10 Reasons Shailene Woodley Was Meant To Play Tris Prior

We've learned a lot from watching Disney University graduates seek new identities after removing their mouse ears. Selena, Miley, and Hilary taught us how to play by the rules, rebel against everything taught in Walt's sacred halls, and disappear from the spotlight, respectively.
Luckily, it seems the valedictorian from sister school ABC Family took notes from the strategically forgotten Disney graduate, Anne Hathaway, instead. If we look at what helped Hathaway shed her princess image, Shailene Woodley has marked most of it off. (Shai, we're just waiting on a Jane Austen-inspired role, please.) Unexpected, dramatic parts with big-name stars? That would be her breakout role in The Descendants alongside George Clooney. Heartbreaking, independent rom-com? She did that this summer in The Spectacular Now. A dramatic haircut for an emotional part? Cue her upcoming role as Hazel in the much-talked about adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars. And, finally a badass, sexy, action role? That brings us to the character we're most excited about — Tris Prior in the Divergent series.
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Some have complained that Woodley is not blonde enough, short enough, or perhaps "serious" enough to play Tris in this March's first of three, let's be real, four, Divergent films. We disagree. In time for her 22nd birthday, here are 10 reasons, straight from Shai's own mouth, why she is the perfect actress to play Tris. (Warning: If you haven't read the books, there will be some spoilers).
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Photo: Erik Pendzich/REX USA.
Tris is able to keep a lot of secrets from those closest to her (although, we will concede they can be a life-and-death matter). Shailene has proven she can keep her mouth shut as well.

"In high school, a lot of my friends didn't know I was an actor because I didn't talk about it. They would come to school and be like, 'Wait, were you on My Name Is Earl last night?' It was something I kept under wraps because I did it for myself and not for anybody else." — Marie Claire
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
In an attempt to be taken seriously, they both cut their hair off.

"As some of you may know, I will be cutting my hair off this coming weekend in order to help morph my physical body into that of the incredible Hazel Grace Lancaster — and I couldn’t be more amped. Not only do I have the opportunity to externally shift my current establishment of self, but I have the blessed gift of donating my long locks to a wonderful organization who will then create a wig for someone in need." —Tumblr
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Photo: David Fisher/REX USA.
As a "Divergent" with traits from three factions, Tris has quite a split personality. This should be easy for Shai to identify with her similar daily struggle.

"She constantly struggles between two worlds, the old and the new. I struggle in real life, trying to balance my natural connection to the earth and the somewhat materialistic side of the industry I am in." Marie Claire
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Shai's extensive research into the environment, herbalism, and the diets of indigenous cultures proves she has aptitude for the Erudite faction, just like Tris.

"I started watching a lot of documentaries on genetic modification and about animal treatment, the transportation of meat, and how it’s soaked in ammonia to kill E. Coli. It’s an amazing journey that I have been on, and when you start researching one thing, so many things get thrown in your life that reinforce your passion for it." —Coco Eco Magazine
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Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
If it wasn't for her best friend Christina's affinity with eyeliner, Tris would never wear makeup. Shai has the same approach, opting for a natural look even on the red carpet.

"It was not a proper representation of who I am. I realized that, growing up and looking at magazines, I was comparing myself to images like that — and most of it isn't real. So (a) I don't really wear makeup that much anyway, so part of it is just a selfish, lazy thing, and (b) I want to be me."Interview
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Shai fought to play Hazel in the adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars, showing the same determined manner apparent in Tris...and all the members of Dauntless.

“I fought so hard for this movie, and I can honestly say that getting to do it is one of the biggest honors in my life." —Twin Cities
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Photo: Everett Collection/REX USA.
Throughout the series, Tris can imagine living an alternate life almost everywhere she goes. Shai had a similar experience while filming The Descendants in Hawaii.

“If I didn’t have acting, I would be just as happy. I would probably be an herbalist, or maybe I would open a fruit stand on a Hawaiian island” —Marie Claire
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Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
With her ability to forage and survive off the land, she could thrive in any environment, even in the fairly terrifying dystopian-future version of Chicago that Tris calls home.

“I make my own medicines; I don’t get those from doctors. I make my own cheese and forage wild foods, and identify wild plants.” —Flaunt
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Photo: Carolyn Contino/BEImages.
They both thought their first love was too cool for them. When let's be real, Tris is way cooler than Four, and Shai was probably way cooler than her high-school boyfriend.

“I related to her in the sense that my first boyfriend in high school was way cooler than I ever could've been.” —Interview
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Photo: Peter Brooker/REX USA.
Oh, and if we didn't convince you, there is always her opinion.

"Out of the characters you've played so far, which one is most similar to you?"
"Probably Tris." —Glamour
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