Shailene Woodley’s split from Aaron Rodgers was ‘the darkest, hardest time in my life’

Shailene Woodley covers the latest issue of Porter, net-a-porter’s in-house digital magazine. She’s promoting Showtime’s Three Women, an adaptation of Lisa Taddeo’s book of the same name. Shailene plays a version of Taddeo, a journalist with sort of a sociologist’s eye for women’s stories. I got halfway through Three Women and I gave up, but it was sort of interesting, I guess. It definitely feels like it has the potential to be a good miniseries. Meanwhile, Shailene is getting back to who she really is, a granola-crunching hippie who suns her bajingo. The Aaron Rodgers interlude was definitely strange, made weirder by the fact that he turned into an anti-vaxx douche spouting Trumper talking points. But they’ve been over for months now and she seems somewhat relieved. Some highlights from Porter:

She spent last summer in Europe, observing Italians: “[They] could sit on a bench in the park and just watch the world go by, and that was enough.”

Filming Three Women after her split from Rodgers: “It was hard to film because I was going through the darkest, hardest time in my life; it was winter in New York, and my personal life was sh-tty, so it felt like a big pain bubble for eight months. I was so grateful that at least I could go to work and cry and process my emotions through my character.”

The subject matter of Three Women: “I had, at a very young age, become obsessed with sex and intimacy, and the way that we relate to it as Americans,” she says. When Woodley read Three Women, she remembers “being very struck by Lisa’s desire to explore these themes in this country….Sometimes it’s frustrating, because a lot of the things that I read are all about women’s empowerment and feminism, but the way the stories are being told are actually not portraying women in an empowered way. To me, empowerment simply means truth, vulnerability, acknowledging the good and the bad, the pros, the cons, the ugly, the beauty. The conversation I had with Lisa was about that; we’re not here trying to make a show that’s championing women all around the world to become the best versions of themselves – it’s a show that’s just acknowledging the reality that women face.”

Her 30s: “I’ve always loved getting older, but it’s almost like I feel an exhale; I’ve been waiting so long to experience not giving a f–k about what other people think about me and my life and the choices I make. I’m so excited to continue letting go of so many of the things that controlled me in my twenties; to really experience the joy of life in a way that, when you’re younger, is more difficult to experience – because it’s controlled by the way you were raised instead of the identity that you create as your own person.”

Why she took a break from social media: “I recognized that there was more noise than ever and most of the people I was following, they’d be posting about something, and yet, I knew behind closed doors, they didn’t actually know what they were talking about, and I’m so allergic to people talking about things that they know nothing about. I think because of ‘cancel culture’, everybody feels like they have to be wise and intelligent about something, but no one actually wants to do the work of being quiet and taking the time to read books and educate themselves and listen to people who are actually well-informed on subjects, and to be critical thinkers.”

The attention on her relationship with Rodgers: “It honestly never really hit me that millions of people around the world were actually watching these things and paid attention to them. Then, I dated somebody in America who was very, very famous. It was the first time that I’d had a quote-unquote ‘famous’ relationship, and I watched [the] scrutiny, opinions, the desire for people to know my life and his life and our life – it just felt violating in a way that, before, it was fun. I’m a very private person, and so I found that any time I posted anything, I instantly felt like I was sharing too much of who I am with people I didn’t necessarily trust.”

[From Porter]

I really hope this is about Aaron: “I knew behind closed doors, they didn’t actually know what they were talking about, and I’m so allergic to people talking about things that they know nothing about…” Because that dude was into some wild and stupid vaccine conspiracies and I hope this is her gentle way of calling him out. If she’s not referencing Aaron… well, who knows. Shailene fit that description for a while too, especially around the 2016 election (I haven’t forgotten). I hope her 30s are better than her 20s – most women tend to feel that way, like their 20s were absolute dogsh-t shenanigans and their 30s were the decade where they came into their own.

Cover & IG courtesy of Porter.

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