Shailene Woodley is already a TV star, but the 19-year-old has yet to make a name on the big screen. That will likely change this fall when she stars opposite George Clooney in "The Descendants."
In the much-buzzed-about movie, the star of ABC Family's "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" plays the angsty daughter of Clooney's character, and the two spend the film trying to repair their troubled relationship. In real life, the 19-year-old and the 50-year-old get along far better, Woodley said Monday at the Hollywood Film Awards, where she was the recipient of a Spotlight prize.
"I don't think [we connected] really in a father-daughter way, because he's not my dad. But we did connect in a human-to-human way," she said with a smile on the red carpet. "He's a really amazing human. I would say he's a superhuman. And I just kind of stood there and like a sponge and soaked up all of his greatness because he has so much to offer."
Woodley, who has long wanted to transition from TV to film, explained that she found the slower pace of a movie set conducive to the creative process.
"When you do a TV show, you do maybe eight scenes a day -- and on a movie, you do one. So it was great to have the freedom to be creative," she said. "I do think it's a very different role for me than I've done before. So I'm excited to show that side of me."
While she has yet to line up any additional film projects, Woodley said she is trying to embrace the chaos of her first run on the award circuit.
"It's the kind of thing that you can't really conceptualize. You just go with it," she said of the endless promotion. "You're so endlessly grateful for every day and at the end of the day you're like, 'Did that really just happen?' "
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: George Clooney and Shailene Woodley at a media conference during the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press