Shailene Woodley is not your average coming-of-age celebrity. At 21, she’s already shared the silver screen with Academy Award winner George Clooney and followed with similarly lauded work in Sundance favorite The Spectacular Now while channeling a young mother in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. In her day-to-day life, the promising performer heralds nature (“Self-expression for me can just come in the form of trees”) and a morning ritual as her method for staying sane. “The second I wake up, I scream very loudly ‘Good morning! Good morning!’ And then I scream out, ‘Exciting day! Exciting day,’ she shares with Emma Stone for her feature in Interview Magazine. “I feel like it completely sets the mood for the whole day.”
A mood that Woodley says keeps her from growing dependent on makeup and helps her stay grounded, despite the critical acclaim her young career has amassed. “With awards, I think, on one hand, it’s so deeply flattering and extremely humbling and you don’t really know what to say,” she explains. “But I don’t act for anyone else—I do it for myself.”
When she was younger, though, that wasn’t her philosophy. Woodley explains to Stone that she struggled with insecurities and body issues during her teenage years, and wishes that she could have somehow channeled her current self-esteem. “I projected a lot of confidence and I’m sure if you asked my friends from high school, everybody would say that I was a very confident person,” said Woodley. “But on the inside, I was very mean to myself… So I would definitely say to myself at that age, ‘You’re worthy. You’re beautiful.’”
In citing that age-old adage, Woodley definitely encompasses a “wise beyond her years” attitude and a lot more decorum than some of her racier A-list counterparts; but when you’ve got Jennifer Lawrence in your corner, what do you expect?
Read Woodley’s full Interview Magazine story here and stay tuned for her lead role in Veronica Roth‘s Divergent answer to The Hunger Games next year.