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Shailene Woodley: Why I Turned Down Fifty Shades of Grey

Truth rating: 10

By Daniel Gates

(Getty Images)

Shailene Woodley opens up about advice from Jennifer Lawrence, her fears over privacy, and why she turned down the chance to audition for Fifty Shades of Grey in a new interview with The Daily Beast.

The Divergent actress is asked whether the rumor that she passed on auditioning to be Anastasia Steele is accurate.

“It actually is true. I didn’t want to audition for it,” she says. “It’s because I had already done Divergent and I knew there was no way I wanted to do multiple franchises at the same time, because that’s crazy, so I didn’t see the point in it.”

With Divergent about to come out, the spotlight on Woodley is about to get even more intense, and the rising star wrote a letter to The Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence asking for advice.

“She was like, ‘Small things will change, but if you stay who you are, nothing will change. The big picture won’t change. It’s only going to make your life greater and you’ll be so grateful for it. Don’t be stupid, don’t make a sex tape, don’t do drugs, don’t go to Whole Foods the day the movie opens, and you’ll be fine!'” recalls Woodley.

She adds, “I thought, ‘I’m gonna love this chick when I meet her.'”

Except they haven’t yet crossed paths in person.

“It’s still not happened! I’ll meet her one of these days,” Woodley tells the outlet.

The actress had a hand in casting her male co-star, Theo James, and couldn’t be more thrilled with the choice.

“Isn’t he so good in it?” she asks. “We auditioned a lot of guys, and a lot of these actors were playing male, masculine leaders. Even if they were good, they were still acting it. Theo walked in and just demanded it with his presence.”

Woodley continues, “Theo is smart as a whip — he majored in philosophy and traveled the world before he even became an actor — so he’s had a full life before the industry, and he didn’t feel like he had to prove his masculinity.”

Among the many themes examined in Divergent is the threat to personal freedom, something the star says she notices in our own society.

“There’s no privacy anymore! There are cameras everywhere, there’s technology everywhere, everything’s out in the Internet,” explains Woodley. “It’s like 1984. It’s a weird time to be alive. It’s a beautiful time to be alive, but it’s different from the past because technology is so advanced today, so there’s really no precedent when it comes to our privacy.”

Is she concerned about her own specific privacy as she gets more famous?

“Not really,” says Woodley. “The thing with privacy is I’m just going to make sure that whatever I hold sacred stays sacred. What I hold dear to my heart is nobody’s business in the same way whatever you hold dear to your heart is nobody’s business, unless you’re willing to share that.”

What do you think of Woodley’s comments?

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