Shailene Woodley further branched out her filmography by playing Hazel in the 2014 film Fault in Our Stars. But she felt the movie was the last film audiences would see her portraying high-school aged characters.
Shailene Woodley cried when realizing she’d never play a teenager again after doing ‘The Fault in Our Stars’
Shailene Woodley once made a career out of playing young characters. Projects like Secret Life of the American Teenager and The Descendants frequently saw her in the shoes of a teenager. But for the actor, The Fault in Our Stars bookmarked a shift in her career.
The feature saw Woodley and co-star Ansel Elgort playing two cancer-stricken young lovers. But when rewatching the film, Woodley realized her days of playing teenaged characters were coming to an end.
“We filmed it in August, and I saw the rough cut in December,” she once told MTV News. “I started crying, and it wasn’t because of the movie… it was because I realized — and it hit me so hard — I was like, ‘Wow, this is such a bittersweet, beautiful moment, because Fault is the last movie I will ever play a teenager in.’”
Woodley still might have looked young enough to play high schoolers at the time. But her growing maturity felt at odds with any potential teenager roles in her future.
“I can’t empathize with the process that a teenager mentally and emotionally goes through now like I could even last August, just simply from my own phases and my own personal life,” she said. “It was a really neat, amazing moment, and also a totally terrifying moment of like, ‘Wow, I have to be held accountable for playing my own age for the first time.”’
Shailene Woodley won the approval of her ‘Fault in Our Stars’ director by making him cry
Woodley found herself deeply moved by the Fault in Our Stars novel. So even before she was cast as Hazel, she had a special connection to the source material.
“It changed my life and I realized, after the book, two things,” Woodley once told People. “One, I was incredibly depressed that Augustus Waters did not exist in real life, and two, I found myself totally perplexed and completely moved by the fact that one of my new greatest role models was a fictional character, Hazel.”
But as much as both the book and the character affected her, The Divergent star wasn’t a guarantee for the project. The movie’s director Josh Boone didn’t think Woodley would be able to nail the film’s main role.
“I had met her and had a dinner with her and she was the nicest, most outgoing, coolest person, but I was like, ‘She doesn’t really seem like Hazel,’” Boone said in an interview with Collider. “But then she came in and she was Hazel. She was a completely different person, with the physicality and everything. It was pretty amazing to see.”
One of the ways Woodley convinced Boone she was right for the part was by reducing him to tears.
“She was the first person that made me cry. I’d seen so many girls and I was just really moved. I knew within maybe a minute and a half after she started doing it [that she was right for the role],” he recalled.
Why Shailene Woodley didn’t want a ‘Fault in Our Stars’ sequel
Fault in Our Stars was both a massive critical and commercial success. Given its accomplishments, some questioned if the Big Little Lies actor would ever reprise her character in a potential sequel. But in a separate MTV News interview, Woodley wasn’t too favorable towards the idea.
“Death is something that just comes, as is life,” Woodley said. “And for us to create a sequel, I think is unfair to all the other people who have ideas in their head about where Hazel’s life goes.”
Source: Cheat Sheet
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