Shailene Woodley made an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend for the film Divergent. Based on the book by Veronica Roth, the film is set in a future society where people are divided into groups based on five single traits. Roth has written two sequel books so there’s already a franchise if audiences respond.
In a press conference at Comic-Con, Woodley spoke about vying for a role in the Hunger Games series, and the advice she got from the star who ultimately won that role, Jennifer Lawrence.
“I did audition for Hunger Games back in the day and Jen Lawrence actually helped me with Divergent,” Woodley said. “I still have yet to meet her but I asked her about her experience with Hunger Games and how her life has changed, going from small independent movies to something as big as Hunger Games. She gave me really beautiful advice, just saying how much she appreciated it, and how much it’s changed her life in positive ways. She really helped me on this journey initially.”
Acting in a movie based on a novel also gave Woodley more material to draw upon for her performance. “I read the book, yeah, definitely read the book before,” she said. “I read the book before there was a script that I read. Luckily for me, it was written from [my character] Tris’s point of view so Veronica kind of did a lot of the work for me. “Before scenes I would see what Veronica had put in Tris’s mind, the mindset of each scene. That helped me get into the emotional stature of where Tris was in that place.”
Tris is assigned to the group of of selfless people. This was something she related to about Tris and the world of Divergent. “I really admire Triss’s sense of selflessness,” she said. “I know she grew up with that and it was ingrained in her in a very young age. I think that’s a trait we could use a lot more of. That coupled with the bravery she’s forced to call upon makes for a really complex human.”
Divergent will be in theaters in 2014.