnant. It felt like everything that I wanted to be sending into the world.”
Eventually the characters started focusing more on abstinence. “There were a lot of things that were written into the scripts that not just me, but a lot of the cast, disagreed with,” she said. “There were belief systems that were pushed that were different than my own. Yet legally I was stuck there.”
She continued, “To this day it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. So being on Secret Life propelled me to be more vocal about my own belief systems.”
The actress has since moved on to other roles. Her most recent one is playing Jane Chapman on Big Little Lies.