- Shailene Woodley and Aaron Rodgers announced their engagement in February.
- On Friday, the actress told THR that they went public so a tabloid didn’t beat them to it.
- She said they declined to talk about the relationship afterward, staying in their “bubble” instead.
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The couple had already been secretly engaged for months, and if it were up to them, they would’ve kept it that way.
“When we announced that we were engaged, we wanted to do that only because we didn’t want someone else to do it before we did,” the “Divergent” actress explained in her The Hollywood Reporter cover story Friday.
She continued, “And we didn’t do it for months and months after we had become engaged, but the reaction to it was really a lot, and so we were like, ‘Let’s just politely decline [to talk about the relationship] for a little while and live in our little bubble.'”
The couple flew under the radar in the early days of the pandemic after meeting through mutual friends. Woodley has not identified the pals but mentioned in her THR interview that they’re musicians.
Because she’s a Los Angeles resident and he resides in Green Bay, the couple spent their time traveling between the two cities and moved in together just months after meeting, she said.
“We were really able to get to know one another the way we wanted to get to know one another and not have any noise or chaos around us,” the “Big Little Lies” star said of the time they spent together during the pandemic.
By early February, the tabloids had caught on to their romance. E! News confirmed that Rodgers and Woodley were in a long-distance relationship, citing a source that said they were keeping things “private and low key.” Outlets such as People and Us Weekly were quick to follow.
Days later, Rodgers regained control of the narrative by casually dropping that he was engaged at the NFL Honors Awards, where he accepted the Associated Press’ Most Valuable Player award for the third time.
“2020 was definitely a crazy year, filled with lots of change, growth, some amazing memorable moments, 180 straight days of having my nose hairs scraped, playing for very little fans,” he said in his acceptance speech, adding, “I got engaged and I played some of the best football of my career.”
Rodgers didn’t name Woodley at the time but made a point to thank his “fiancée.”
Weeks later on an episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Woodley confirmed that she, as suspected by many as a result of the tabloid reports, was the mystery “fiancée” the NFL star referred to in his speech.
“We are engaged, but for us it’s not new news,” she told the host, explaining that they’d been engaged “for a while.”
Woodley, who admittedly has never watched a football game before, then quipped: “I never thought I’d be engaged to somebody who threw balls for a living.”