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Shailene Woodley Convinced by Jennifer Lawrence to Star in 'Divergent'

March 7, 2014, 2:51 pm GMT

Lionsgate motion picture group co-president Erik Feig put her on top of the list of wanted actress for the role but it was Lawrence who assured her.

Shailene Woodley

Shailene Woodley wouldn't star in "Divergent" if it weren't because of Jennifer Lawrence. The 22-year-old actress revealed in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter magazine that the "The Hunger Games" star was the one who convinced her to take the role in the upcoming film franchise.

"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," Woodley, who took the lead role on ABC Family's "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" for five seasons, said. "[Even] if you don't find something creatively stimulating anymore, you've still got to do it legally." Woodley made her feature film debut in 2011's "The Descendants".

To assure herself, Woodley sent a series of emails to Lawrence. " '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,' " Lawrence said according to Woodley.

She was initially hesitant although she was the top pick for the role of Beatrice Prior. "I don't know what happened, but I do know that after that interaction, Shailene said, 'OK, now I'll make Divergent. Let's talk,' " Lionsgate motion picture group co-president Erik Feig said.

"Divergent", which is the first of a planned trilogy, will be released in U.S. theaters on March 21.

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