The young starlet who practically became family with Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games shines on our cover alongside the handsome Garrett Clayton. Although Willow Shields is only 17 years old, she has made many TV and film appearances, including competing on season 20 of Dancing with the Stars. Portraying Primrose Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Shields reprised her role in the sequels The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. Willow has had quite a journey so far, but just like any teenager, she likes to read, do yoga, and play guitar. Catching up with Willow in between shoots in LA, we talked early stardom, how she stays grounded, and what’s coming up next.
Acting became a big part of your life at a very young age, and you were cast in USA Network’s In Plain Sight at 7. How was life growing up?
Willow Shields: Exciting… maybe a little strange. For me, acting was always just play, make-believe, not unlike playing with my siblings or friends. You’re a fairy one day, and an animal tromping through the woods the next day. Then, one day, you’re on set with a lot of adults with real-world concerns. Don’t get me wrong; I think most actors have a strong sense of play, no matter how old they are, but there are time restraints and technical things, which I didn’t understand when I was 7. So, it was always thrilling, but maybe a little bizarre when I was so young.
Your father is an art teacher, and your mother is a homeschool teacher. How did you get into acting?
Well, I think your question sort of answers itself. I grew up in a very creative environment. Between the art that was being done all the time in our house, the photography, and the homeschooling (which often meant reading constantly and being able to pick and choose the things we wanted to delve into deeper), I had many opportunities to just sort of explore. We lived in New Mexico, and there was a lot of filming going on at that time. So, I just decided to try it. It’s one more art form, one more method of storytelling.
You’ve gained success at such young age. How do your family and friends deal with stardom?
At first, everyone was just excited, and it WAS exciting. I have two siblings, and we had all read The Hunger Games books, so it was a fascinating thing to be in these movies and become this character that we had all read about. Now, I think my family treats it like any other aspect of life. Sometimes it’s thrilling, sometimes they’re bored, and sometimes they just want to talk about what’s going on in the world, the world outside of film. In other words, they treat it like any other part of our lives: no bigger, no smaller.
You have a fraternal twin sister, Autumn, and an older brother, River, both of whom are also actors. While sibling rivalry is natural, do you think it’s beneficial to have them pursue the same career path?
I think when we were young, it was a hobby that we all dabbled in, and I think we truly enjoyed each other’s successes. After all, when one of you gets a part, but you each get like $25 spending money from that one part, as a 7-year-old, you’re pretty thrilled. As we’ve gotten older, I think everyone is developing their own interests. I’m not sure where we will all end up eventually.
Photographer: Bobby Quillard
Stylist: Gabriel Langenbrunner
Photographer Assistant: Luis Trujillo
Stylist Assistants: Andrea Radicic, Marina Balayan
Willow Shields Makeup: Carissa Ferreri
Willow Shields Hair: Scott King using Oribe
Garrett Clayton Groomer: Christina Henry
Location: SOFITEL Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
To subscribe or purchase the magazine http://inlovemag.com/subscribe/