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Shailene Woodley flexes her opinions on staying in shape, feminism, stardom, Twitter and acting

LOS ANGELES TIMES – One-armed push-ups come pretty easily to Shailene Woodley. She proved as much on the carpeted floor of a hushed hotel hallway recently, surprising a reporter with a welcome bit of spontaneity.

It was a fitting bit of theater for her new film, “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” opening March 18, the latest installment of the $600-million franchise based on the YA books set in a dystopian future. As the fierce revolutionary Tris, Woodley has come to embody one version of the new feminism, rescuing her imperiled beau in one scene and falling into his arms the next.

This, the third of four films adapted from the blockbuster Veronica Roth novels, has Tris and her team escaping the growing unrest in Chicago for a post-apocalyptic desert and the promise of a faraway utopia. Along with “Divergent” regulars Theo James, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort, Jeff Daniels co-stars as a mysterious genetic mastermind with his sights set on Tris.

In real life, the 24-year-old actress isn’t your average ingénue. She’s an industry veteran who worked her way up as a child from bit parts in “The O.C.” to co-starring opposite George Clooney in 2011’s “The Descendants” and starring as a cancer victim in the 2014 hit “The Fault in Our Stars.” The “Divergent” series proved that she could bring in audiences for action films, along the lines of Jennifer Lawrence in “The Hunger Games.”

And yet Woodley has preserved an impressive bit of mystery for such a hardworking star of her generation. She has more than a million Twitter followers but has tweeted just a dozen or so times — most of which herald presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. During her free time, Woodley has trekked the Himalayas and studied an obscure arm of biology known as morphogenetics.

Here, she talks feminism, staying grounded in Hollywood and the narcissism of Twitter:

You must have a physical regimen to get you through the rigors of this franchise.

It’s important for me to feel physically strong in my day to day life, and that just works really well with Tris. I’ve done jujitsu. Krav Maga. I really love martial arts. There’s a YouTube video called Perfect Lean Body. This woman does leg workouts. They’re 20 minutes long and you sweat and kick your …. But they’re only 20 minutes. It’s fantastic. I use this app called Tabata Timer. It’s high interval training.

Your role in this franchise has elevated your visibility in such a grand way. How has it changed you?

I don’t feel like my life has changed at all. I’ve changed a lot because I’ve grown in the last four years. But my values, my morals, what I stand for, hasn’t changed because of this movie. I feel blessed because I have more opportunities artistically.
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