It was a rough day at work for Shailene Woodley when taping a March 12 appearance on “The Tonight Show.” The actress, who was promoting her movie “Divergent,” was booed by the studio audience during her interview.
Anyone who has seen “The Tonight Show” knows the audience is typically very energetic and positive when it comes to the nightly guests, so what set them off? In a New Yorker profile, Woodley says it was rejecting comparisons to fellow actress Jennifer Lawrence that did the trick.
When asked by host Jimmy Fallon how she feels about the comparisons, Woodley simply answered, “Comparisons always lead to despair.” That answer stunned the crowd into silence before they began to boo her. She didn’t back down, though.
Instead, Woodley explained herself. “As women, we are constantly told that we need to compare ourselves to a girl in school, to our co-workers, to the images in a magazine,” she tells the New Yorker. “How is the world going to advance if we’re always comparing ourselves to others? I admire Jennifer Lawrence, but she’s everyone’s favorite person to compare me to. Is it because we both have short hair and a vagina? I see us as separate individuals. And that’s important. As women, our insecurities are based on all these comparisons. And that creates distress.”
Truth be told, Lawrence and Woodley have a lot more in common than their gender and hairstyle. Both of their careers are skyrocketing as they star in large franchises and smaller, critically-acclaimed films.
In the end, that segment of the interview was cut before the episode went on the air. While the booing may have bothered Woodley at first, she got over it. “In these few moments that we have here on Earth, are we going to torture ourselves? Or are we going to allow our lights to be dimmed?” she wonders. “How do we expect men to respect women or women to rise to more power when we don’t respect our queendom in the same way that men respect their kingdom?”