Shailene Woodley disappointed that last ‘Divergent’ will be a TV movie
LOS ANGELES—When a question started with “You are in a franchise, ‘Divergent,’” Shailene Woodley cracked, “No it was ‘The Hunger Games.’” The actress was game, even though she admitted that she did not expect that Lionsgate will not release the fourth and last installment of her “Divergent” in theaters but as a TV movie.
“The Divergent Series: Ascendant” is set to debut on the small screen on June 9 next year.
In the meantime, Shailene is excited to be part of “Snowden,” Oliver Stone’s drama about the US whistleblower who leaked thousands of classified documents to the press. She plays Lindsay Mills, the devoted girlfriend of Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
The California native was stunning in a Dolce & Gabbana dress and Christian Louboutin shoes.
Excerpts from our interview:
So, “The Divergent Series: Ascendant” is now going to be a TV movie?
As of now, I believe that’s what they are proposing.
Why wouldn’t they release it theatrically?
I don’t know.
Are you disappointed about that?
That wasn’t something that ever crossed my mind. I signed on to do four movies, so that was what I anticipated.
What will you miss about Tris?
I will miss the experience of working on those films because after working for three years with the same people and the same crew and actors, there is a certain comfortability factor, and you become a family.
I don’t know what I will miss about Tris, but the thing that I still admire about her and actually admire more as I get older, is the model that she represents for all women, which is in the face of adversity and fear, how you still stand up for what you believe in, stay strong, keep your integrity and also not compromise your compassion and love for humanity.
What did you learn from making those movies?
I learned a lot about green screens, crane technology and more of the material side of production.
It has definitely expanded my horizons in terms of understanding more about this industry than I had ever understood before.
Do you like those movies?
Yeah, they are fun.
In “Snowden,” you play Lindsay Mills. When you play a living person like Lindsay, do you mine her for information, or do you keep a distance?
I did not meet Lindsay Mills until we were about three quarters of the way through shooting. So, in the beginning, I had to rely on her previous social media posts to dive into the inner workings of who she is.
But after meeting her after three months into shooting, I remember thinking, oh man, I wish I had met her sooner, because I would have incorporated little physical quirks or mannerisms that she had into the character.
Did you learn pole dancing for this film, or have you been doing it?
Before the film, I had never done any pole dancing. But I have done a lot of acrobatic things in my life just for fun, like silks, hoop and what not.
Have you continued pole dancing?
A little bit.
I heard that you are so passionate about this project that you wrote a letter to Oliver asking to be a part of it.
Yeah. I wrote Oliver a letter, not so much asking to be a part of the film, but thanking him for having the courage to make a film like this. At the time, I was 23.
We can all relate. Growing up, you always heard rumors about oh, big brother is watching, or they’re spying on you and nothing is private anymore. But when Ed released what he released, it verified and validated those suspicions and fears.
What was your experience like working with Oliver?
The thing with Oliver for me that was fascinating, intimidating and exciting all at the same time, is just how freaking smart his brain is.
What was your first table read like with Joseph Gordon-Levitt?
I just remember feeling deeply honored to be a part of something that was so magnificently alive and also thinking, man, I better be on top of my game, because I am working with two incredible artists.
After you got the role, did you watch all of Oliver’s movies?
I haven’t seen all of Oliver’s films at this point. The director of that film (“The Fault in Our Stars”), Josh Boone, did movie nights before we started filming. All of the actors would go over to his place and we would just watch movies with him and make dinner.
Can you talk about Lindsay? Is she as political as Snowden is? Why are they not married?
I don’t know why they are not married. But I can say that Lindsay is, from what I have interpreted through my communication and experience with her, a very political person, not necessarily because she is out there campaigning for a President, or because she’s doing the work that Ed did.
She is political because she cares about our country, humanity and the planet.
What is Lindsay’s relationship with Snowden like?
I don’t know Ed and Lindsay’s relationship in real life. I know their relationship through the lens of this film.
I know that her being in his life probably made him appreciate and understand an aspect of humanity that was outside the restrictions and realm of what he saw in his daily life.
What do you think binds them strongly?
What they offer each other is something that they can’t gain in their own personal lives with their own personalities. So, in that way, they are a great “yin” to each other’s “yang.” They balance each other out. I think what keeps them together is love.
As someone who is intelligent and curious like Lindsay, I think that is difficult for her to know that her boyfriend was, every single day, involved in a world that she could not be a part of.
You said in previous interviews that you do not have a house. Did you finally buy one?
I [still] do not have a house (laughs).
In HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” are you the lead actress?
There’s a lot of strong female characters. I would say equal leads.
I understand that they had to persuade you to take the role.
They didn’t have to persuade me. I was not inclined to take the role, because I have been working since I was 15 with no break.
But immediately upon reading the script and knowing that Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Zoë Kravitz were going to be in it, with Jean-Marc Vallée who is one of my favorite directors, I, of course, wanted to be a part of it.
When are you planning to take that year off then?
I don’t know that I will ever take a full year off. But maybe just a year to do something different.
You went out of your way to support Bernie Sanders. What did you learn from that experience?
I learned that every issue worth fighting for is political. That’s what initially made me become politically engaged. The reason why I fought so hard to educate our country about Bernie Sanders is because I recognize that there is a difference between wanting change, complaining about the way things are and doing something about it.
You are going to be 25 in November. Do you feel grownup?
I hope I never feel grownup. I hope I always feel youthful, explorative and curious.
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