Shailene Woodley on ‘debilitating’ health concern: ‘I definitely suffered a lot more than I had to’

The 'Big Little Lies' star opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about a private battle she faced in her early 20s

Shailene Woodley is reflecting on a private battle she faced

In a new cover story for The Hollywood Reporter, the 29-year-old detailed an illness that she struggled with, but is now "on the tail end of it." 

The actress didn’t share too many details about the health concern but noted that she was "very, very sick in her early 20s." Woodley even had to turn down roles at one point because she "physically couldn’t participate in them."

"It was pretty debilitating," Woodley explained. "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."

According to the outlet, the future is looking bright for the "Big Little Lies" star.

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Shailene Woodley detailed how a personal health concern impacted her everyday life.

Shailene Woodley detailed how a personal health concern impacted her everyday life. (Reuters)

"I’m on the tail end of it, which is very exciting, but it’s an interesting thing, going through something so physically dominating while also having so many people pay attention to the choices you make, the things you say, what you do, what you look like," she said. "It spun me out for a while. You feel so incredibly isolated and alone."

Woodley said it was difficult to suffer from a condition that isn’t so visible to the naked eye.

"Unless someone can see that you have a broken arm for a broken leg, it’s really difficult for people to relate to the pain that you’re experiencing when it’s a silent, quiet and invisible pain."

But there were many lessons learned along the way, Woodley noted.

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Shailene Woodley confirmed in February that she was engaged to Aaron Rodgers.

Shailene Woodley confirmed in February that she was engaged to Aaron Rodgers. (Getty Images)

"It made me learn the incredibly difficult life task of not caring what people think about you very quickly," she said. "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."

Back in February, Woodley confirmed that she and Aaron Rodgers were engaged.

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"Yes, we are engaged, we are engaged," she told Jimmy Fallon. "But for us, it’s not new news, you know, so it’s kind of funny, everybody right now is freaking out over it and we’re like, ‘Yeah we’ve been engaged for a while.’"

The "Divergent" star gushed over her beau, calling him "a wonderful, incredible human being."

"I never thought I'd be engaged to someone who threw balls for a living," the actress joked. "I never thought as a little girl, 'When I grow up, I'm gonna marry someone who throws balls, yeah!'"

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Rodgers, 37, has previously been linked to actress Olivia Munn and NASCAR pro Danica Patrick while Woodley previously dated rugby player Ben Volavola.

Fox News' Nate Day contributed to this report.