After starring in the ABC Family television series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Shailene Woodley has continued to star in several book-to-movie adaptations including Tim Tharp's The Spectacular Now and Kaui Hart Hemmings's The Descendants.
With the upcoming releases of Veronica Roth’s Divergent and John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars as movie adaptations, Woodley’s star will continue to rise and she will get bigger and better opportunities. But what other literary characters can Woodley bring to life? Here is a list of some popular characters she could possibly portray.
Don’t forget to sound off in the comments below if we missed one of your favorite characters the actress should bring to life.
1. Alaska Young in Looking For Alaska by John Green (2005): While Woodley has already portrayed several good girls and bratty teenagers, she has never had much of a chance to play a wild child. Alaska Young would give her the chance to do that.
The fun, flirty and tragic character would allow Woodley to showcase her range as an actress and prevent her from being typecast in specific roles. While there was originally no enthusiasm for Josh Schwartz’s original screenplay, Paramount Pictures still owns the rights to Looking For Alaska. If The Fault In Our Stars is successful at the box office, John Green fans can only hope it will reignite interest and possibly influence some of the casting.
2. Jennifer Cavilleri in Love Story by Erich Segal (1970): “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Who can forget the classic line spoken by Ali MacGraw’s character Jenny in Love Story? Over forty years have passed since the classic tale made audiences cry their eyes out and the story still remains timeless.
Woodley would help introduce the novel and film to a new generation. If she is able to act out the heart-wrenching scenes in “The Fault In Our Stars,” Woodley should have no problem landing an audition as Jenny and break the hearts of audiences once again.
3. Sophia Danko in The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (2013): It may not be too far outside of the realm of possibility for Woodley to be cast in this film since it is currently in development by Fox and no casting announcements have been made yet. Sophia is a young college student who, after recovering from a recent break-up, falls in love with a cowboy named Luke.
As Sophia, Woodley can portray a character in a contemporary love story and be instantly relatable to young female viewers. Woodley can then join countless other Hollywood actresses who portrayed Nicholas Sparks characters such as Mandy Moore, Diane Lane, Amanda Seyfried and Rachel McAdams.
4. Nessarose Thropp in Wicked: The Life and Times of The Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (1995): No, this is not the Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth stage musical (though it would be awesome to see Woodley sing some day) but this version of the story still serves as an excellent prequel to The Wizard of Oz.
While Nessarose may not be a leading lady, she does eventually become the Wicked Witch of the East and the mythology behind that character is too great to ignore. Woodley can help bring the tragic and beautiful character to life. Originally conceived as an eight-hour ABC miniseries, the project never took off. Maybe one day, Woodley can fill the shoes of the girl who originally owned the ruby slippers.
5. Ruth Saunders in The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner (2012): Loosely inspired by Jennifer Weiner’s year of working in television as the creator and executive producer of the ABC Family sitcom State of Georgia, this story follows the life of aspiring television writer Ruth as she creates and casts a sitcom. Woodley obviously has her own set of experiences of working on a television show to draw from but it will also give her yet another chance to play a powerful female character.
The only thing that will likely prevent Woodley from currently being cast in this adaptation is that she’s too young (Ruth is 28 years old) but that should not stop her from getting cast sometime in the future. We haven’t had a Weiner adaptation since the Cameron Diaz/Toni Collette flick, In Her Shoes. It wouldn’t hurt to wait a few more years for this adaptation.
6. Tally Youngblood in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld (2005-2008): Upon the release of Divergent, Woodley will instantly cement herself as a strong powerful female role model and Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series will be an extension of just that. Set in a dystopian world where “ugly” people are undesirable and turned “pretty” at the age of sixteen, the character of Tally ends up rebelling against society and enforces the message that beauty is not everything it seems.
Woodley will help enforce this message for young girls if she were to portray this character. No news has surfaced on the this movie adaptation since Westerfeld posted a tweet about its future but one can only hope that Woodley would portray a character in another dystopian universe.
7. Ever Bloom in The Immortals series by Alyson Noël (2009-2011): Noël’s fantasy series has the perfect mixture of fantasy, romance and strong heroines that are perfect for a Woodley movie. After losing her parents in a car crash, Ever becomes despondent and her life becomes more difficult as she starts to get psychic powers and can read thoughts by a simple touch.
Soon, everything changes when she falls in love with a boy named Damen who may not be who he seems. The fantasy and romance make this seem like the perfect mash-up of Divergent and The Fault In Our Stars, making Woodley the perfect candidate for this role.
8. Aislinn in the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr (2007-2013): Faeries in the 21st century set this series apart from other fantasy novels of our time. Aislinn has kept a secret for a long time: she can see faeries, mischievous creatures who try to make life difficult for humans.
The character must keep this a secret before her life falls apart. Playing a character who keeps secrets is such a large part of what Woodley does as Tris in Divergent and this role would be no exception. The story also has its fair share of suspense and romance to keep both male and female audiences captivated.
9. Beka Cooper in the Beka Cooper series by Tamora Pierce (2006-2011): Tamora Pierce is known for writing novels featuring strong female heroines and, while this series is also a fantasy story, the Beka Cooper series differs from others on this list because it’s not about a female who is unsure of herself. In the fictional universe of Tortall, Beka takes on the role of a Provost’s Guard to protect the poverty-stricken Lower City.
While the profession is frowned upon and called the Provost’s Dog by everyone else, Beka fights for what she believes is right. Woodley would make an excellent Beka Cooper and provide a strong role model for young girls.
10. Harley Quinn in the Batman series by DC Comics (1939-present): While Woodley’s character may have been rude at time in The Descendants, audiences have yet to see her as a straight-up villain. Enter Harley Quinn, the Joker’s lover and humorous sidekick who has yet to be seen in a live-action Batman movie. This role would give Woodley a chance to showcase her comedy skills and ability to be downright evil in a role many would not consider her to play.
At the same time, Harley Quinn is a sympathetic character who desperately tries to win the affections of the Joker with little success. Someone as likable as Woodley would help make audiences root for the classic villain.
Honorable Mention: Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man series by Marvel Comics (1962-present): Last year, Woodley filmed several scenes as Mary Jane Watson opposite Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. However, due to creative decisions and to focus more on the relationship between Peter Parker (Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Stone), her scenes were cut from the final movie.
As much as this bums us out, her scenes should hopefully be included in the deleted scenes of the DVD and Mary Jane is still set to appear in the third installment of the series. But whether Woodley will take on the role again is still to be determined as filming the Divergent trilogy will take up a lot of her time. Fingers crossed!
Did we miss a movie? Tell us what literary character you think Shailene Woodley should bring to life.