BE­ING Shai­lene

MANY AC­TORS SAY THEY ARE AC­TIVISTS, BUT FEW WOULD PUT THEIR CA­REERS ON THE LINE FOR A CAUSE. THANK­FULLY, SHAI­LENE WOOD­LEY ISN’T MOST AC­TORS. HERE, SHE TALKS GET­TING AR­RESTED, GIV­ING AWAY POS­SES­SIONS AND POP­PING HER PO­LIT­I­CAL HYMEN (SU­SAN SARAN­DON’S WORDS,

Marie Claire (Malaysia) - - Celeb - By MICKEY RAPKIN Styled by APRIL HUGHES Pho­to­graphs by OLIVIA MALONE

Last Shai­lene Oc­to­ber, Wood­ley found her­self at the Stand­ing Rock reser­va­tion in North Dakota, Amer­ica, protest­ing against the Dakota Ac­cess pipe­line, a con­tro­ver­sial piece of in­fra­struc­ture built atop the Sioux tribe’s sa­cred ground.

This protest wasn’t sim­ply about re­spect­ing Na­tive Amer­i­can sovereignty, though that was cer­tainly top of mind for the ac­tressturned-ac­tivist, who is hor­ri­fied by 200 years of op­pres­sive treat­ment of indige­nous peo­ple. This was also a sus­tain­abil­ity is­sue that threat­ened 18 mil­lion peo­ple’s drink­ing wa­ter. Wood­ley, an out­spo­ken critic of the crude oil pipe­line and a fre­quent vis­i­tor to Stand­ing Rock, was walk­ing to her RV for lunch when she spot­ted two US mil­i­tary tanks. “I’m like, “This is some Diver­gent shit,”” she re­calls, ref­er­enc­ing the postapoc­a­lyp­tic tril­ogy she’s best known for. “The only time in my life that I saw a tank like that was on set in At­lanta.”

Min­utes later, Wood­ley was ar­rested for crim­i­nal tres­pass­ing and en­gag­ing in a riot. Some 40,000 peo­ple watched on Face­book Live as her hands were zip-tied be­hind her back. At the Mor­ton County jail, she re­veals, “I was strip-searched. Like get naked, turn over, spread your butt cheeks, bend over. They were look­ing for drugs in my ass.” She re­cently joked with US co­me­dian Stephen Col­bert about her mugshot (“I wish I’d known this was go­ing to be as pub­lic as it was. I would have made, like, a face.” But there was noth­ing funny about her ar­rest. “When you’re in a jail cell and they shut that door, you re­alise no one can save you. If there’s a fire and they de­cide not to open the door, you’ll die. You are a caged an­i­mal.”

Any­one can call them­selves an ac­tivist th­ese days (and many ac­tors do), but with Wood­ley, 25, ac­tions speak louder than words. She’s telling me this har­row­ing story over break­fast at one of her favourite or­ganic LA spots, Sqirl (run by another badass woman con­cerned with sus­tain­abil­ity, chef Jes­sica Koslow). Shai, as her friends call her, looks the part of the op­ti­mistic, mil­len­nial game-changer – hair Cal­i­for­nia blonde (for a role), nose ring firmly in place. But what you no­tice most are her eyes. They’re kind but de­ter­mined. Wood­ley’s ecofriendly life­style is well doc­u­mented; this is the girl who makes her own tooth­paste, and who once told an Amer­i­can women’s mag­a­zine that “cramp bark is the best thing for men­strual cramps”. In the fi­nal sea­son of Girls, Han­nah (Lena Dun­ham) ex­tols the virtues of one of Wood­ley’s most talked about self-care rou­tines: “Shai­lene Wood­ley likes to go to a pri­vate area, open her vagina, and let the sun in. And that’s how she gets her glow. So, when she goes to, like, the In­sur­gent pre­miere, that’s not make-up. That’s sun in her pussy.”

While I fum­ble with a way to art­fully dis­cuss that Girls mo­ment, Wood­ley saves me from my­self: “The vagina thing? For like, two weeks I had so many peo­ple send­ing it to me. I loved it so much. I thought it was amaz­ing.” Which is to say, she has a sense of hu­mour about her­self. But not about what she be­lieves in. “This world isn’t some­thing to take for granted,” she ex­plains. “The only way to ad­dress cli­mate change and th­ese rad­i­cal, detri­men­tal poli­cies is for us, as cit­i­zens, to shift our life­styles. Peo­ple are too com­fort­able. We’re com­pla­cent in many ways. We need to be will­ing to get un­com­fort­able.” As Marie Claire launches its sus­tain­abil­ity cam­paign, #Start­some­where, here’s how our cover star does it…

Wood­ley has been con­cerned with sus­tain­abil­ity and cli­mate change since she was a teenager. “I was the weirdo girl in high school who tried to get ev­ery­one to re­cy­cle.” That doesn’t sound so weird, I say. “It was weird at the time,” she in­sists, re­mind­ing me how cruel kids can be, and how strong one needs to be to chal­lenge the Es­tab­lish­ment.

