Soon after Summit Entertainment officially confirmed that actress Shailene Woodley was in the final negotiations to play Tris (meaning the role is hers, as long as she signs the paperwork), Divergent author Veronica Roth has come forward with her very positive opinion on the matter via her blog:
From the moment I heard that she was being considered, I have been nothing but enthusiastic. My priority has always been, first and foremost, that the role of Tris be well-acted, and Shailene has proven how talented she is, as anyone who has seen The Descendants can attest. And physically, what’s most important to me, far and away more important than other aspects of her appearance, is that Tris does not look like an action hero– she looks like a slight person with youthful, delicate features, someone who shocks you with how strong and capable she becomes. To me, that is exactly the look Shailene has, exactly the look I’ve always had in my mind. From what I’ve seen, I’m confident she will be able to capture Tris’s particular mixture of vulnerability and strength, and that surprising moment when a seemingly unremarkable girl from Abnegation transforms into a powerful yet flawed young woman.
Veronica also shared her thoughts on Director Neil Burger, who has kept her involved in the film’s creative process:
Neil Burger directed The Illusionist and Limitless, both movies that I enjoyed immensely, both visually dynamic and interesting. Soon after the deal was closed I got the opportunity to speak with him on the phone. I was nervous beforehand– handing over your work for someone else to interpret is always nerve-wracking, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
But by the time I hung up– an hour and a half later!– I felt very reassured. Neil knew the books remarkably well, and asked some amazing questions about the world and the story, and generally demonstrated tremendous respect for the books and for my answers. I actually found myself wishing he had been around while I was writing, to help me think through the particularities of the world of Divergent! I’m sure I would have been more efficient if he had. Like I have before, I’m feeling like my work is in good good hands. (Cue the Allstate logo.)
We have approval from the author herself, which will hopefully help calm all the naysayers! Shailene Woodley has got a bit of a reputation from starting off on a very poorly written show, but her work elsewhere has shown that she has some really acting chops!