Shailene Woodley: George Clooney is 'genuine, down-to-earth guy'

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- You might know her from the ABC Family show "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," but now actress Shailene Woodley has a new movie coming out later this year. It's called "The Descendents" and she stars opposite George Clooney. Not due out until next month, "The Descendents" is already generating Oscar buzz, including a possible Supporting Actress nod for Woodley.

The 19-year-old actress (She turns 20 in a few days.) sat down with 3TV's Scott Pasmore to talk about the movie, which was directed by Alexander Payne ("Sideways," "About Schmidt," "Election").

"It deals with a lot of tragic scenarios, but it's an Alexander Payne film … so even though he's dealing with the heavy, dark topics, you still laugh your head off because it's so funny," Woodley explained.

Woodley plays Clooney's daughter, 17-year-old "going through her angsty period in life." She ends up having to tell him that her mother, who is in a coma after a boating accident, was cheating.

While some might fear the movie is depressing given the plot, those who have seen it says that's not the case at all. The film screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was well received.

"The Descendents" is Woodley's first big feature film, and she said working side-by-side with Clooney was incredible.

"He's such a good, genuine, down-to-earth guy," Woodley said. "There aren't enough positive adjectives in the English vocabulary to really depict him. He's just amazing. I'm so lucky. People always asked what I learned from him. I learned to be a better human being. … I walked away a different person."

"The Descendents" opens Dec. 16. It's rated R.