Shailene Woodley is known for her hugs. The 22-year-old "Divergent" star gives hearty embraces — often more than one —to everyone she meets.
"It's very disarming" said co-star Theo James in a recent interview. "She (first) hugged me at our test. Yeah, she's a big hugger."
It's not just her co-stars who feel the love. Woodley also hugs nearly every journalist she meets during interviews or on a red carpet. (I hope that natural deodorant of hers lasts for all these close encounters)
Woodley and James star in the anticipated first film adaptation of the young adult trilogy by author Veronica Roth. "Divergent" follows 16-year-old Tris (Woodley) as she finds her place in a future dystopian society where people are separated into groups based on their virtues.
Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn play Tris' parents in the film out March 21.
Judd said she and Woodley have their own special, two-sided squeeze so they "both get heart."
"It was about 6 o'clock in the morning on my first day of work," recalled Goldwyn of his first Woodley hug. "We were driving over together and she leapt out and gave me a long hug. I was like 'wow.'"
Unfortunately for "Divergent" actor Ansel Elgort, his first encounter did not go as well.
"My first Shailene hug was when I met her for the audition and I was taken by surprise," Elgort said. "I thought maybe she knew me or something or I don't know and I didn't really hug her back really. I was like 'oh hey' and gave her a couple pats and said 'it was nice to meet you.' And to this day she tells me that she wasn't sure she's going to like me or not because I didn't hug her back. She thought I might not be a real grounded person."
Was Elgort able to make amends?
"Yeah, now when I see her I make sure every time to give her a very long truthful hug," he said.
Shailene Woodley is sounding a lot like Jennifer Lawrence these days.
It's not surprising, considering that Woodley, 22, has sought out Lawrence, 23, for advice, despite their one-year age difference.
There are plenty of similarities between the two young actresses, though Woodley's star is still on the rise and JLaw already has an Oscar under her belt.
An interview with Woodley in the April issue of Teen Vogue highlights some of the similarities (and a few of the differences) between the two.
1. Helming a (potential) Blockbuster Series
Woodley's next major film role, as the star of the dystopian thriller "Divergent," based on the first book in Veronica Roth's young adult trilogy, is already earning her comparisons to Lawrence and the "Hunger Games" series. Woodley even sought out Lawrence's advice after initially turning down the part.
"I asked Jennifer Lawrence, 'Are you happy with your choice to take on 'The Hunger Games'?' And she said she wouldn't change it for the world," Woodley told Teen Vogue. "She told me, 'There are some things -- don't make a sex tape, don't do drugs, don't do things in public -- that you wouldn't want other people judging you for. But this is the best decision you'll ever make.'"
Like Lawrence, Woodley threw herself into training for the role and often worked 16-hour days in 20-degree weather alongside castmates Kate Winslet, Zoë Kravitz and Miles Teller.
2. Being a Hollywood Rebel
Like her counterpart, Woodley is somewhat of a rebel, though Teen Vogue said she's not so much "infused with sass," like Lawrence, than she is "hippie love." Woodley recently told The Hollywood Reporter that she wears only used clothes, forages for fruit and doesn't own a home, preferring a "vagabond lifestyle." As a "citizen of this planet," she explained to THR, "I'm going to do my responsibility and live in stride with nature instead of constantly fighting against her."
Still, Woodley isn't afraid to make headlines for her strong opinions. She dissed the "Twilight" series for being about a "very unhealthy, toxic relationship." "She falls in love with this guy and the second he leaves her, her life is over and she's going to kill herself! What message are we sending to young people? That is not going to help this world evolve," Woodley told Teen Vogue.
3. Indie Film Cred
Like Lawrence, Woodley launched her career on the big screen through a breakout role in a smaller indie film. That 2011 film, "The Descendants," in which she played George Clooney's teenage daughter, won her an independent Spirit Award. Though "Divergent" is expected to be a blockbuster, she continues to return to her indie roots. Later this year she'll star in the indie drama "White Bird in a Blizzard."
my alliteration needs some work. how do you react to surprise hugs? I reactively punch people