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posted: 3/22/2014 5:30 AM

'Divergent' star Shailene Woodley hugs it out

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  • Actors Theo James, left, and Shailene Woodley promote the movie "Divergent" in Toronto. They star in the anticipated first film in the young adult trilogy by author Veronica Roth, a native of Barrington.

      Actors Theo James, left, and Shailene Woodley promote the movie "Divergent" in Toronto. They star in the anticipated first film in the young adult trilogy by author Veronica Roth, a native of Barrington.
    Associated Press/The Canadian Press

 
By Nicole Evatt
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Shailene Woodley is known for her hugs. The 22-year-old "Divergent" star gives hearty embraces -- often more than one -- to everyone she meets.

"It's very disarming" said co-star Theo James in a recent interview. "She (first) hugged me at our test. Yeah, she's a big hugger."

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It's not just her co-stars who feel the love. Woodley also hugs nearly every journalist she meets during interviews or on a red carpet.

Woodley and James star in the anticipated first film adaptation of the young adult trilogy by author Veronica Roth. "Divergent" follows 16-year-old Tris (Woodley) as she finds her place in a future dystopian society where people are separated into groups based on their virtues.

Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn play Tris' parents in the film out March 21.

Judd said she and Woodley have their own special, two-sided squeeze so they "both get heart."

"It was about 6 o'clock in the morning on my first day of work," recalled Goldwyn of his first Woodley hug. "We were driving over together and she leapt out and gave me a long hug. I was like 'wow.'"

Unfortunately for "Divergent" actor Ansel Elgort, his first encounter did not go as well.

"My first Shailene hug was when I met her for the audition and I was taken by surprise," Elgort said. "I thought maybe she knew me or something or I don't know and I didn't really hug her back really. I was like 'oh hey' and gave her a couple pats and said 'it was nice to meet you.' And to this day she tells me that she wasn't sure she's going to like me or not because I didn't hug her back. She thought I might not be a real grounded person."

Was Elgort able to make amends?

"Yeah, now when I see her I make sure every time to give her a very long truthful hug," he said.

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