House Logo
Explore categories +

Limitless (#110 of 2)

On the Rise Shailene Woodley

Comments Comments (...)

On the Rise: Shailene Woodley

Fox Searchlight Pictures

On the Rise: Shailene Woodley

Nearly all the best scenes in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants feature Shailene Woodley, who was unforgettable as Alexandra, the eldest daughter of George Clooney’s cuckolded, soon-to-be-widower, Matt King. Offhand, one thinks of the scene in which news of her mom’s comatose state sends Alex into the family’s pool, screaming underwater in one of the film’s many snapshots of private torment. There’s also the moment that Alex spills to her dad the secret of her mother’s affair, shifting from tearful to venomous without missing a beat, wiping her cheeks before saying, “He hand his hand on her ass. It was gross.”

Woodley hasn’t done much screen work since her Descendants breakthrough, short of continuing her starring role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, the ABC Family series that will soon wrap its fifth and final season. But, as 2013 rolls on, the 21-year-old has suddenly gone from Oscar snubbee to ubiquitous princess, reportedly landing the lead in two major YA adaptations, clinching the role of Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and still being sure to maintain some indie cred. Of all the young actresses to recently emerge from Disney-type talent factories, from Miley Cyrus to the Spring Breakers hell-raisers, Woodley seems the most on track toward a fruitful and prestigious career, perhaps akin to that of another indie/franchise straddler, Jennifer Lawrence.

Poster Lab: The Words

Comments Comments (...)

Poster Lab: <em>The Words</em>
Poster Lab: <em>The Words</em>

Bradley Cooper is an actor in a fairly common predicament. He’s blessed with movie-star looks, yet he still needs to play characters with non-movie-star occupations. For Cooper, this is especially problematic, since it’s tough to imagine him doing much of anything besides looking handsome, staying handsome, and watching televised sports. So right off the bat, there’s an element of unintended comedy to the poster for The Words, which etches Cooper’s face out of printing-press type because his character’s a writer.

Something is up in Hollywood. This is the second movie in two years to cast Cooper as a working author (the other was the gonzo, pro-drug “drama” Limitless). What is it about Cooper that makes him seem, to filmmakers, like a plausible wordsmith? The slightly-boho shaggy hair? The serious arch of his pointed nose? That he was the small dash of brains in The Hangover’s Wolfpack? The synopsis for The Words describes Cooper’s character as “a writer at the peak of his literary success.” At the risk of looking at things in stone-cold, stereotypical terms, that’s not unlike casting Tara Reid to play an archaeologist.