Shailene Woodley makes red carpet debut with boyfriend Ben Volavola


Shailene Woodley took her rugby player beau Ben Volavola as her plus one to the Los Angeles premiere of her new film Adrift on Wednesday (23May18).

Shailene looked stunning in a silver brocade gown and the smitten actress shared a kiss with the handsome Fijian-Australian rugby star, who plays for French team Bordeaux Begles.

The two reportedly met during filming of the action-adventure movie, which took place in Fiji’s capital Suva.

In the movie, which is based on a true story, Shailene and Sam Claflin star as sailors Tami Oldham and Richard Sharp, who set out on a journey across the ocean in 1983 but are struck by disaster when they sail directly into a hurricane.

The Divergent star and Ben, 27, made their relationship Instagram official in January, but their appearance at the premiere was their first public appearance together.

In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night, the 26-year-old Californian discussed getting to know the community on the island, partaking in Fijian ceremonial customs, and her lack of knowledge about her boyfriend’s sport.

“We got to know the local culture and community and got to participate in Kava ceremonies,” she explained to host Jimmy. “You basically sit around and the elders host a ceremony and you talk and you share kava and your mouth goes a little bit numb you get a little body high and you talk until 6am in the morning.”

Known as yaqona or simply grog in Fiji, kava is a mildly narcotic drink made from mixing the powdered root of the pepper plant (piper methysticum) with water.

When questioned as to whether the drink was really a “ceremonial act”, she deferred to Ben, insisting: “My boyfriend is Fijian and he refers to it as a ceremonial act.”

Jimmy then asked her if she had any knowledge of rugby before she met the Fijian international, who has played in the Rugby World Cup.

“I knew nothing about rugby and then I went to a rugby game in Fiji,” she explained. “I mean it’s quite barbaric he literally throws himself at another grown man who is running at full speed towards him, and he loves it. It’s confusing! It’s fun to watch.”