Shailene Woodley’s Strongest Held Belief Is That You Shouldn’t Be A ‘F*cking D*ck’
For most actors, the idea of starring in a semi-improvised movie would send a shiver of fear down their spine, but Shailene Woodley isn’t most actors.
The Big Little Lies star has been acting since she was 10 years old after all. She’s worked with some of the biggest names in tinsel town, and even stared down Meryl Streep. Basically, she’s as tough as they come. Her new film might be her most challenging role yet, though.
Endings, Beginnings is a sincere and emotional romantic drama about a young woman, Daphne (Woodley), who finds herself at a crossroads after she becomes entangled at the centre of a particularly complicated love triangle.
What made this role so difficult? Well, the director Drake Doremus decided to challenge his cast by having them improvise almost all the dialogue, which would stretch even the most talented of actor’s dramatic chops. Shailene, of course, more than rises to the challenge, giving an incredibly vulnerable and grounded performance.
So to celebrate the release of Endings, Beginnings on Digital HD from August 7, we subjected Shailene to our usual cavalcade of silly questions, which are no doubt just as difficult as improvising a whole movie… or not.
This is The Ten…
1) You’ve got a time machine, where’s the first place you’re going?
Shailene Woodley: Oh my god! Forward or backwards?
UNILAD: You can go wherever you want it’s a time machine.
SW: You know, I think I’d like to visit North America circa the 1400s. I’d like to see what this country that I know as being covered in concrete looked like before colonisation occurred, and I’d like to witness what the indigenous people were up to and how they lived before we arrived.
UNILAD: Do you tend to prefer rural settings than urban ones?
Shailene Woodley: I’m down with both [laughs].
2) What’s the most famous-person thing you’ve ever done?
SW: I’ve definitely name-dropped in a restaurant before, I’ve done the thing where you pretend to be your own assistant to get a table.
UNILAD: Just like Tom Holland! So do you put on a voice and do the call yourself?
SW: Nah, I get my best friend to do that, but other than that I’m pretty low key. The only other thing is to buy myself a really nice pair of fucking shoes that I probably wouldn’t have bought if I didn’t have something important to go to, that seems like pretty famous person thing to do.
3) If you weren’t an actor, what do you think you’d be doing with your life?
SW: I might be a quantum physicist or a herbalist, or I’d be overseas teaching English as a foreign language.
UNILAD: We’re going to have to go through all of them because they’re some very disparate careers. Quantum physicist? Is science something that interests you?
SW: Science doesn’t interest me as much as mystery interests me, I find mysteries fascinating and science is a really interesting way to explore mystery in a linear fashion.
UNILAD: And herbalism…
SW: Well actually I studied herbalism and I learned so much from it, and we put so much toxic food and toxic medicine into our bodies, oftentimes when we don’t need to because there’s a plant substitute that’s just as effective and much better for the long term longevity of not just ourselves but also our kids. I think anything connected to the plant kingdom is a great thing because we need to be more connected to the Earth around us.
UNILAD: That’s interesting, so are you a vegetarian then?
SW: I am not. Well, the idea is about saving plants not eating them [bursts out laughing] I’m just kidding.
UNILAD: Finally, you said you’d travel overseas to teach English, surely you get to travel a bit now with your job?
SW: I travel so much but the question was ‘what would you be doing if you weren’t an actor’ and I don’t think I’d have the opportunity to travel as much if I wasn’t and [teaching] would be an effective way of getting to travel on a low budget and visit places I’d like to visit.
4) You have one wish and it has to be selfish, what do you wish for? No world peace…
SW: A limitless stomach! I want to be able to eat as much as I want and it not have an effect on my stomach or my body [laughs]. I’m not too bothered about getting fat, I just want a magic stomach that I can fill with food and it won’t be affected by stuffing it with copious amounts of food. You know if you ate seven pints of ice cream you might get ‘clogged up’ for a while and I’d like that to not happen.
5) Whose career are you secretly jealous of?
SW: Oh? Maybe I’m a little jealous of Salvador Dali’s career because of the places he got to live, the people he got to meet and his incredible mind, which allowed him to execute such incredible pieces of art.
It might not be jealousy but I’m definitely curious about him. I’d like to switch bodies with him.
6) What is your strongest held opinion?
SW: That ignorance is bliss. I’m kidding [laughs]. My strongest held opinion is ‘don’t be a fucking dick’, in all ways of life and in every day that can be interpreted, whether it’s a human being, a system, or an institution, just don’t be a dick, you know? So many things are trying to manipulate us and I have a very strong opinion that honesty and truth is the way to go.
7) What’s something you’ve never admitted publicly but you’ll tell me now?
SW: I shower like three of four times a day…
UNILAD: Really? Why?
SW: I don’t know? I just like the way they feel. I mean that’s an average, it’s not every day I get to do that but if I had it my way I’d be doing that.
It’s just an easy way to cool down your body or to warm yourself up, you want to shower before you go the gym to open up your nasal cavity, you want to shower after the gym because you’re sweaty as fuck, and you want to shower before dinner so you smell nice, and then you have a shower before bed.
8) You’re stuck living the same day over and over, what day would it be and why?
SW: Fuck, I don’t know. Maybe the day I was born but that would be painful for my mother, so maybe not. I couldn’t choose one day because every day is the best day ever.
9) Have you ever been left convinced – or at least persuaded – by a fake news story about yourself?
SW: One time there was a very long period of time where the world was convinced I was married to my best friend and that we’d been together for years.
I was okay with that one though, probably because I was the one who set her up with her husband, but it was pretty fun.
UNILAD: Did they find it funny?
SW: Oh yeah, we all did. I do like some fake news stories because they give you something to play with, and it’s fuel for the prank fire.
10) If you had to remove one colour from the world forever, which would it be and why?
SW: Oh that’s a good one. I like all the colours but maybe [long pause] maybe that really bad grey. You know when something’s been sitting out too long and it turns grey, like when it’s been sat in the sun too long and it gets that little bit of brown in the grey. I’d get rid of that.
Signature Entertainment presents Endings, Beginnings on Digital HD from August 7