Catching up with Shailene Woodley:
By Michelle Tennis
She recently took time out of her busy schedule to talk about her experiences during filming.
Written, directed and produced by Alexander Payne, “The Descendants,” is set in Hawaii and follows the unpredictable journey of an American family at a crossroads. Matt King (Clooney), a husband and father of two girls, must re-examine his past and navigate his future when his wife is in a boating accident off Waikiki. He awkwardly attempts to repair his relationship with his daughters - 10 year-old Scottie (Amara Miller) and 17 year-old Alexandra (Woodley) - while wrestling with a decision to sell his family‘s land. Handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries, the Kings own some of the last priceless virgin parcels of tropical beach in the islands.
Woodley said “The Descendants” has a little something for everyone.
In the film, Woodley portrays the feisty and free-spirited teenage daughter of Matt King who worries she takes after the mother she is angry with. Although she said she was not a particularly rebellious teen, she did recall a time when she went through a similar series of emotions as her character.
“I think every teenager goes through that angsty period,” she said. “Whether you want to admit it or not. I was about 14 when I thought I knew everything and thought that my parents were the most ridiculous people on the planet. That nobody could tell me something that I didn’t already know. That was short-lived when I realized that the world is really big.”
The film is an experience that bears no regrets for this young rising star.
“I wouldn’t change anything because it was such a flawless experience,” Woodley said. “I think the reason why it was such an amazing environment was because everyone was so comfortable and grateful to make this beautiful piece of art. We literally became family. It was one big ‘ohana’ [family in Hawaiian].”
Although Woodley made many lasting connections while making the film, she felt she learned quite a bit from both Alexander Payne and George Clooney.
“He [Alexander] is one of my Top 5 favorite human beings,” Woodley said. “He is so majestic in my mind. I think the world of him as a person. I learned from both him and George [Clooney] how to be a better person. Alexander is such a calm man and he’s so confident without being pretentious. He appreciates feedback. I’m very bad at taking compliments and he’s very good at it, but in a humble way. It’s rare to see someone take a big plethora of compliments and formulate it in a very humble and down-to-earth way.”
Woodley added Payne is also, much like her, connected to nature and environmentalism.“We just connected on a very personal level,” she said. “He’s amazing.”
Besides seeing the movie, Woodley also recommends reading the book. It
also helped her prepare for her role.
“The Descendants” is now showing. Check local listings for showtimes.
Michelle Tennis, social media manager and feature writer for CinemaCLIPS.com, can be reached at CinemaCLIPSdotcom@gmail.com or follow her on twitter @CinemaCLIPS.
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