The Fault in Our Stars actress Shailene Woodley isn’t shy about sharing her opinions when it comes to gender issues and for that we love her. Read on to find out what she said that got edited out of one of her Tonight Show appearances.
Speaking with Vulture, Woodley related a story which happened back in March while she was promoting her film Divergent. She made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and he broached a particular topic of conversation Woodley has heard before. She previously wasn’t having it when she felt the press was pitting her against another young actress, Jennifer Lawrence, and spoke a bit more about that as well with Vulture as it was brought up with Fallon:
Halfway through the conversation, Fallon, who can border on golly-gee cheerleading during his interviews, said, “How do you feel about being compared to Jennifer Lawrence?”
Woodley paused. “Well,” she said. “Comparisons always lead to despair.” There was sudden silence, and then the audience, which was shocked and angry, began to boo. Fallon said something like “Whoa,” and Woodley held her ground. “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 told me later. “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.”
The audience in Studio 6B wasn’t listening, and neither was Fallon. That section of the interview was cut by the Tonight Show producers: Later that evening, when the show aired, Woodley’s gender politics were erased. “It bothered me, because it’s human nature to feel bad if you are booed by an entire audience,” Woodley said, sounding completely unbothered. “But 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? 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?”
Besides not having any clue why the audience would boo the actress for saying comparisons lead to despair, it’s incredibly unfortunate producers cut out a great message audiences at large should really hear.
Woodley went on to admit to Vulture she’d contacted Lawrence to ask her advice before taking on Divergent, knowing they do have some things in common. “We both believe in having fun and still telling the truth. We’re not fashion girls, but we play the game. And we both care deeply about being actors,” she said.