Shailene Woodley is returning to screens (well, small ones at least) with the Netflix release of the upcoming romance “The Last Letter from Your Lover” on July 23. She was last seen in “The Mauritanian” and, before that, in Drake Doremus’ indie “Endings, Beginnings” and on the second season of HBO’s smash hit “Big Little Lies” — often portraying characters who have to bare more than just their soul.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Shailene Woodley talks about her break from the limelight, grappling with health issues, and her upcoming role. But she also speaks about her approach to filming movie sex scenes, which were demanded by “Endings, Beginnings,” and how she prefers, as THR’s Rebecca Keegan puts it, “realism over modesty.”
“I’ve never felt uncomfortable doing intimate scenes because I’m very vocal,” Woodley said. “I always sit down and talk with the director, the other actor. We always have conversations of, ‘How are you planning on shooting it? Is nudity necessary? Is it going to distract from the scene, add to the scene?’ We know exactly what the boundaries are. And I’ve never been in a situation where those things haven’t been honored.”
In “Endings, Beginnings,” Woodley plays a woman caught in a love triangle between Jamie Dornan and Sebastian Stan. In Augustine Frizzell’s “Last Letter from Your Lover,” she plays a 1960s socialite caught up in a star-crossed affair.
Woodley said that, in some cases, she feels onscreen sex screens are portrayed unrealistically: “Oftentimes in movies, you see two people having sex and the woman has her bra on, and in real life, I don’t think I ever did that, sex with a bra — or very, very rarely,” she said.
In the interview, Woodley also talked about dealing with a debilitating health condition that often prevented her from taking on new roles, though she said she’s at the “tail end of it” by now. “I said no to a lot of projects, not because I wanted to but because I physically couldn’t participate in them,” she said. “And I definitely suffered a lot more than I had to because I didn’t take care of myself. The self-inflicted pressure of not wanting to be helped or taken care of created more physical unrest throughout those years.”