Shailene Woodley Says She Wants to 'Be a Mom' but Help Clean the Planet First (Exclusive)

Shailene Woodley wants to make the world a better place for her future child

Published Time: 07.06.2024 - 14:31:13 Modified Time: 07.06.2024 - 14:31:13

Shailene Woodley wants to make the world a better place for her future child.

While speaking on a panel at the Thursday, June 6 premiere of her new show Hope in the Water in Los Angeles, Woodley, 32, was asked about being an "activist."  

"The word activist I don't for me really relate to because I'm like, it just makes sense," said Woodley about her new three-part docuseries, which tells the stories of aquafarmers and fishers striving for a sustainable future around the globe.

"I need oxygen to breathe and water to survive, and I need food to survive," she added to reporters and moderator Pete Hammond at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. "The planet is our home, and we're a part of the planet and we are nature, and it's not something that's separate from us. And what else am I going to invest my time and energy in?"

"I want to be a mom and I'm not going to give this world to a child and go, 'Oops, sorry, we messed it up for you. Have fun for as many years as you get to be here,' " the Divergent actress continued. "That's just so not on my agenda."

"So for me, it really just comes down to what else are we spending our time doing? What else is there to care about? You care about your family, you care about your neighbors. It's the same thing as caring about the ocean or caring about trees all in this ecosystem together. And you can't talk about one thing without addressing the earth," Woodley added. 

"That's where the conversation for me really starts. Just, I guess, the deep care and the deep passion for that, which literally we are here because of and that we should be contributing to and we should be receiving from. There's a cyclical pattern that we've just forgotten. And so I think immersing myself in that paradigm and living in that mindset changes the way I see the world completely."

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While speaking to PEOPLE at the premiere, Woodley emphasized the importance of making "small, subtle shifts." 

"I mean, listen, my shifts for most people would be like going to Mars. I'm the girl that every time I even go to a friend's house, they're like, 'F------ hell. Shai was here,' because I unplug everything," -

; she tells PEOPLE about her own efforts to live more sustainably.

"I can't see a toaster plugged into the wall and not being used without just automatically unplugging it," she adds. "I don't even realize I'm doing it. So kind of smaller things and then bigger things like I try not to buy a lot of new clothing. Almost everything I own comes secondhand, and there's a lot of different varying ways that we can be a part of things,"

The three-part docuseries follows Woodley, Martha Stewart, José Andrés, Andrew Zimmern andmore as they discover innovative solutions to protect the planet’s waterways amid the onslaught of climate change and growing global food demands.

In one episode, Woodley —the star of The Fault In Our Stars, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary — plunges alongside divers to collect urchins, which are delivered to a farm and whose roe is harvested in an effort to transform an imbalance in the ecosystem into a commodity.

Aside from Hope in the Water, Woodley is expected to reunite with David. E Kelley for the third season of Big Little Lies, which her costar Nicole Kidman confirmed was in the works with an off-the-cuff comment in November. Woodley played Jane Chapman, a soft-spoken single mom who moves to Monterey, Calif., and quickly befriends Reese Witherspoon, Zoë Kravitz, and 56-year-old Kidman’s characters.

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Last month, Woodley's upcoming series Three Women — also starring Gabrielle Creevy and Betty Gilpin and based on Lisa Taddeo's best-selling book by the same name — landed at Starz and received a Sept. 13 premiere date.

Showtime had originally picked up Three Women before deciding in January 2023 not to move ahead with it while the network prepared to merge with Paramount+. In the series, Woodley plays a fictionalized version of Taddeo, a character named Gia who is grieving the loss of her family as she convinces three women looking to make big changes in their lives to share their personal stories with her.

Hope in the Water premieres Wednesday, June 19, at 9 p.m. ET on PBS and the PBS app.

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