Imagine being 18 years old and scoring your first major movie role, and in that movie, you get to star opposite George Clooney and it’s also Alexander Payne’s first movie in six years. That is exactly what happened to Shailene Woodley when she was called upon to play Clooney’s daughter Alex in Payne’s latest movie The Descendants, based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings.
Younger girls may already know Woodley from four seasons as Amy Juergens on the ABC Family show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” but for everyone else, her performance in the movie will be seen as a breakthrough since she does something few actresses twice her age have been able to do by going toe-to-toe with such an on-screen presence as Clooney.
In the movie, Clooney plays Matt King, a Hawaii-based estate lawyer who learns that his recently-comatose wife has been having an affair with another man, so he takes his two daughters on an island-hopping journey to confront his wife’s lover. Woodley’s character Alex is Matt’s wayward teen daughter who offers the anchor that holds the journey together, and Woodley is so astounding in the performance many already consider her a sure-fire pick for many of the upcoming movie awards, including the Oscars. Not bad for her first major film role, huh?
In the video interview below, we talked to Ms. Woodley about:
* How she got the part
* If she knew Alexander Payne’s work beforehand
* Her Top 5 favorite people on the planet
* Making the movie in Hawaii
* Whether there was more backstory about Alex in the novel
* Having George Clooney as her father
* Shooting schedules and locations
* How she has been doing all the festivals and interviews while doing the TV show
* How it feels getting so much attention for a role in a movie with Clooney
And a lot more!
The Descendants is now playing in New York and Los Angeles and opens in select cities on Friday, November 18.