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George Clooney played Shailene Woodley's father in 2011's The Descendants, and as luck would have it, the veteran actor has since taken the fledgling actress under his wing. In fact, the co-stars have remained in touch over the past three years as Woodley transitions into big budget blockbusters.
"He's like my second dad. He's got my back," Woodley, 22, says of Clooney, 52. "I've never met somebody in the industry who's more grateful, who pays it forward without talking about it in the press or speaking about it to anyone else. That to me was the best advice, just learning through his actions."
Since The Descendants, Woodley has starred in a handful of movies based on young adult novels. She agreed to star in The Spectacular Now and Divergent because she was moved by the stories, not out of a desire to be seen on the big screen. "It's been the same since I was 5," the California native explains. "I either have butterflies in my stomach when I read a script, or I don't. If I do have butterflies, I do everything in my power to be in that film, because it's something my soul asked me to do."
"When I started thinking about acting, I was like, 'Why do I love it so much? Why do I feel so fueled from it? And I realized it's because when I see most films, I leave feeling affected and inspired and emotionally captivated," Woodley says of her role choices. "And all of that has to be based in truth."
The former TV star isn't concerned about her snowballing stardom. "I know me, I know my friends and family, and if it ever gets to be too much, I'll do something else," Woodley says matter-of-factly.
After she shoots Allegiant and Insurgent, the second and third films in the Divergent series, she might retire from show business entirely. "Right now, I have zero intentions of doing another film," she says. "Until I read something I'm deeply invested in from an artistic point of view, there's no reason to."
"People always ask me, 'How does it feel doing so many coming-of-age films?' But I want to do roles I can connect to and bring a special color to, and what I've known has been adolescence," she tells The Chicago Sun Times' Splash. "I'm 22 now, so I know womanhood for the first time in my life. I can bring truth to what it feels like to be a woman. But it's been a really big honor to bring these really strong, vulnerable, truthful, raw adolescents to life. Because it is such a beautiful time to be alive, and so much of what we go through in our teenage years creates who we are as adults in the years to come."