Shailene Woodley once considered quitting the acting business. And then Brie Larson came along.
The two actresses worked together on The Spectacular Now, a coming-of-age high school-set film. The experience was transformative for Woodley: “That movie made me want to be creative again, and Brie was very much a part of that time,” the actress recently told New York magazine. Cue awws.
Since Spectacular, Woodley and Larson have apparently remained close friends, bonding over their desire to change the movie industry in. For Woodley, that means, in part, being honest about her quirks — by now, we all know about her clay-eating habits and how much she likes giving her privates some vitamin D (a comment she stands by, saying, “It’s f—ing great! You should try it!”). And Larson, while not as publicly visible as Woodley, is also concerned about showing an authentic version of herself: When she was invited to sit at the Prada table at this year’s Met Ball, she decided not to wear an assigned dress by the brand. Instead, Larson worked with the designers to create what turned out to be a unique, two-piece outfit inspired by Joan of Arc.
The two initially connected by “venting about things we are supposed to do and don’t want to do. Then we agreed the that the biggest issue is to pick films that are honest and not detrimental to girls,” Woodley told New York. “We realized that our choices might make people say we are ‘weird.’ But rather than be ashamed of that or try to change, we embraced it: Brie and I decided that we’d rather be weird than anything else.”
After The Spectacular Now, Larson went on to star as a tough but sensitive counselor in the indie film Short Term 12, a role that earned her multiple award nominations and proved her ability to play emotionally damaged characters. Woodley’s most recent project is the upcoming The Fault in Our Stars, in which she plays a terminal cancer patient falling in love for the first time. Both of these roles meet the women’s film criteria – each character cares for herself instead of relying on others to solve all of her problems.
As two young (both are in their early 20s), talented actresses, Larson and Woodley are bound to go against each other every now and then. That’s what happened when they both auditioned for the upcoming film Room, an adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s bestselling novel. Woodley and Larson were the final actresses up for the film’s starring role: a woman being held captive with her young son.Ultimately, Larson won out. And that’s okay with Woodley: “I realized that, either way, the movie would be amazing. When I got the part, my agent said, ‘Team Shai is really happy for you!’” Larson tells New York.
Woodley’s genuine happiness for Larson comes from a connection she describes as “primal”: “Together, we are able to refine our ideas … Brie and I always felt different, and, suddenly, when we met, that was okay. In fact, it was great.” If this isn’t true love, we don’t know what is.
Head over to New York magazine for the full story on Larson and Woodley’s glorious friendship.