In 2009, actress Shailene Woodley didn’t want to stay in her native California for the summer hiatus of her hit ABC Family series. So Woodley, who plays a teen mom on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, flew to New York and got a job at an American Apparel on the Lower East Side, just to see what it was like. “If someone recognized me, I would just say, ‘Oh no, I get that a lot.’ ” No, she isn’t a typical starlet. “I’m a ridiculously optimistic, happy person,” the L.A. native admits. “But I can easily tap into my dark side.” Case in point: the adolescent malcontent she plays in Alexander Payne’s upcoming dark comedy The Descendants. George Clooney plays her once-absentee father, who is trying to reconnect with his children. “She thinks her dad is a douche bag,” Woodley succinctly explains. Woodley’s turn as Alexandra has already generated Oscar buzz. Whether or not she is nominated, don’t expect her to have some sort of public ingenue meltdown. “As far as the Hollywood teenage shit goes, it isn’t hard not to be a part of it,” she says. “I have so many passions that I know if two months from now acting comes to a stop, I’ll be okay. I can do other things.”
Photo: Shailene Woodley in Venice, California, September 2011. jacket and dress: Prada. Earrings: Eddie Borgo. Bracelets: Dezso by Sara Beltran. Rings: Tom Binns and Jelena Behrend.