So, Is Shailene Woodley The New Jennifer Lawrence or Not?

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Shailene Woodley is rightly being hailed as Hollywood’s newest darling – with roles in two high-profile young adult flicks this year, she seems to be doing a Jennifer Lawrence on us all. Divergent comes out later this month in the US – on the 21st, while UK audiences will have to wait until April 4th.

Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Divergent
Woodley's Tris jumping out of a train and into her new life in Divergent. Pretty symbolic.

The movie, which centers on a few teenagers, fighting for survival in a dystopian society, separated into factions. Tris, our protagonist, is meant to take a test at 16 to be sorted into one of five factions, according to her dominant trait – wit, bravery, selflessness, honesty or peacefulness – but instead, Tris discovers that she is divergent, meaning that she has an aptitude for more than one faction. Her thirst for adventure leads her to a new faction, new friends and a whole host of threats, as  she discovers that her divergence makes her a target and unveils the inner workings of a  corrupt society.

Watch the Divergent trailer below.

Woodley stars as Tris, while Theo James plays the inevitable love interest Four – just what every teenager on a mission to save her life needs. Woodley is proud of the upcoming film and can draw a number of parallels between the world of Divergent and real life.

“It’s not just about young people figuring their way through life,” she recently told Hero Complex. “It’s about young people being in really adult situations, and they’re treated like adults, which is how adolescents are these days. Everybody’s incredibly smart, and there’s not a lot of movies that do that age range justice.”

Maturity and self-reliance are the defining features of Woodley’s character and, according to producer Lucy Fisher, that’s exactly what the 22-year-old actress brings to the mix.

Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Divergent
Unlike her character, Woodley has not been involved with anyone for a long time.

“She really is very, very self-sufficient and is her own kind of warrior in terms of she wanted to do her stunts herself,” producer Lucy Fisher said. “She has a huge amount of inner strength. … She’s very mature beyond her age, as is Tris.”

That’s probably why Woodley is so adept at fielding questions about her love life as well. When talking to Teen Vogue, the young actress kept the focus solely on her work. She shut down any questions about her love life with the confession that she hasn’t had a boyfriend in five years. No on-set hookups either – it’s all about her career right now, she told the magazine.

Kate Winslet, DivergentShailene Woodley, Divergent
Starring in Divergent meant that Woodley had to hold her own against established actors like Kate Winslet.

"I haven't had time to think about a relationship! I literally have not had a boyfriend in almost five years. I've never even hooked up with anybody I've worked on a movie with."

All that work is about to pay off, as Divergent is expected to draw audiences of Hunger Games proportions and effectively kick off blockbuster season 2014. 


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