Shailene Woodley Toplining Gregg Araki's White Bird
Shailene Woodley built a staggering cache of film-related buzz with her standout performance as George Clooney’s angsty teenage daughter in Alexander Payne’s Oscar-winning The Descendants. And while Woodley herself had to settle for a Golden Globe nomination over a coveted Academy Award nomination, it was clear that the 20-year-old actress had Hollywood in the palm of her hand. We all wanted to see what she’d do next and now we know.
Woodley has agreed to star in White Bird, a drama from The Doom Generation director Gregg Araki. Variety says Araki’s story will be told through the perspective of Woodley’s character, a “troubled young woman whose life is upended following the mysterious disappearance of her mother.”
Araki is a celebrated name in the indie-cinema and gay-cinema communities, though probing films like Mysterious Skin, Smiley Face, and Kaboom have yet to find larger, mainstream audiences. Perhaps teaming with a household name like Woodley will help introduce Araki to a larger audience. Then again, maybe that’s not his intention – or her intention – and perhaps they just connected over the material and want to work together.
As good as Woodley is, she’s still a bit of a mystery. Payne has a tendency of making actors look fantastic (hello, Chris Kline in Election), only to have them fade into near-obscurity. Woodley also has signed on to the teen dramedy The Spectacular Now, which she’ll film with Miles Teller, so we’ll have more on which to judge her soon. For now, I’m just excited by her collaboration with Araki, and will track White Bird with real interest.
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