Many have already hailed “Divergent” as the next big young adult franchise, but before it hits movie theaters, star Shailene Woodley wants to make one thing clear – she’s not an action star.
Though the movie still does not come out for several months – and just wrapped shooting two days ago – Woodley told the crowd at Comic-Con on Thursday that everyone is asking her how it feels to play a superhero.
Woodley has earned Hollywood’s respect with performances in smaller dramas such as “The Descendants” and “The Spectacular Now,” in which she starred alongside Miles Teller.
Yet Woodley does not see her role in “Divergent” as being all that different from her jobs in those smaller films.
“I never saw [Tris] as a superhero or action star,” Woodley told Hall H. “She’s a normal young woman who had to figure herself out and help the community around her.”
It was at that point that Woodley began to grasp how this role is very different from the ones she’s played before, at least in terms of the attention. She stopped her response and remarked, “Oh gosh you guys there are so many of you. This is so nerve-wracking.”
Woodley and the rest of the “Divergent” cast were at Comic-Con for the first time, and several castmates commented on the number of bright lights and phones in front of them when they walked onstage.
Host Chris Hardwick did his best to reassure them all, though he did joke with Mekhi Phifer and Maggie Q that they were the only adults at the table (besides director Neil Burger).
“We’re the people who remember the 80s unironically,” Hardwick quipped.
Perhaps no one was more gobsmacked by the attention than Veronica Roth, author of the ‘Divergent” books.
“My brain is not grasping a lot right now,” Roth said from the stage.
Summit arranged for the panel with numerous members of the cast, including Woodley, Phifer, Theo James and Teller, to build momentum for the adaptation of Roth’s popular young adult franchise the same way it did with Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” before it.
Though “The Hunger Games” may be the more apt comparison for the tale of brave girl in a post-apocalyptic society, there’s one stream uniting all three stories – they are about unexceptional but admirable young women placed in highly unusual situations.
While the massive and passionate sea of fans awed many of the Comic-Con newcomers, there was one member of the audience who seemed similarly cowed: He tried to ask a question about “Ender’s Game” without realizing that panel would come after “Divergent.”
He quickly left the scene, but returned in time for the book he actually loves and a man with decades of experience in front of adoring fans – Harrison Ford.