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As the lead character in the adaptation of one of the most popular young adult novels running right now, the part of Tris in the upcoming movie Divergent was one that was coveted by many young actresses in Hollywood, but ultimately only one of them could get it and that victor was Shailene Woodley. Something about her approach spoke to the filmmakers developing the film that made her the only choice for the part. So what was it about the character that Woodley was able to really connect with? At a recent press event for Divergent held in Los Angeles, CA I got to ask her just that, as well as many other questions about the new movie.
Directed by Neil Burger, Divergent follows Tris as she lives life in a futuristic world where society has been split into five factions based on personality types: Abnegation (the charitable); Amity (the farmers); Candor (the lawyers); Dauntless (the security); and Erudite (the thinkers). When Tris comes of age she goes into a testing process to find out which faction she will be spend the rest of her life with, but is shocked to discover that she is what is called Divergent – meaning that she possesses qualities from all five factions. Instructed by the test facilitator (Maggie Q) to keep her test results a secret, Tris joins the Dauntless, but the stakes are raised when hidden Divergent members of society start getting exterminated.
During our conversation, we had the chance to discuss not just getting into the mind of the young adult fiction heroine, but how the role related to her part in The Spectacular Now - another coming of age story – and what she discussed with the director to help her better understand the character.
Woodley has proven herself to be one of the most talented young actresses in Hollywood, and after starting her career on television she has developed an impressive film resume that includes movies with directors like Alexander Payne and James Ponsoldt. Take a quick look back at her career to this point with the trailers below
Divergent arrives in theaters this Friday.