This is a big week for both Shailene Woodley and a beloved sitcom. Monday marked the tenth anniversary of the last new episode of Friends airing. The show featured a cast of newcomers when it started, but they were stars by the time it ended. Woodley’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager ended last year and also featured a young cast. Given the similarities between the two stars, an argument could be made as to why Shailene Woodley might be the next Jennifer Aniston.
Both were part of ensemble casts, but really shined. Of course, The Secret Life of the American Teen – or just Secret Life, as it was often called – had nowhere near the viewership of Friends, but it did develop quite a cult following during the five years it aired. Woodley, 21, played Amy on the ABC Family show, a 15-year-old band geek who got pregnant the first time she had sex.
The show had other important characters, including Amy’s parents, friends and Ricky, the father of her baby, but if asked to name a character from Secret Life, Amy would come to mind first for most people. The same is true of Rachel, Aniston’s character on “Friends.”
Another similarity between the two is the respective actresses’ hair. The world has become obsessed with Shailene Woodley’s hair. “The Rachel” was one of the most popular haircuts of the 90s, based on Aniston’s character’s hairstyle on Friends. A video of Woodley getting her long hair chopped off has gone viral this week. The young actress went from flowing locks to a short pixie cut. A clip of Shailene watching the video with her The Fault in Our Stars co-star Ansel Elgort is also circulating, in which they debate if she was crying or not in the original video.
Both stars also racked up movie roles after their TV show ended. Shailene Woodley might be the next Jennifer Aniston because her star is rising just as Aniston’s did after Friends. Jennifer became a staple in romantic comedies when Friends ended. Woodley received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as George Clooney’s daughter in the 2011 film The Descendants. However, her movie career has really exploded since Secret Life ended.
Shailene landed the part of Tris in the Divergent trilogy of films. Many insiders consider this on par with Jennifer Lawrence rising to super celebrity status because of The Hunger Games. In addition to The Fault in Our Stars and the Divergent series, she also has The Spectacular Now and White Bird in a Blizzard for fans to look forward to seeing.
Fans can’t stop talking about either of them. Aniston has had a frequent spot on the cover of celebrity gossip magazines for over a decade, whether it was discussing who she was dating, who she was wearing, or if she was pregnant. Now Woodley is gaining popularity as a subject of Hollywood musings and smack talk. Just this week alone, the Internet has exploded with debates about her views on feminism and her admissions of eating clay, in addition to the hair videos.
Friends ended ten years ago. The Secret Life of the American Teen has only been wrapped for a year. Whether Shailene Woodley might become the next Jennifer Aniston has yet to be seen, but there is strong evidence that suggest Woodley might become the next big star.
Opinion by Rachael Moshman