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'Fault in Our Stars' and 'Big Little Lies' Actor Opens Up About ‘Debilitating' Illness

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“Divergent” series and “The Fault in Our Stars” actor Shailene Woodley spoke candidly about her rise to fame in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter for a cover piece this week. In it she talked about a health condition she has spent fighting during her career that she described as ‘pretty debilitating.’

The condition began affecting her in her early 20s while she was shooting “Divergent,” making days on set complicated and painful for the starlet.

Woodley said, “I said no to a lot of projects, not because I wanted to but because I physically couldn’t participate in them…the self-inflicted pressure of not wanting to be helped or taken care of created more physical unrest throughout those years.”

Her description of her experiences with this condition is one many including myself can relate to.

You feel so incredibly isolated and alone. Unless someone can see that you have a broken arm or a broken leg, it’s really difficult for people to relate to the pain that you’re experiencing when it’s a silent, quiet and invisible pain,” Woodley told The Hollywood Reporter.

While Woodley did not say what specific unique condition she is living with, she said that allowing herself time away from social media was a helpful aspect of self care.

She told The Hollywood Reporter that cutting herself off from time online made her realize the “self-destructive qualities that come from externalized validation that’s through a 2D screen.”

The actor has also been vigilant on the conservation scene, having protested the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016 where she was also arrested, campaigning alongside Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders in both 2016 and 2020 and during the pandemic traveled to the Patagonian Desert to work with Karun, an eyeglass design company making glasses frames out of plastics pulled from ocean pollution.

Woodley announced her engagement last February to Green Bay Packer’s MVP player Aaron Rodgers and told press earlier today that the two are not rushing to tie the knot anytime soon.

She told Seth Meyers on his late night show that while she may not know much about football, she does enjoy rooting for the Packers since she’s had to learn the “football lingo”.

Medical conditions are no joke—be it one affecting a celebrity’s filming schedule or your day-today life and work schedule. If social media is something you’ve been subconsciously punishing yourself with (trust me, the FOMO can be real!), maybe take a break for a while.

You’re allowed to take up as much space as you need.

Image courtesy of Late Night of Seth Meyers’s YouTube channel.

Originally published: July 21, 2021
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