Shailene Woodley was Forced to Survive on 350 Calories a Day for a Movie Role

Shailene Woodley was Forced to Survive on 350 Calories a Day for a Movie Role
Photo: Photo: Slaven Vlasic For Entertainment/Getty Images.

Big Little Lies actress Shailene Woodley portrays real-life sailor Tami Oldham Ashcraft in the new movie Adrift. Released on June 1, the film is inspired by true events experienced by Ashcraft and her husband when they were caught in a storm on their yacht. When Ashcraft’s husband was left incapacitated by the struggles of life on the open sea, Ashcraft was forced to sail them both 700 miles across the ocean to get to the nearest land.

As you can imagine, that kind of struggle wears on you. Ashcraft said she survived only on non-perishables the couple had previously stored on the boat, and most of her meals throughout the journey consisted of sardines and Spam. Of course, when Woodley was cast in the role, she had to replicate the physical deterioration Tami actually experienced—and, contrary to her caption on this Instagram, it wasn’t easy.

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According to the 26-year-old actress, in order to shed pounds for the role, she skipped dinner every night and ate nothing but “a can of salmon, some steamed broccoli and two egg yolks every day.” She also said she couldn’t sleep when she was hungry, so she’d drink wine at night in order to “pass the f*** out.” Um, who wouldn’t?!

Although Woodley’s preparation for the film made her “miserable,” she said it was all worth it in the end because she felt very close to Ashcraft’s story. She remembered reading about it when the catastrophe first occurred and recalled sobbing as she learned what had happened. Another saving grace for the actress was her costar, Sam Claflin. “I don’t know that I could do it without Sam. We both really were there for one another in our moments of extreme exhaustion and hunger,” she said.

Luckily, when filming was over, Woodley went right back to eating a healthy diet. She’s now back in action, filming another season of Big Little Lies alongside stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz and Meryl Streep. We’ll be watching Woodley in both roles (and drinking our own glasses of wine as we imagine what it must have been like for her to go on that extreme diet).