‘Divergent’ stars Winslet, Judd share thoughts on Shailene Woodley

March 21, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
divergent shailenewoodley Divergent stars Winslet, Judd share thoughts on Shailene Woodley

Shailene Woodley's performance on screen and her earnest and kind personality behind the scenes made an impression on the film's cast and crew. Click through the gallery to see what her costars had to say about working with the young actress.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

divergent katewinslet Divergent stars Winslet, Judd share thoughts on Shailene Woodley

Kate Winslet: “We’re very fortunate to have Shai playing Tris, because what she brings to that role is very unique and very specific to Shai. She’s a very gentle, solid person. She knows herself very well. There are things that are really important to her. She has some strong morals and values that she holds very dear to herself, and she brings that into that girl. She grounds her and she makes her real. she puts her in a place that is believable. It’s a futuristic piece, it’s a world that we don’t know of, it doesn’t exist for us, and yet she normalizes all of Tris’ experiences through playing her in such a very real way, and that’s what makes it work.”
(Jaap Buitendijk / Summit Entertainment)

divergent ashleyjudd Divergent stars Winslet, Judd share thoughts on Shailene Woodley

Ashley Judd: "There’s something distinctly seeking about Shailene. She’s really endeavoring to live a life of meaning and connection. That just came across instantly in our interactions. To be able to drop down to a pretty honest and vulnerable place with someone instantly, it feels good. And she’s a really, really superb actor.”
(Jaap Buitendijk / Summit Entertainment)

divergent maggieq Divergent stars Winslet, Judd share thoughts on Shailene Woodley

Maggie Q: "In Hollywood, it’s very, very rare to be blessed to collaborate with someone at such a young age who has such an old soul and such a sure sense of self, who's lovely and kind, but also who is just a real person. I know that sounds gross — it makes Hollywood seem like a bunch of zombies walking around — but it is a really hard business, and I think that turns people inwards.... When you meet someone who has an outward sense of appreciation for people and care and concern, it’s very rare. And it’s going to serve her well."
(Summit Entertainment)

divergent milesteller Divergent stars Winslet, Judd share thoughts on Shailene Woodley

Miles Teller: "She’s just so sweet, and she is so caring and kind and considerate. If you’re going to be with somebody every day for 12 hours for four months, those are great qualities to have. It’s very easy in this business to get bitter or jaded , but Shailene, I’ve never really seen her too upset."
(Summit Entertainment)

divergent lucyfisher dougwick 1 Divergent stars Winslet, Judd share thoughts on Shailene Woodley

Lucy Fisher, producer: "She is very self-sufficient and is her own kind of warrior. She has a huge amount of inner strength. She's very principled. She has a position and a point of view on almost everything. And she’s been working for probably about 10 years or more, and she has a wonderful family and she’s very close to her family, but she has been a professional doing a job for a long time, so she’s very mature beyond her age.... She’s also very tender and dear and loving, and when she meets people, she gives them a hug. So she sort of has both sides."
(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

divergent lucyfisher dougwick Divergent stars Winslet, Judd share thoughts on Shailene Woodley

Douglas Wick, producer: "Whether she’s on a Ferris wheel or jumping off a train or in a heated exchange with Kate Winslet, she doesn’t know how to be phony. It always feels as if this is what it would actually be like if you were really in a fear landscape, if this character actually were suddenly submerged underwater or suddenly being violently chased by birds."
(Annie I. Bang / Associated Press)

“Divergent” opens in theaters today, bringing dystopian adventure heroine Tris Prior to the big screen and launching the film’s star Shailene Woodley into the public eye.

The film, based on the bestselling young adult book series by Veronica Roth, takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where people are sorted into factions based on personality. Woodley’s Tris finds out she’s divergent, meaning she has aptitude for multiple factions — something that’s not allowed in the rigidly divided society. She decides to hide her divergence and join Dauntless, the faction that values bravery, and as a result finds herself jumping onto moving trains, throwing knives and shooting guns.

For Woodley, “Divergent” marks her first step into the world of big-budget action. Her previous work includes playing a teen mom in ABC Family television series “The Secret Life of an American Teenager,” portraying a young girl in love with an alcoholic in “The Spectacular Now” and acting opposite George Clooney in “The Descendants” — a performance that earned her a supporting actress Golden Globe nomination. She also plays Hazel Grace Lancaster in the upcoming film adaptation of John Green’s novel “The Fault in Our Stars,” a love story between two teenagers who have cancer.

MORE: Shailene Woodley embraces being divergent

Woodley says that filming “Divergent” was the most challenging thing she’s done so far in her career, but her performance on screen and her earnest and kind personality behind the scenes made an impression on her costars and the movie’s producers.

Click through the gallery above to see what Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, Maggie Q and others had to say about the rising star, and read our profile of Shailene Woodley here.

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