As attractive as a high-profile role in a hugely-anticipated YA book adaptation might seem to us laypeople, Shailene Woodley needed an extra push to join Divergent. Luckily, Lionsgate knew who to call upon to persuade the 22-year-old actress: its Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence.
Shailene was reluctant to sign on the dotted line after she was contractually stuck on the ABC Family melodrama The Secret Life of the American Teenager for five seasons.
"Having come off a TV show, I was kind of in the place where I was like, 'I'm never signing a contract for more than one movie,' because once you do sign a contract, legally, you're liable," she explains to The Hollywood Reporter. "[Even] if you don't find something creatively stimulating anymore, you've still got to do it legally."
Jennifer — a Secret Life fan herself — exchanged a series of emails with Shailene, raving about the doors a movie like Divergent could open.
Shailene quotes J.Law as having said, "You must do it. You will not regret it for a second. Yes, there are some hard things, but there are so many beautiful things that will come from an opportunity like this."
"I don't know what happened," Lionsgate co-president Erik Feig tells the magazine. "But I do know that, after that interaction, Shailene said: 'OK, now I'll make Divergent. Let's talk.'"
And the rest, as they say, is Hollywood history.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter