Shailene Woodley Believes Edward Snowden Is A Hero Because She's Always Been A Free Thinker

Ever the radical, Shailene Woodley told E! Online Monday she thinks NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is a hero. "I define a hero as somebody, who against the judgment of other people, if they believe something will positively impact the world and they choose to do it and honor their integrity," she said of Snowden. And though she's never met him, she's close to Snowden in a different way —the Insurgent actress is playing Snowden's girlfriend Lindsay Mills in the upcoming Oliver Stone biopic. It's no surprise that Woodley holds Snowden in such high esteem; the actress is known for being not your typical movie star, usually going against the grain.

Speaking to E! about Snowden, Woodley called him "selfless" by giving up his American life to help the greater good. She thanked him for his bravery:

You did something knowing you wouldn't be able to come home, knowing that your country would have very mixed feelings and yet your integrity on what you believe was right or wrong or should be public knowledge was more important to you than almost your own comfortability and the life that you had lived for so long.
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Woodley's addition to the biopic, in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Snowden, who has been in Moscow on asylum since 2013, was exciting but not unexpected. Woodley has a number of difficult and diverse roles; besides starring in the adaptation of John Green's young adult novel, The Fault In Our Stars, she's also played George Clooney's daughter in the emotional The Descendants and starred in the dark indie film White Bird In A Blizzard.

Woodley has come into her own since she played Amy on The Secret Life Of An American Teenager from 2008 to 2013. She's outspoken and genuine, and has been open about her adjustment to fame. She's stuck to her guns and tried to maintain being herself in an industry constantly trying to change women. She spoke to Flavorwire in 2014 about how she doesn't wear makeup to events, both because it doesn't feel like her personality and because she doesn't want to enforce the impossible standards of beauty that Hollywood promotes.

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Also impressively, Woodley lives a surprisingly spartan lifestyle because she's committed to protecting the environment. She makes her own toothpaste from clay and doesn't own a cellphone. It's hard to believe that she's a Thoreau in her personal life when she's constantly in the spotlight, and that kind of commitment to your principles and truth to yourself is hard to maintain for anyone and even more in Hollywood, where everything is about projecting a facade. She celebrates body positivity, and it's important for young girls to have the kind of famous role model that reminds them that EVERY body is beautiful.

It's a perfect fit, then, that Woodley will be playing Lindsay Mills. The Stone biopic, which also stars JGL, Nicolas Cage, and Zachary Quinto, seeks to tell the truth about a man that's infamous to so many but whose personal life and character aren't so widely known. And Woodley brings that same sense of dedication to authenticity to her roles; besides petitioning John Green for a year to audition to play the role of Hazel in The Fault In Our Stars (which, of course, ended up being the perfect choice), she's also learning how to pole dance—Mills is a dancer and an acrobat. It's just another example of how the roles she chooses reflect her commitment to authenticity and dedication.

Images: Getty (2).