There’s something about 22-year-old actress Shailene Woodley that speaks to her wisdom beyond her years.
This manifested itself when she accepted an award at the Hollywood Film Awards on Friday night, for her role this year as a cancer-stricken teenager in "The Fault in Our Stars," a film that also starred Ansel Elgort.
"At 16 years old, [my character] recognizes it's not about how long a life we lead or the mark we leave on the world that matters,” Woodley said after receiving the Hollywood Breakout Performance Actress award. “It's about simple things like gratitude and not taking anything for granted."
Actress Laura Dern, who portrays Woodley’s mother in the film based on John Green’s young adult novel of the same name, presented Woodley with the award, and called her "the biggest open heart I know."
"Every day we wake up and we're breathing, we're winning," Woodley added. “We all already have victories on our plate the second we leave our pillows in the morning. [My character] reminded me of that, that simple truth."
In a plunging Valentino gown adorned with sequined starfish and her hair slicked back, Woodley wrapped up her speech with inspiration that could apply to anyone.
"She recognizes at a young age that regardless of the conditions we have in our lives – whether they're spiritual, mental, physical, whatever – they don't define us," Woodley said. "We are not defined by exterior situations."
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