Shailene Woodley almost quit acting before signing up for 'Big Little Lies'.

The 26-year-old star instructed her agents not to send her any scripts 12 months before she was told about the US drama series - in which she plays Jane Chapman - after she ''hit a wall'' with acting.

She said: ''There was a point in my life, right before Big Little Lies, where I had hit a wall with acting. I felt it was time to do something different.

''I called my agents and said, 'Please don't send me any more scripts; I need to explore other avenues.'

''They respected me and didn't send me anything for almost a year until 'Big Little Lies'. I didn't know what it was or who was involved, I just said, 'Thanks, I'm still not interested.' ''

The former 'O.C.' star has starred as Jane since the show began last year, and now describes her role as the ''best job in the world''.

She said: ''I read ['Big Little Lies'], fell in love with it, and Laura [Dern] called me and that was really the push.

''I don't know that I've ever worked with a group of women where competition didn't get in the way of sisterhood. Every single person was championing the other members.

''I have the best job in the world. I could cry talking about it. And it's fleeting, I remind myself of that every day. What I do can be taken away at any moment.''

Shailene - who has also starred in movies 'The Descendants', 'The Fault in Our Stars', and 'The Divergent Series' - admits she fell out of love with acting because she didn't want to have to ''look or speak a certain way''.

Speaking to digital magazine PorterEdit, she added: ''I can't half-a**e anything, so when it came to me having to look a certain way or speak a certain way for this image I was meant to create, it turned me off.

''We often see a pattern with young women in this industry: they lose a bit of weight after they become successful, their hair changes or their skin becomes clear.

''There's a lot that goes into the behind the scenes that, if that's not your thing, can itch at your soul.''