The Secret Life of the American Teenager may have been a resouding success for ABC Family, but it also helped Shailene Woodley land some big roles in the aftermath.
The actress has looked back on her time on the series, and has admitted that she felt “stuck” as a cast member.
Created by 7th Heaven’s Brenda Hamilton, the series centered on Woodley’s Amy Juergens, a teenager who had to come to terms with an unexpected pregnancy.
The series delved deep into how the pregnancy changed not only Amy’s life, but the lives of those around her.
In an interview with Bustle, Woodley has opened up about her time on the series, noting that she did not agree with the messages of the show.
“There were a lot of things that were written into the scripts that not just me, but a lot of the cast, disagreed with,” the Big Little Lies actress said.
“There were belief systems that were pushed that were different than my own. Yet legally I was stuck there.
“To this day it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” she continues. “So being on Secret Life propelled me to be more vocal about my own belief systems.”
The series was a huge hit for ABC Family upon its launch in 2008. It set records for the cabler and lasted for five well-rated seasons.
Woodley said in the interview that the premise did resonate with her at first.
“I read [three] episodes and I signed a contract for six years,” she said, noting that those initial episodes “all hit home. I had friends in high school who were pregnant. It felt like everything that I wanted to be sending into the world.”
Unfortunately, TV shows evolve over time, especially one that spans 121 episodes.
The show changed dramatically throughout the course of its run, and the critical reception was never great from the premiere.
Long story short: This is one show that will probably not get the revival treatment.
The cast also included Kenny Baumann, Mark Derwin, India Eisley, Greg Finley, Daren Kagasoff, Jorge-Luis Pallo, Megan Park, Francia Raisa, Molly Ringwald, and Steve Schirripa.
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