It seems the U.S. is never short of new and appealing young actresses who manage to steal the spotlight away from a previous appealing and young actress. While that’s the unfortunate perpetual wheel of Hollywood movie careers, the real issue is for all those actresses (with perhaps too much overexposure) to keep their careers intact without experiencing the public forgetting about them. While that doesn’t happen all the time, it happens enough where it can tamper with the actress or actor’s psyche.
While that could happen with lesser actresses, it seems hard to believe someone as good as Shailene Woodley would make the public set Jennifer Lawrence aside for a long time. Regardless, even Lawrence would probably agree she’s perhaps getting a little too overexposed lately to a point where a break would be good for herself and the public. In the interim, there may be a new comparison between Woodley and Lawrence on who might be the better actress deserving of awards.
You’ll find some out there who may think Jennifer Lawrence has been given far too many awards for her roles, even if we all know she’s good in nearly anything. Others might think this way more negatively based merely on how many times in a day we hear about her in the news. There isn’t a doubt that there’s a massive media obsession with the actress we now call JLaw for short. It seems there’s also a camera crew in-wait on every red carpet to see whether Lawrence takes a tumble as she’s done several times now.
With all this attention going non-stop for the last couple of years, you have to wonder what would happen if all the talk suddenly shifted over to Shailene Woodley, who’s now poised to be the next Jennifer Lawrence, if perhaps even better in acting ability. This isn’t to say they aren’t together on the same career trajectory.
What are Shailene Woodley’s Oscar Chances?
After Woodley’s Golden Globe nomination for “The Descendants” a couple years ago, you knew that it wouldn’t be long before she’d be nominated for an Oscar. Are we looking at an Oscar nomination and win for her performance in the adaptation of John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars?” Some critics (like Richard Roeper) are already talking about how her performance is Oscar caliber while successfully managing to remove every movie stereotype of the young woman with cancer.
The fact that Woodley is able to do that so effectively goes beyond the capability of most young actresses today. And that the fact she seems to be the new face of showing more realistic depictions of teenagers and the issues they face, she’s at a major advantage of gaining more critical notices and respect in the industry. When you add last year’s “The Spectacular Now” to the above slot of more relatable films about being a teen or young adult, you can easily see her on the same Oscar path as Lawrence was less than five years ago.
What might make this frustrating is that Woodley is going into a new sci-fi franchise that’s nearly identical to Lawrence’s career direction. With the continual trend of Oscar winners suddenly shifting into long comic book and sci-fi franchises, it only takes away from the more humanistic dramas they started out with that garnered awards in the first place.
Shailene Woodley’s Franchise Run in the “Divergent” Series
Just like Lawrence did with “The Hunger Games” (and now the “X-Men” reboot), Woodley is now going to take on a long sci-fi movie franchise that will take up at least five years to complete. If Woodley manages to get nominated for an Oscar for “The Fault in Our Stars” and wins, we’ll see yet another transition from winning an Oscar into a franchise that’s far from indie and away from being set in reality.
Even if the “Divergent” series studies human virtues in a post-apocalyptic earth, it’s going to be at least three movies in the series, plus possibly more if Veronica Roth writes more using the characters. That means more realistic movies like “The Fault in Our Stars” might not be overly plentiful as much as they should be. However, the same goes with Jennifer Lawrence who has “The Hunger Games” movies lined up for the next couple of years, plus more “X-Men.” Her only real-life film foray this year is “Selena”, again teaming up with Bradley Cooper.
With Woodley having her scenes cut out of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (as Mary Jane Watson), you also have to assume she may end up in the comic book universe eventually. Let’s hope she takes the time out to make real-life dramas like Lawrence is attempting to do within all her more mainstream efforts. If they don’t make quite as much money, they’re the kind of movies that really get people talking.
As for Woodley taking over Lawrence’s spotlight, the chances are much better that Lawrence will just photobomb Woodley on the Oscar red carpet next year as a near pact. It may be the sign the both of them will be in constant rotation of being nominated for awards every other year.