Todd Williamson/Invision/AP
October 22, 2014 12:45 PM

When it comes to the sexual complications in her new indie film White Bird in a Blizzard, Shailene Woodley has nothing but praise.

In one provocative scene, an older man (Thomas Jane, late of HBO’s Hung) has sex with her character: a 17-year-old girl.

Woodley views what she knows is a shocking moment as an “important,” even truthful life lesson, she said at Tuesday’s Los Angeles premiere of the film, which opens in theaters Friday.

“That scene in particular, you feel wrong watching it, but you kind of can’t stop watching it,” she said. “It’s kind of sexy, but it’s kind of disturbing. I love it!”

The actress also candidly admitted that appearing naked on screen does not disturb her.

“The thing with nudity is, it’s not something that, as an actor you want to do, like, ‘I’m going to go do a film where I can be nude in it,’ ” she said. “If nudity lends itself to a particular artistic creation, then I think it’s up to the discretion of the particular screenplay or the story.”

Thomas Jane and Shailene Woodley in White Bird in a Blizzard
Magnolia Pictures

Woodley prefers a truthful discussion of sexuality.

“I think when you’re a teenager, you’re exploring all different parts of yourself for the first time, whether it be cheating on a test, to having a first boyfriend, to making love for the first time, to getting in your first big fights with your parents,” she said.

“There are so many different things that are happening, and a lot of films that deal with young people capture many of those regions, but they sort of leave that sexuality component out of it,” she added.

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Vulnerability, she said, also is cool, especially early on.

“That’s the thing about being a young person, is that you make mistakes,” she said. “You do things that you’re like, ‘No. Stop. Don’t do that. Don’t do that.’ But you’re meant to fall on your face, and you’re meant to have experiences that you wouldn’t necessarily have when you’re older, because when you’re older you may have more wisdom, you are jaded a little bit more.”

The 22-year-old added: “You don’t have this freedom, and this vulnerability that you have when you are a teenager. And I love that.”

Reporting by REAGAN ALEXANDER

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