Shailene Woodley celebrates her birthday today on November 15th and we want to look back on the series that introduced us to the actress. Before she was Tris Prior, Shailene was Amy on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, a teen show fraught with angst, love triangles, and a whole lot of drama. The Secret Life of the American Teenager also portrayed the complicated relationships between teenagers, friends, and parents. Life is messy and Secret Life showed demonstrated that fact in spades. We’ve watched Shailene blossom from a young actress to a certified Hollywood star. To honor her 29th birthday, let’s take a look back at The Secret Life of the American Teenager and see where the cast is today.
Amy (Shailene Woodley)
Amy’s life is turned upside-down when she realizes she’s pregnant at fifteen. We get to know Amy as the passionate young teen who has many dreams for her future, including attending Juilliard, until her pregnancy puts those plans on hold. Shailene described Amy as a “go-getter,” someone excited for life. Amy’s approach to parenthood and relationships certainly wasn’t perfect but she grew from her mistakes, maturing (slowly) as she did. In the end Amy does finally marry Ricky and their little family lives in New Yok where Amy goes to college. Shailene Woodley is now an A-list Hollywood actress famous for her roles in the Divergent Series, A Fault in Our Stars, and The Spectacular Now.
Ricky (Daren Kagasoff)
Ricky is introduced to us as the promiscuous bad boy on Secret Life. But as we get to know him, we find he has a sweet and caring side. Ricky tends to sabotage his relationships by being careless (like getting a girl pregnant for instance) and avoiding any emotional connection. His trauma at the hands of abusive parents made him scared to become a parent but he proved to be a loving father to his son John. Ricky finally gets to marry Amy and begins working with Leo to create a high-end fast food chain. Daren Kagasoff has continued his acting career with a film role in Ouija and TV roles in Red Band Society and The Village.
Ben (Ken Baumann)
Ben is the nice guy on Secret Life, the hopeless romantic who falls in love with the hapless Amy. Ven when Amy tells Ben she’s pregnant with Ricky’s baby, Ben still supports her. Ben’s journey gets pretty rough after his relationship with Amy falls apart and a new romance with Adrian ends tragically after their daughter is still born. Ben has to learn from his many mistakes and take steps to end a pattern of immature behavior and step away from toxic people. Ben meets a new girl, Diana, and after they marry, Ben is finally able to fix the broken relationship with his father. Ken Baumann left his acting career to pursue writing and has published short stories, poems, and several novels, including The Country, Solip, and Cut.
Adrian (Francia Raisa)
Adrian is the smart, outspoken girl with intense emotions. She pursues Ricky relentlessly, going after Amy for any interference in Adrian and Ricky’s relationship. Adrian and Ben have a complicated romance after Ricky moves on to be with Amy. Adrian grows to love Ben but things fall apart after Adrian delivers a still born daughter. She is devastated by the loss and Ben and Adrian decide to divorce. Life changes for Adrian when she meets Omar and the two decide to marry and move to New York. Francia Raisa has continues a successful career in acting, appearing in The Mind Project, Grown-ish, and Black-ish. Francia also donated her kidney to her friend, singer Selena Gomez as she battled with lupus.
Grace (Megan Park)
We get to know Grace as the girl hesitant to explore her sexuality due to her religious roots. When she finally has sex with her boyfriend Jack disaster endues. Grace goes through many ups and downs as she tries to navigate through her relationships, often losing herself along the way. Her relationship with Jack becomes an on-again off-again romance. In the end the couple decide to call off their engagement, believing it to be the healthy thing to do. Grace moves to New York for college and eventually becomes a doctor. Megan Park has continued acting in movies like Hallmark’s Once Upon A Prince and shows like Jane the Virgin. Megan has also directed a feature film called Fallout that finished filming in September 2020.
Jack (Greg Finley)
Jack, a star football player at Grant High School, is also the boyfriend of Grace at the beginning of Secret. Grace loses her virginity to him and although it was a good experience, Grace feels guilty and breaks up with him. Jack and Grace have a turbulent relationship and they discover that maybe they weren’t meant to be together, and Jack ends up marrying Madison. Greg Finley has kept his acting career going with roles in projects like Hypothermia and iZombie and recently appeared in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Ashley (India Eisley)
Ashley is the feisty, opinionated younger sister of Amy. Things are tough for her when her parents divorce and her sister’s pregnancy affect her time in high school. Ashley proves herself to be fiercely independent, leaving school to take the GED. She becomes involved with Toby and the two travel across the U.S. When Ashley learns she was accepted into culinary school in Italy, she leaves everything behind to pursue her dreams. India Eisley has successfully continued acting and has appeared in high-profile roles in action film Kite alongside Samuel L. Jackson and in the six-part series I Am the Night.
Griffin (Brando Eaton)
Griffin befriends Ashley in school when he asks her to have lunch. At first Ashley thinks all Griffin want from her is sex until Griffin reveals he’s gay. He gets Ashley together with his cousin Grant. Griffin is more experienced sexually than Ashley and he often gives her advice on how to navigate her relationships. Griffin has a strong connection to Peter who he meets through Grace. We never get to see Griffin’s ending as his characters drops off mysteriously in the fifth season. Brando Eaton has continued acting and has appeared in American Horror Story, Awkward, and Melissa & Joey.
Dylan (Ana Mackenzie)
Ben meets Dylan after his marriage with Adrian dissolves. Dylan and Ben’s relationship is turbulent though, as both their families disapprove of the match. Dylan is inexperienced in love but pursues Ben avidly. Soon enough, things go too far when Ben and Dylan sneak into her school after hours and both believe they caused a fire to break out. They mutually decide to break up and Dylan eaves to attend an all-girls school. Ana Mackenzie has continued to act in projects like Underground and Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings.
The ups and down on The Secret Life of the American Teenager give a glimpse into teen pregnancy and how it affects not only the parents but everyone in their lives. Raising a child when you’re still in high school is not ideal, particularly as you’re still in the process of growing up yourself. The characters on Secret Life fight, cheat, get back at each other, and make a slew of other mistakes during the course of their teenage milestones. Though there’s drama a-plenty in the Secret Life, what it all boils down to is trying to find the people who will be your family and learning to use the blows life deals you to grow into a better version of you.