‘Divergent’ Star Shailene Woodley Says Fame Hasn’t Changed Her…Much

Divergent, Shailene Woodley

As The Divergent Series: Allegiant prepares to hit theaters, actress Shailene Woodley opens up about everything from keeping in shape to play Divergent‘s Tris, to how her recent trip to India influenced her views on feminism. However, as Shailene considers all that she’s experienced over the past four years, the Divergent actress says she hasn’t been changed by success.

Divergent Series Star Shailene Woodley Reveals What It Takes To Be Tris

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Even without her starring role in The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Shailene reveals she’s very dedicated when it comes to fitness and keeping her body in peak performance. Woodley is often compared to Jennifer Lawrence because Divergent is so similar to The Hunger Games franchise, but how often has Lawrence demonstrated her ability to perform one-armed push-ups in hotel corridors? Woodley has done that and more.

“It’s important for me to feel physically strong in my day to day life, and that just works really well with Tris,” says the Divergent actress. “I’ve done jujitsu. Krav Maga. I really love martial arts…I use this app called Tabata Timer. It’s high interval training.”

As Ms. Woodley mentions Tris, the subject of fame and the Divergent series grabs her attention, but Shailene says the celebrity status to which she has been raised, due to her participation in this franchise, hasn’t really affected her life. Shailene admits the role of Tris has opened up opportunities for her, but she adds that little else has changed.

“I don’t feel like my life has changed at all. I’ve changed a lot because I’ve grown in the last four years,” Ms. Woodley says. “But my values, my morals, what I stand for, hasn’t changed because of this movie. I feel blessed because I have more opportunities artistically.”

Shailene Woodley On Life In India And Feminism Here In The United States

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The plot of the Divergent series relies on a post-apocalyptic world, but as Shailene recently discovered, much of the real world already lives in a similar environment. The Divergent actress visited India with a Hindi-speaking friend and as they toured the villages, Woodley says she noticed things that make the issues of feminism in the U.S. seem almost unimportant.

For instance, so many of the cars Shailene saw in India bore the sane bumper sticker, which read simply “save a girl,” so the actress inquired about its meaning. Shailene was told that so many girls aren’t given the same chances at living as the boy babies, so the stickers are meant to save the lives of the girl infants born in India.

“It just puts so many things in perspective about how the work we’re doing here in America is so important because it does infiltrate down to other countries.”

Also among her travels in India, Woodley came across a few women in their 60s, cutting and baling grass. The women carried baskets of this grass from the mountains to their village to feed the cattle. When Shailene asked, through her friend, why these women spent their days in this manner, the Divergent actress learned that the grass was to feed the cattle, so they could get milk from the cattle, which they would then sell in the village. The money earned from selling the milk would then be spent on food to feed their children.

Shailene Woodley says she was touched by this drama and was reminded that rich nations, like the United States, have a responsibility to poorer nations. The Divergent actress says the U.S. should keep in mind that it acts as a role model for other countries.

Returning to the U.S. and the Hollywood lifestyle, Woodley says she limits her exposure to social media. The Divergent star is concerned that too much attention will create a narcissistic personality within herself. Shailene says she acts to create, but that the fame is inconsequential.

“How can you stay grounded when you have millions of people feeding your ego every day,” Ms. Woodley asks. “And you’re allowing it and asking for it. You’re participating in that. I think there’s a way to use it and a way to abuse it. And when you abuse it, it’s a feeding-the-ego thing.”

The Divergent Series: Allegiant opens in theaters tomorrow.

[Image by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images]