Shailene Woodley Turned Down a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Audition for 1 Unexpected Reason

Shailene Woodley is no stranger to the entertainment industry. Having pursued acting since she was a child, Woodley has no shortage of movies and TV shows on her resume. She has credits on huge shows like The O.C. and Big Little Lies and blockbuster films like The Divergent Series. However, Woodley is also known for lending her talents to small, independent projects and sinking her teeth into characters and stories that she feels personally connected to.

Shailene Woodley in a large floppy hat circa 2019
Shailene Woodley | Jim Spellman/WireImage

Shailene Woodley is often recruited for movies and TV shows

Because Woodley is such an in-demand actor, she is often recruited for movies and TV shows. Sometimes, the Endings, Beginnings star is asked to audition for a particular role, while other times, roles are offered to her outright with little to no audition process. For example, even though the role of Tris Prior in Divergent was highly coveted, Woodley managed to win the role after have a brief conversation with the film’s producers.

Why the actor turned down a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ audition

Of course, there were times when Woodley turned down offers and auditions. In fact, Woodley famously turned down the opportunity to audition for Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey. The 2015 film was based on the eponymous book and followed an inexperienced college grad who gets romantically involved with a controlling billionaire. Though the part was highly coveted, Woodley easily opted out of her opportunity to audition. But what was the reason behind this decision?

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Unlike some actors who opted out of auditioning for Fifty Shades of Grey because of the raunchiness and nudity that the role required, Woodley said no for an entirely different, albeit understandable, reason. In an interview with The Daily Beast, The Fallout star revealed that she turned down down her audition because of how big the film was slated to be. “I didn’t want to audition for it,” Woodley stated about Fifty Shades of Grey. “It’s because I had already done Divergent, and I knew there was no way I wanted to do multiple franchises at the same time because that’s crazy, so I didn’t see the point in it.”

Woodley got advice from ‘The Hunger Games’ star Jennifer Lawrence before joining the ‘Divergent’ cast

Fans of Woodley shouldn’t be too surprised that the actor didn’t want to navigate two film franchises simultaneously. In fact, the actor was temporarily undecided about whether or not she wanted to take on one. Woodley has admitted that she was unsure about taking on Divergent because of how big the film was. In fact, she actually reached out to Jennifer Lawrence, who led The Hunger Games franchise, to get advice about navigating such a huge movie. Apparently, the conversation helped Woodley say yes to playing Tris.

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“She was like, ‘Small things will change, but if you stay who you are, nothing will change. The big picture won’t change. It’s only going to make your life greater, and you’ll be so grateful for it. Don’t be stupid, don’t make a sex tape, don’t do drugs, don’t go to Whole Foods the day the movie opens, and you’ll be fine!'” Woodley recalled of her conversation with Lawrence. It seems that Lawrence was accurate about her advice to Woodley. The actor has certainly gone on to lead a normal life despite accepting some high-profile roles.