By Karen Yuan, For the Daily
Published October 25, 2013
Shailene Woodley is the next Jennifer Lawrence. Remember when everyone found out who was casted as Katniss in “The Hunger Games?” Jennifer Lawho is this nobody; she looks nothing like the character; Hollywood blasphemes again, ugh. Remember how, only a year after “The Hunger Games” debuted, Lawrence held an Oscar in her arms? She rocketed from obscurity to stardom in an incredibly short amount of time.
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At this time next year, the fanfare surrounding Shailene Woodley will be at colossal, JLaw-level heights. Mark my words: Though many don’t recognize the name now, soon people will be utterly maniacal about her. I’m talking Buzzfeed .gif-articles, a catchy nickname, millions hoping that she’s single — the whole shebang.
It’s clear from the big splashes Woodley has been making recently that fame is imminent. She’s slated to star next June in “The Fault in Our Stars,” beating out 200 other auditioners for the coveted role. She also landed the main role for “Divergent,” another majorly hyped film coming out next year. Both movies are based off of high-profile bestsellers many teens are fanatical about. There’s no question that Woodley will cement her status as a favorite among the younger population. If there is any fanbase that can really launch an actress in spotlight, it’s the Young Adult section of Barnes & Noble — as proven by the classic examples of “The Hunger Games,” “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” series.
Some may worry that if her acting isn’t on par, Woodley will ruin any chances of rising to the top. However, her previous record has shown her genuine ability to seize a role and make it her own. This past summer, she co-starred in “The Spectacular Now” and garnered praise for her performance. Though her character was required to act fairly passive, Woodley was still able to shine through the nuanced earnestness of her portrayal of a suburban teen in love. In 2011, she also starred alongside George Clooney in “The Descendants.” She received a Golden Globe nomination and critical acclaim for this role, along with nominations for a dozen more awards and a feature as one of Nylon Magazine’s Hollywood stars of the future (see, I’m not alone in this!).
Having personally seen both movies, what strikes me immediately is Woodley’s versatility. She portrays a caustic, confrontational girl in “Descendants,” hurting from the brokenness of her family, and then does a complete 180 by playing the sweetly doe-eyed and affectionate Aimee Finicky in “Spectacular Now.”
If there’s anything left to sell her by, it’s Shailene Woodley herself. Her Twitter is full of endearing slice-of-life bits on eating cookie dough, smiley faces and pictures of home-cooked dinners. She has also written exactly one post on Tumblr — a post that has been reblogged over 5,000 times. It’s presented in all lowercase as she muses on her decision to cut her hair short for “The Fault in Our Stars” and cancer patients: “this could be a beautiful opportunity to rally the troops of mankind and ask for some warriors to help contribute to the cause. any of you have 8 inches of hair to spare? ... yay!!! :)))” OK, seriously: How can you not love this girl?