It isn't often an actress cites a sex scene as her favorite moment from the film she's promoting, but then again, Shailene Woodley isn't your average actress.
The 21-year-old stars alongside Miles Teller in the coming-of-age drama "The Spectacular Now," which earned the pair Special Jury Awards at this year's Sundance Film Festival and opens Friday.
The film follows teen Sutter Keely (Teller), a high-school senior who'd rather be a perpetual student then grow up and live in the real world. But that's before he meets socially awkward Aimee Finnicky (Woodley), who teaches him that there's more to life than just the spectacular now.
Of all the awkward slings and arrows inherent in young love, having sex for the first time is chief among them for most. But as Woodley told MTV News' Josh Horowitz, the intimate moments in "The Spectacular Now" were her favorite because they were unlike any she's seen on celluloid before.
"It's my favorite scene in the whole movie. It sounds so funny to say that. It really is," Woodley enthused. "I can't think of one single love-making scene in any film that I've ever been, 'Yeah, that's real,' or 'That could actually happen that way.' It's just never happened in my personal life, so I can't relate. But this movie is so genuinely sweet and vulnerable and sensitive, and that scene was a nice way for both of us to lose our on-screen virginities because it was a really safe environment, and we felt very cared for. And everybody was really compassionate towards our needs and not making it feel exposed or exploited in any way."
Of course, it helped that Woodley felt totally comfortable in an uncomfortable moment thanks to Teller.
"When I finally got the role, James [Ponsoldt], the director, and I, we were throwing names around to each other like, 'What about this guy? What about this guy? He's a great actor. This guy's really attractive. What are we looking for in a Sutter?' We couldn't find anyone that we thought would be believably charismatic without having to act in a certain manner," Woodley recalled. "And I'll never forget it. I was on vacation, and James called me and was like, 'What about Miles Teller?' And the only reference I had to him was 'Rabbit Hole.' It felt right. It was just one of those moments where you instinctually know it has to be that person.
"So I met Miles a week later," Woodley continued. "James, Miles and I all went to lunch, and I was expecting him to be this quiet, little introverted guy like he was in the movie, and he was not. If you know Miles Teller at all, he is the opposite of that, and we just naturally hit it off."
While they may not always agree (Teller's not a fan of Woodley's tabouleh breath, for one), they're undoubtedly a support system for one another.
"I think we help each other though," Woodley said. "He helps me, I think, have more fun when I get caught up in being serious. And I think I help ground himself in a way that's perhaps more natural than his other choices."