Next Gen 2011: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars
Woodley, 19, is often asked how she got her first name. "When my mom was 18, she saw the word 'shai' on a license plate," says Woodley. "When I was born, she asked my dad, 'What do you think of 'Shai-lene?' " She broke out on the series The O.C. and Crossing Jordan and in 2008 got the lead in ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Eighteen months ago, her character "went to New York" so Woodley could film The Descendants with George Clooney in Hawaii. The film was the hit of Telluride and Woodley was the festival's breakout star. The process was all new to her. "With Secret Life, we do eight or nine scenes a day," says Woodley. "With a movie, you do one scene a day, maybe two." Everything was slower in Hawaii. "They have a 45 miles per hour minimum because people go too slow. Back in L.A., I was like, 'Slow down, you guys!' " Woodley takes her own advice. "I don't have a plan," she says. "I'm not strategizing my next move until a movie comes along that really fuels my soul."