Miguel Reveriego exclusively for Vanity Fair
Shailene Woodley isn't afraid to speak her mind—and neither is Miley Cyrus.
While the 22-year-old Fault in Our Stars actress makes headlines for her natural lifestyle, the 21-year-old pop star gets press for her provocative outfits and shocking statements about drugs, partying and more. They might seem like polar opposites, but Woodley doesn't pass judgment on a famous peer like Cyrus.
"Miley isn't rude or mean or cruel to anyone in her actions. She just does herself. And regardless of whether you agree with what she's doing or not, it's none of your business what she does," the Divergent star says in newly released excerpts from her Vanity Fair feature. "She's not in the world doing mean things. Why are all these parents or all these people freaking out about Miley being herself? If you don't want your kids to watch it, you know, you can change that situation at home, but don't make a big deal of what she's doing. Make a big deal about the bullies at school who are beating kids up."
Woodley sympathizes with Cyrus, as she also knows how it feels to be misunderstood in Hollywood. "I actually went on a hike the other day with somebody that I had just recently met, and we were talking, and he was like, 'So you smoke a lot of hash, smoke a lot of pot?' And I was like, 'What? No, actually,'" the actress recalls. "And he's like, 'No?' And I was like, 'No.' And he goes, 'That's so funny.'"
"He was in his 40s, and he was like, 'You know, back when I was growing up, like if you sort of had these alternative-lifestyle ways, it meant that you were a total pothead,'" Woodley says of her hippie persona.
It can be hard for people to disassociate actors from the characters they play on TV and in movies, she adds.
"The whole fan thing is very strange to me, because I've never had anybody that I have gone crazy for, like whether it was an actor or a musician. And so it's a weird thing for me to relate to, especially the screaming sort of young fandom, the Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent world caters to," she says. "So I kind of actually try to like actively remove myself from the situation. There's this idea that actors and that musicians or models or whatever are better than the fans, and the fans look up to them because they're an actor. People that I look up to in life are people who make a difference, and brave, strong women."
"I've met people where I'm like, 'Hi, I'm Shai,' and they can't even see me because they're screaming, and I'm making eye contact with them, but they're not there. And that, to me, is weird," the Golden Globe-nominated Descendants actress tells Vanity Fair. "So I don't know how quite to do that except remove myself from the situation and live my life, and if that inspires people, then I guess that's what a role model is. The greatest people who have inspired me in my life don't go out trying to be a role model. They just are devoted, and they're not afraid of what other people think of them."