When Shailene Woodley got her first big break in Hollywood, it looked like she had it made. But as she tells The New York Times, it was a very dark time for her, and that she was anything but confident, despite doing press tours and making what many believed were provocative, forward-thinking statements, like suggesting women sun their vaginas for more energy.  

Woodley rose to fame in The Descendants movies, and then in the Divergent series, but she describes this era during her early 20s was difficult and says that she was “very, very sick” for a long time.

“While I was doing the Divergent movies and working hard, I also was struggling with a deeply personal, very scary physical situation. Because of that, I said no to a lot of opportunities,” says Woodley, whose new movie Endings, Beginnings comes out next week. “I was in a place where I had no choice but to just surrender and let go of my career, and it brought out this negative voice in my mind that kept spinning for years and years afterward.”

Woodley did not go into details, but promised she “will one day,” and said that she was also in an abusive relationship that destroyed her confidence.

She said: “the commercial success I had in this industry began to wear on my strength,” but that she is “on the other side.” 

These days, things are looking up. Woodley says: “Listen, I’m someone who has experienced both an open relationship and a deeply monogamous relationship in my life, and I think we’re in a day and age where there should be no rules except for the ones designed by two people in a partnership — or three people, whatever floats your boat! But there has to be a level of responsibility in any relationship dynamic, and that responsibility is simply honesty and communication and trust. Apart from that, it’s really none of our business what people choose to do with their lives.”

So where is she now?  "I’m very much single [after being in a relationship for years with the rugby player Ben Volavola], and I’ve chosen to be single for a while."