While her ca­reer ex­ploded – a Golden Globe nom­i­na­tion for The De­scen­dants (2011), a cov­eted role lead­ing the re­sis­tance move­ment in Diver­gent (2014) – Wood­ley went min­i­mal­ist,

es­chew­ing the trap­pings of young Hol­ly­wood and even giv­ing away most of her pos­ses­sions. She stashed what lit­tle re­mained at friends’ houses around town – “Shai piles,” they called them. The girl didn’t have a home, let alone a mo­bile phone. Lion­s­gate, the stu­dio be­hind the Diver­gent se­ries, even­tu­ally had to force a phone on her just so they could track her down. Still, Wood­ley turned that phone off for three months this year due to the post­trau­matic stress dis­or­der symp­toms she and her friends were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing post-Stand­ing Rock. “There was so much trauma,” she ex­plains. “Mine was like, “What do I do now?” Kind of like a lit­tle bit of de­pres­sion.” This per­haps ex­plains how Wood­ley was the last per­son in the world to find out Amal and Ge­orge Clooney (who played her fa­ther in The De­scen­dants) had wel­comed twins. (When I men­tion the re­cent birth, she says: “They did? That’s amaz­ing. I don’t know what’s go­ing on.”)

Wood­ley’s pas­sion for the en­vi­ron­ment evolved into some­thing more vi­tal, more ac­tion­able when she went to Hawaii (which she now calls her spir­i­tual home) to film The De­scen­dants.

She re­calls watch­ing an elder fight to save Mauna Kea, a dor­mant, skyscrap­ing vol­cano on the Big Is­land where the US gov­ern­ment planned to in­stall an 18-storey high, $1.5 bil­lion tele­scope on sa­cred ground. Two years of protests re­sulted in a vol­un­tary halt of the project in 2015. “They stood on the moun­tain for months and held down the fort,” she ex­plains. “And they ended up win­ning the bat­tle.”

The strug­gle at Mauna Kea taught her the power of showing up, of what hap­pens when the few be­come the many – a phi­los­o­phy she put to good use in 2016 when she or­gan­ised a car­a­van to the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion in sup­port of Bernie San­ders. More than 1,000 peo­ple joined her in driv­ing across the coun­try. While San­ders may not have won the nom­i­na­tion, he in­spired a rev­o­lu­tion. Th­ese fiercely de­ter­mined young peo­ple were all look­ing at Wood­ley and ask­ing: Now what? So the ac­tress and some friends started the or­gan­i­sa­tion Up To Us, which pro­vides in­fra­struc­ture for com­mu­nity or­gan­is­ing and helps make in­tro­duc­tions be­tween or­gan­i­sa­tions. “There’s a mis­con­cep­tion that, in or­der to start a move­ment, you need to have gone to col­lege, or have a “name”, or look a cer­tain way. But you don’t. We want to erad­i­cate that nar­ra­tive,” she says.

What can you do to make a dif­fer­ence? This is some­thing Wood­ley thinks about daily. While this next step isn’t as sexy as at­tend­ing a rally, she says, the big­gest power you have is in your pocket. “Look at your wal­let and recog­nise that ev­ery dol­lar you spend is ei­ther a vote to­wards the de­struc­tion of our planet or to­wards its em­pow­er­ment.” She rec­om­mends down­load­ing an app called Buy­cott, which lets you scan an item’s bar­code with your phone to find out who the par­ent com­pany is and whether their in­vest­ments align with your be­liefs, or HowToDivest.org, which tells you where your bank cur­rently in­vests its money.

Start by look­ing at th­ese is­sues from a macro level. Take, for in­stance, ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied food. “Eat­ing or­ganic is ob­vi­ously healthy for the longevity of our bod­ies,” says Wood­ley. “But when we talk about GMOs, we have to ad­dress ev­ery as­pect of what cor­po­rate do­min­ion over our agri­cul­ture re­ally means.” Watch doc­u­men­tary

GMO OMG, which looks at the is­sue with equal parts hu­mour and ed­i­fi­ca­tion, and take it from there. When vis­it­ing a restau­rant for the first time, ask the chef what farm the meat comes from. For news on frack­ing, fol­low voices like Mark Ruf­falo, and Josh Fox, who di­rected Gasland, the Sun­dance award-win­ning doc­u­men­tary. She also cites Food & Wa­ter Watch (@ foodand­wa­ter), which ‘goes into com­mu­ni­ties that of­ten get

WHEN YOU’RE IN A JAIL CELL AND THEY SHUT THE DOOR, YOU RE­ALISE NO ONE CAN SAVE YOU. IF THERE’S A FIRE AND THEY DE­CIDE NOT TO OPEN THE DOOR, YOU’LL DIE. YOU ARE A CAGED AN­I­MAL

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