Hollywood Magazine

Shailene Woodley Explains Why – And HOW – She & Aaron Rodgers Kept Their Relationship Secret!


Shailene Woodley and Aaron Rodgers are the masters of keeping a secret!

As you may know, the couple pretty much kept their romance on the down-low throughout the pandemic. So when the Green Bay Packers quarterback announced his surprise engagement during his MVP acceptance speech at the NFL Honors back in February, the news came as a total shock to everyone.

Related: Shailene Woodley Says She ‘Immediately’ Moved In With Aaron Rodgers!

And the reactions only grew when the 29-year-old actress confirmed the reports in an interview with Jimmy Fallon a few weeks later. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, Shailene shared the couple wanted to reveal the engagement on their own terms and kept it under wraps for months before announcing it due to public reactions:

“When we announced that we were engaged, we wanted to do that only because we didn’t want someone else to do it before we did. And we didn’t do it for months and months after we had become engaged, but the reaction to it was really a lot, and so we were like, ‘Let’s just politely decline [to talk about the relationship] for a little while and live in our little bubble.’”

There’s certainly no better way to get to know someone than in the middle of a worldwide shutdown! Shailene even said that dating during the pandemic gave them a sense of privacy and a chance to learn more about each other at an accelerated rate, explaining:

“You could travel, but you had masks on. There was a sense of anonymity that otherwise, I don’t think we would have had. We were really able to get to know one another the way we wanted to get to know one another and not have any noise or chaos around us.”

They certainly make a perfect match, as this is Rodgers’ MO! The 37-year-old football player has remained pretty private with his life, even going as far as to keep his future within the NFL a mystery. And while fans have caught glimpses into their romance, Aaron and Shailene haven’t seemed too fond of the attention that comes with living in the spotlight:

“I didn’t want fame. I didn’t have in my head, ‘I want to be at the Oscars one day.’ In school, I never told people I was an actor. Kids would be like, ‘I saw you on My Name Is Earl last night,’ and it was like a taunting, a way of making me feel insecure at the time.”

The Fault in Our Stars alum even took a couple of years off from acting to travel around the world, but then had to turn down gigs when she developed a secret health condition. Shailene shared elsewhere in the interview:

“It was pretty debilitating. I said no to a lot of projects, not because I wanted to but because I physically couldn’t participate in them. And I definitely suffered a lot more than I had to because I didn’t take care of myself. The self-inflicted pressure of not wanting to be helped or taken care of created more physical unrest throughout those years.”

Fortunately, she has reached “the tail end of it” and has realized a lot about life following that difficult time:

“It made me learn the incredibly difficult life task of not caring what people think about you very quickly. The more I paid attention to the noise that was surrounding me, the longer it was taking my body and my mind to heal because I wasn’t focused on myself, I was focused on an image of myself via the lens of everyone around us.”

And the White Bird In A Blizzard star still takes that lesson with her while working in the public eye:

“It’s just easier, in my opinion, to be open. I really don’t feel there’s any need to put on a face or be anything other than who you are because otherwise, it’s exhausting. You always f**king remember the truth.… It’s really hard to keep up with the lies or the fabrications or the masks that we put on out of self-preservation. The only person that ends up coming back to haunt is ourselves.”

Well said, Shailene. Well said. You can read more HERE and ch-ch-check out her stunning cover shot (below):

Are you surprised at how long Shailene kept her engagement and illness a secret? Sound OFF with your reactions in the comments (below)!

[Image via FayesVision/WENN, Eugene Powers/WENN]

About the author

Aryn Elaine

Featured in @forbes @thrive @nypost @THR
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