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It's been almost seven years since Shailene Woodley starred on The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The 28-year-old actress looked back at the series in an interview with Bustle published last Friday.
In the show, Woodley played Amy Juergens, a 15-year-old student who becomes pregnant after she has sex with Ricky Underwood (Daren Kagasoff) at band camp. The program explored relationships, the stars' journeys through high school and Amy's experience as a new mom.
"I can only speak [about my characters' sex lives] through my experience with sex," Woodley told the outlet. "When I signed onto Secret Life, I read [three] episodes and I signed a contract for six years. [Those episodes] all hit home. I had friends in high school who were pregnant. It felt like everything that I wanted to be sending into the world."
The series also explored the concept of abstinence, such as by having characters wear promise rings or vow to not have sex until marriage.
At times, Woodley found herself struggling with the show's message.
"There were a lot of things that were written into the scripts that not just me, but a lot of the cast, disagreed with," she continued. "There were belief systems that were pushed that were different than my own. Yet legally I was stuck there. To this day it's one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. So being on Secret Life propelled me to be more vocal about my own belief systems."