Shailene Woodley: I Make Own Medicines and “Forage Wild Foods”
Shailene Woodley opens up to Flaunt about her “alternative lifestyle” and refusing to follow the pack in Hollywood. The Divergent actress appeared for several years on ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” but left with mixed feelings. “I’m extremely grateful for it; it was a fantastic five years of my life, but towards the end, morally, the things that we were preaching on that show weren’t really aligned with my own integrity,” explains Woodley.
She continues, “So that was a bit hard to show up to work every day knowing that we were going to project all of these themes to thousands — millions — of young adults across the country, when in fact they weren’t what I would like to be sending out.” Woodley is about to leap to another level of fame with Divergent, the first movie based on the wildly popular young-adult series, and is wrestling with what her newfound celebrity will mean.
“I just find the whole f word, this whole ‘fan’ word, so completely fascinating,” says the actress. “I think it’s one thing to be a fan of a particular movie — growing up, I was a huge fan of The Goonies and certain bands or musicians. [But] I look back at my favorite childhood films, and I don’t remember being obsessed, or necessarily being a fan of a particular actor.” She adds, “Now I feel like there’s this odd sort of obsession with certain people. So, for me, I try to separate myself from my project; and I hope that people support that project. But when people are solely supporting me, it feels odd; it’s something that I haven’t quite gotten used to and I don’t think I ever will.”
Woodley suspects that celebrity obsession is a sign of the times. “I think it might be a generational thing because now more than ever we have disgusting reality TV shows that are projecting awful images of women to the public, and giving this bizarre outlook on what it means to ‘be on television.’ It feels very exploitative,” she says. And being uncomfortable with fame isn’t the only thing that differentiates Woodley from many of her peers. “I think everything about my lifestyle is fairly alternative,” says the star. “I gather my own spring water from mountains every month. I go to a farm to get my food. I make everything from my own toothpaste to my own body lotions and face oils.” Wow. Woodley continues, “I could go on for hours. I make my own medicines; I don’t get those from doctors. I make my own cheese and forage wild foods and identify wild plants. It’s an entire lifestyle. It’s appealing to my soul.”