Shailene Woodley, a cast member in the film 'Adrift' poses for a portrait at The Ritz-Carlton on Friday, May 18, 2018, in Marina del Rey, Calif. Picture: AP

American star Shailene Woodley has admitted she doesn't consider acting to be her "career".

The 26-year-old star - who has appeared in a string of hit movies, including 'The Fault in Our Stars' and 'Divergent' - actually dreamed of becoming a teacher as a child and in spite of the success she's achieved in Hollywood, Shailene regards acting as a passion rather than a career.

She shared: "My end goal as a kid was to be a teacher and act during my summer breaks. 

"When I was seven, I said: the day I'm on the cover of a magazine I'll quit. When I was around ten, I said: the day it becomes my career I'll quit.

"Even though I do interviews and I'm on magazines, I don't think of it as a career. I won't do a movie unless I get butterflies. If the passion's not there, you're taking up a role someone else would have been better in. That's the beautiful thing about life. You can curate it how you want to."

In recent years, Shailene has become known as one of the movie business' most socially-conscious stars.

Despite her activism work, the American actress has insisted she remains broadly positive about the future.

She told The i Newspaper: "I'm an eternal optimist, because I live with the mantra that everything works out then you die. 

"You might as well not be a d**k and maybe pick up some trash every now and then. You're going to die anyway, so why not?"