From pregnancies to big moves, celebrities and us simpletons alike have been able to hide a number of things through the pandemic. For Shailene Woodley, that's meant a whole relationship and engagement – to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The football player casually made the shocking reveal as he thanked "my fiancée" during his speech at the NFL Honors while accepting the 2020 AP Most Valuable Player award on Feb. 6. Terez Owens, a sports gossip blog (yes, these exist) had reported just days before that Rodgers, 37, and Woodley, 29, were an item and have been since July 2020, with rumours then floating for several weeks over just how in the world the two got together.
Woodley being something of a real-life wood nymph, after all, it certainly makes for an odd pairing. During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday, in which she finally confirmed the engagement and promoted her new film The Mauritanian, it was also clear she was well aware of this.
“So it’s kind of funny," she said. "Everybody right now is freaking out over it and we’re like, ‘Yeah, we’ve been engaged for a while. He’s, first off, just a wonderful, incredible human being. But I never thought I’d be engaged with somebody who threw balls for a living. Like, I never thought as a little girl... ‘Yeah, when I grow up, I’m gonna marry someone who throws balls! Yeah!’ But he’s really just so good at it.”
Relatable. It seems the relationship hasn't been a long one, as the two met during the pandemic, their love largely encouraged by Woodley's close personal friend and dog.
“When I first met him, I think my dog, like, pulled me aside and was like, ‘If you don’t date this dude, I will disown you as my mother, because the three feet that I run with you when you throw a ball is nothing compared to the marathon I’m able to run with him,’” she said. “We met during this whacky, whacky time and all the stadiums were closed that he was playing in, so I have yet to go to a football game. I didn’t really grow up with sports, especially American sports. It was never really on my radar. When we met, also, I knew he was a football guy, but I didn’t know like what kind of a football guy he was. And I’m still constantly learning.”
She added, "I don't know him as a football guy. I know him as like the nerd who wants to host Jeopardy! That's the dude I know. He just happens to be very good at sports."
Though she may not know much about football guys who throw balls for a living, Woodley is no stranger to athletes. In fact, one might say they're just her type, as she previously dated rugby player Ben Volavola for three years. The pair split in April 2020, Woodley telling Bustle that they “were very much on the road to marriage and children” but she realized she “was still at an age where I wasn’t able to fully commit. I couldn’t be available to him in the way that I wanted to be. I didn’t fully love myself.”
Rodgers, too, moved quickly into his relationship with Woodley after his own recent split in July 2020 from racecar driver Danica Patrick, whom he'd been dating for more than two years. Rodgers previously dated actress Olivia Munn for three years until they split in April 2017.
Despite being the one to spill the beans about his new relationship, Rodgers has stayed relatively mum on any other details.
In September, while appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, he simply said, “I have just a new and increased love of life. And I’ve made decisions and changes and habits that put me in a lot better headspace and there’s just a lot of things that have come together in my life over the last few months that have really been enjoyable and reminded me, given me perspective, on life and in football to view things through the most positive lens I possibly can. And that’s why I’m having so much fun and it starts with love. And then surrounding yourself with people that you really enjoy.”
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