Directed by Gregg Araki, White Bird in a Blizzard centers on Kat Connors (Shailene Woodley), a 17-year-old whose mother Eve (Eva Green) disappears from the family. After returning home on a break from college, Kat is confronted with the reality of her mother’s disappearance.
Along with the chance to collaborate with director Gregg Araki (Mysterious Skin, The Doom Generation), Woodley also had the chance to play an emotionally complex character. “(Kat is) extremely mature and strong and confident in a way you don’t often see in coming of age films,” says Woodley, whose previous credits include The Spectacular Now and Divergent. “Part of that lends itself to the fact that her parents weren’t emotionally available for her when she was a child and so she had to age herself quickly and realize for her own survival she had to be her own parent.”
During the White Bird in a Blizzard press conference, Shailene Woodley said the screenplay is the main criteria on how she selects her films: “It’s sort of an instinctual decision when I read a script – I either get butterflies or I don’t.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Shailene Woodley give her full answer on why the old Hollywood adage of “story first” definitely rings true:
Based on the Laura Kasischke novel, White Bird in a Blizzard is now available On Demand and opens in select theaters October 24.
Getting a job in show business is an arduous task, and actually staying involved in the industry takes a ton of hard work and dedication. Tony Goldwyn’s breakout performance in Ghostmay have been an initial boon to his career, but after playing villain after villain would have made for a one-dimensional resume. Although most people these days know Goldwyn for his work on the runaway hit ABC series Scandal, the actor is also a successful TV and film director (he helmed the acclaimed 2010 drama Conviction).
“I think we all can relate to the idea of being pigeonholed as one thing,” said Goldwyn, who can currently be seen in the new film Divergent. “We struggle in life to be seen, to be known, and to connect with other people. We’re all multi-faceted, so the notion of being one thing – we just naturally chafe against. Certainly in our industry, I’ve experienced having commercial success in one kind of a character and for years that’s what you do and you spend a lot of energy trying to branch out or break away. The most satisfaction (I’ve had) in my career, and the reason why I’m still around, is because I’ve constantly mixed that up.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Tony Goldwyn talk about breaking the chains of being pigeonholed. Co-star Ansel Elgort, who will also be seen later this year in The Fault in our Stars, also chimes in why he loved taking part in Divergent:
Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet,Divergent is now playing nationwide.
Even though Veronica Roth has achieved success as a writer at an early stage, she understands that having a controlling hold over one’s work, especially with a novel as prodigious as Divergent, is really not in the cards. So instead of getting neurotic and overly possessive of one’s material, why not shepherd the process through the right channels?
“From the second the book hits the shelves, it stops belonging to the person who wrote it and it starts belonging to the people who read it,” said Roth, who’s very happy with the film’s outcome. “So I was pretty well practiced in letting it go a little bit which I think is a good thing. There’s no way that they can be exact replicas of each other. They’re different mediums and they should communicate in different ways. My anxieties were very much assuaged by the people I chose to hand it over to.”
The narrative, set in a dystopian Chicago, centers on 16-year-old Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) who, along with her fellow teenagers, must choose which faction she will belong to for the rest of her life. To keep the peace in society, individuals must place their own factions (they are broken down into Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite) above their families. When one tests for being a “divergent,” meaning a person who can easily blend into all of these categories, they are immediately deemed a threat to the current, law-abiding environment.
In the clip below, Veronica Roth talked about why she chose sixteen as the required age to choose one’s faction in Divergent:
Even if the film is a huge success, don’t expect Roth to turn into a screenwriter anytime soon. “Writing is what I love to do,” she adds. “I don’t make movies. It’s been wonderful to be a part of this, but at my core I”m just somebody who wants to write novels.”
Starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, Divergent is now playing nationwide.
Theo James, along with the rest of the Divergentcrew, has been doing their share of press these days, and the British actor received his share of YouTube notoriety (and we mean that in a good way) earlier this week by swallowing a raw egg on the Late Show with David Letterman. Since Sylvester Stallone and Letterman each downed two eggs earlier in the evening, the affable James was more than ready to follow suit.
It’s these type of appearances, but most importantly his much talked about role as Four in Divergent, which should see a huge uptick in James’ promising career. Displaying an easy charm that’s matched with a rugged sensibility, the actor is definite leading man material.
During a recent press conference held in Los Angeles, the actor, whose previous film credits include You Will Meet A Tall Dark Strangerand Underworld: Awakening, talked about making smart choices with his future roles now that Divergent is on his resume.
“I don’t think I’ve experienced it too much to be honest at the moment,” said James, who also headlined the CBS series GoldenBoy. “The press tour we just did was interesting because suddenly we saw some of the fandom, but I don’t think perceptions of me has changed massively.”
“I think it will be important for me as I go on, because there are potentially three films, to make choices that are, as much as I love the character, to make smart choices that are different from him and the world that he everyone else in the film inhabits.”
In the following audio clip, Theo James talks about what makes Four a unique, masculine protagonist (he mentions Paul Newman in his response).
Divergent, co-starring Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now), opens March 21.
If you haven’t seen the egg swallow sequence on Letterman, check out the video below:
With Divergentopening March 21 and The Fault in Our Starsslated for June 6, Shailene Woodley’s career will continue to gain momentum. Already the recipient of accolades from The Descendantsand The SpectacularNow, Woodley has also carved out a solid fan base thanks to her run on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of an American Teenager.
During today’s Divergent press conference, a convivial Woodley answered reporters’ questions with refreshing candor, as she talked about how she found a personal connection with Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior, the film’s resolute and courageous protagonist. One of the story’s themes is finding the courage to follow one’s own path and identity in a world that can all be too homogenous in its thinking, and going along with the crowd is a trait that Woodley thankfully doesn’t possess.
“That’s how I relate to her, as well as just being a very strong, empowered woman.” said Woodley, who cites compassion and empathy as two qualities she learned at an early age from her parents. “I feel very strong, and I live my life with a lot of integrity based on what I want from my life and who I am. And I think Tris is similar.”
In the clip below, Woodley elaborates on how she and Tris share some of the same characteristics.