Shailene Woodley took time away from acting before taking on TV series Big Little Lies because she felt like she'd "hit a wall" in her career.

The 26-year-old actress initially told her agents she wasn't interested in reading the scripts for the critically acclaimed miniseries because she had fallen out of love with acting following a "hard experience" filming the last Divergent movie Allegiant.

"There was a point in my life, right before Big Little Lies, where I had hit a wall with acting," she told PorterEdit digital magazine. "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.'"

She explained that the shoot for Allegiant was tough on "everybody" and made her realise she needed to have some experiences outside the industry, which she had been a part since she was a child, so she could fall back in love with acting.

The Descendants actress eventually decided to check the Big Little Lies script out and finally got the push to sign on after receiving a phone call from her co-star Laura Dern. She was cast as Jane Chapman and went on to receive a supporting actress Golden Globe nomination, which ended up going to Laura.

Shailene credits the show for reviving her appetite for acting and praised the supportive cast, which also includes Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman.

"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," she said.

Shailene, who now holds the belief she has "the best job in the world", followed up the show with survival drama Adrift, and is currently filming the second season of Big Little Lies.