Before 'Big Little Lies,' Shailene Woodley Almost Quit Acting

Actress Shailene Woodley revealed Friday that she almost ended her acting career before landing her starring role on HBO's Big Little Lies.

"When I was 7 I said, 'The day I'm on the cover of a magazine, I'm going to quit,'" Woodley, 26, told Net-a-Porter's digital magazine PorterEdit. "I never wanted this industry to get in the way of my life."

Before playing Jane Chapman on Big Little Lies, Woodley starred in the Divergent series. The franchise had a solid start in 2014, with the first film earning $150 million domestically and $288 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo data. Box office numbers were dismal upon the third film's arrival in 2016, which was intended to be the first part of the saga's final installment. Lionsgate announced its plans to release the series's fourth and final movie, The Divergent Series: Ascendant, as a televised flick.

As news broke about Divergent moving to television, Woodley had no interest in participating, telling PorterEdit she "had hit a wall with acting" and asked her agents to stop sending new scripts. She veered away from industry-related opportunities, such as magazines and red carpets, because she said it became "overwhelming." Instead, she focused on political and activist projects for about a year.

"The last one was a bit of a hard experience for everyone," Woodley said. "That was really what made me think I need to have some human experiences outside of this industry and fall in love with acting again, and Big Little Lies did that for me."

Big Little Lies was an instant hit for HBO. Woodley's efforts allowed her to score individual acting nominations at the Emmys and the Golden Globes. The show has been praised by fans and critics alike due to its examination of domestic violence. In speaking with PorterEdit, Woodley said that co-star Laura Dern—who worked with her on The Fault in Our Stars and was cast on Big Little Lies before Woodley—called her, urging to give the script to the HBO show a chance. Since then, Woodley has formed a strong bond with her fellow female co-stars.

"[It's] so amazing to have a group of women who really are so supportive of one another and don't care about jealousy or are competitive," Woodley told E! News in September. "They put ego and competition aside and really just are able to show up and be present and be a pillar of support. There's nothing better than that."

Woodley's new film, Adrift, is in theaters Friday.

shailene woodley
Actress Shailene Woodley at the world premiere of "Adrift" at Los Angeles's Regal Cinema on May 23. Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images