American actress Willow Shields was born on June 1st, 2000 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Willow grew up with her twin sister and older brother on a farm where they had chickens, goats, rabbits, cats, and dogs. After her brother took an interest in acting, Willow soon followed in his footsteps. Willow’s first acting experience was a short film called Las Vegas New Mexico 1875, in which she voiced a girl watching a gun fight. A year later, she appeared in an episode of the television series In Plain Sight. She portrayed Liza Royal and had her national television debut. In 2011, Willow appeared in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Beyond The Blackboard as a homeless child named Grace.
However, Willow’s breakout role was yet to come. On the 20th of April, 2011, Lionsgate confirmed that they had cast her as Primrose Everdeen for the upcoming movie The Hunger Games. Willow won the role of the beloved role of Prim after sending in an audition tape from her home in New Mexico. The casting directors then flew her out to Los Angeles to perform the scene at director Gary Ross’s house. After she finished performing the scene, Ross told her not to worry about auditioning anymore because she had the part. When news of her casting broke Gary continued and said “Willow Shields will make an amazing Prim and we’re very lucky to have her“. Willow says that she is very lucky and that “Prim is a great character to be“. Willow reprised her role of Prim in Catching Fire (2013), Mockingjay: Part One (2014), and Mockingjay: Part Two (2015).
In 2012, Willow was invited to appear on an episode of the hit children’s TV show R.L. Stine’s ‘The Haunting Hour’. Willow flew to Vancouver, Canada and filmed her episode which premiered in November of 2012. Willow also landed lead roles in Into the Rainbow and A Fall From Grace. On February 24th, 2015, it was announced that Willow would be a contestant on Season 20 of the hit competition show Dancing With the Stars, which premiered on March 16, 2015. At age 14, Willow is the youngest contestant ever to be on the show. Despite getting consistent high scores and praise from the judges, Willow was eliminated on Week 7 of DWTS, finishing in 7th place, leaving the judges, fellow dancers/stars, critics, and fans shocked.
In 2015, Willow began filming her first lead role in Into the Rainbow 3D. Willow plays Rachel, a misfit girl who, along with her friend Grace, find and travel through a mysterious rainbow, ending up in China. This causes a natural disaster, leading a government chase and a race against time to save the world. Willow filmed in China and New Zealand, where the film takes place. The film had its US premiere at the Savannah Film Festival in October 2017 where Willow was honored with the Rising Star award.
In August of 2017, Willow filmed Woodstock or Bust, a film following two young girls in 1969 as they make the journey to Woodstock to perform their original music. This was the first time Willow got to sing and play the guitar in a role. Filming took place primarily around Portland, Oregon and wrapped at the beginning of October. The film is currently set to be released in July of 2019.
Willow is also interested in activism. In 2017 she created a photo series called Dear Social Media which featured diverse women who shared their thoughts on social media. The project premiered at Beautycon that summer. Willow has participated in several marches including the March For Our Lives and the Women’s March.
At the end of the day, Willow is still a typical 17-year-old, who is different in her own way. She enjoys spending her free time making art, reading, and listening to music on her record player. Willow loves photography and owns over 5 different cameras. Willow also has a knack for poetry and songwriting. Willow also loves fashion and finding unique clothes at vintage or thrift stores. She is also interested in charity. Some of her favorite charities include Operation Smile, The Thirst Project, and Stomp Out Bullying.
– Biography written by Introducing Willow staff. Please do not take or repost anywhere without permission.