When Shailene Woodley walks into a plush Beverly Hills hotel room with her cropped, honey-streaked hair raked off her face and her long fingers wrapped around a cup of herbal tea, it’s clear she’s not your typical primped-and-primed starlet. For one, she’s grinning – and not just a polite I’m-doing-my-job smile, but a warm, genuine beam that lights up her amber-flecked eyes.
At a glance, the 23-year-old could be a friend ready to sit down for a cuppa, not one of Hollywood’s hottest rising stars. But that’s what Shailene most definitely is, and the contradiction between her stellar career and her down-to-earth attitude is making her more than just hot – it’s making her fascinating.
HOW IS IT FOR YOU AS AN ACTRESS TO STEP INTO A BIG FRANCHISE AS A CHARACTER WHO HAS ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN? WAS THERE MUCH ROOM FOR YOU TO CREATE?
“Tris is a human being and we’re all constantly evolving. There’s definitely a sense of progression. In the first film, Tris went through a lot of grief and a lot of hard times and that certainly carries on into this film.”
HOW DID YOU PHYSICALLY PREPARE FOR THIS MOVIE?
“We trained so much for the first film, and then I did The Fault In Our Stars and lost all muscle mass and a bunch of weight, so getting into Insurgent was fun because I got to bulk up. We generally did something physical every day.
“We actually had a push-up club, that started with three of us because we’d get tired throughout the day. Instead of drinking cups of coffee, we’d pump out 20 push-ups and our bodies would naturally wake up. We just started doing it and by the end, there were 15 of us doing push-ups throughout the day.”
SO MUCH OF ACTING IS ABOUT THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN CO-STARS. YOU’VE WORKED WITH MILES TELLER, ANSEL ELGORT AND THEO JAMES BEFORE, SO HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOUR PERFORMANCE BETTER WHEN YOU’RE ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH EACH OTHER?
“It enables a performance because you’re able to be comfortable and vulnerable with that person. You’re not worried about how that person sees you, because you’ve already had conversations about it. So it’s wonderful.
“It’s a total luxury to work with someone you’ve worked with before, as it is with someone new, because all acting is exchanging energy. So when someone new comes in, you see what they evoke in you and what you evoke in them. That in itself is really exciting.”
SPEAKING OF THEO, IN THE TRAILER IT LOOKS LIKE YOU TWO ARE KISSING. DO YOU GO BEYOND A KISS?
“I guess you’ll just have to wait and see!”
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