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Shailene Woodley


  1. Lea Moreno, DAG, TV, 2000-2001.   Post-pilot change of Camilla Whitman, daughter of the US president in David Allen Grier’s  White House sitcom.
  2. Dakota Fanning, I Am Sam, 2001. She lost Lucy to Fanning but her day would come - really come - as George Clooney’s troubled teen daughter in The Descendants, 2011.
  3. Willa Holland, The OC, TV, 2003-2007.     At age eleven, Woodley was the first Kaitlin, a recurring character in the opening seasons as she was away in boarding-school. When  returning home in the third season, Holland took over. "They actually re-auditioned me to bring her back," said Woodley. "But I didn't go through puberty until later... Willa was so obviously right for the role... and I was so obviously not."
  4. Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games, 2011.
  5. Amanda Seyfried, Les Misérables, 2012.    The long haired star of TV’s Secret Life of the American Teenager auditioned for Cosette in Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper’s version of the global hit musical. Also seen: Miranda Cosgrove, Portia Doubleday, Danielle Hope, Emily Marie Palmer, Lili Reinhart and Emma Watson.
  6. Chloe Grace Moretz, Carrie, 2012.     Passed, quite correctly, on the second unnecessary re-hash in a decade. Idem for Haley Bennett, Emily Browning, Lily Collins, Dakota Fanning, Bella Heathcote.
  7. Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey, 2013.     Social networks were full of kinky ideas for the porno novel’s BDSM heroine, Anastasia Steele - from Jennifer Lawrence to Emma Watson. Few suggestions led to talks, auditions or tests. The suits did see Woodley (of course) but like Emily Browning, Lucy Hale, Felicity Jones, Elisabeth Olsen, Margot Robbie, Alicia Vikander and London model Suki Waterhouse she was lucky to escape the turgid, totally un-erotic enterprise. Only 14 minutes and 17 seconds of sex, no orgasms - and pubes added digitally to actors’ genital patches!
  8. Cara Delevingne, Paper Towns, 2014.   Woodley was a natural  for Margo RS as she had starred - perfectly - in another John Green book for the same Fox 2000 combine,  The Fault In Our Stars,  2013.  However,  she was tied to Insurgent. The co-exec-producer and book’s writer John Green favoured  Emma Blackery (from the My Virgin Kitchen cooking show) until the audition of Cara, the UK supermodel (who probably earns the movie’s budget per year) “blew everyone away (including me!).” And what’s more, “she understands Margo profoundly.”
  9. Clara Delevingne, Suicide Squad, 2015.   After 19 possible Deadshots and 14 Harley Quinns, director David Ayer searched through eleven young beauties for June Moone, aka Enchantress (the DC villain, not Marvel’s rival to Thor). The contenders were  Woodley, Troian Bellisario (tied to Pretty Little Liars) Emilia Clarke (nothing without her Game of Thrones’ dragons), Alexandra Daddario, Megan Fox, Brie Larson, Ellen Page, Krysten Ritter, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Stone, Alicia Vikander. And told the winning Delevingne to prepare for the role by stripping naked in the woods and walk in mud, preferably during a full moon.  Takes all sorts. Film still flopped!
  10. Brie Larson, Room, 2015.      When her best-seller came out, author Emma Donoghue said every young actress in town wanted to the resilient Ma, protecting her young son when locked-up kidnap victims. From Mara and Mia Wasikowska to Emma Watson and Larson’s good friend, Shailene Woodley. (They co-starred in The Spectacular Now, 2012)Director Lenny Abrahamson fell for her home-made tape, talking with an off-screen son. “She conjured up that child. I really felt the child was there.” She then lost 15 lbs and avoided sunlight for for a pale, gaunt look. “She doesn’t do that showy intensity thing that we overpraise in film actors. There’s just this truthfulness about her and a delicacy to what she does.” And so, after 20 years of often nearly quitting, Larson broke through and how - Best Actress Oscar, February 28, 2016.

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