During the Insurgent junket in Beverly Hills Friday, the actresses gushed over the way Shailene welcomed them when they arrived on set, with Octavia turning to Shailene, saying, "I just knew I was a part of something special because of how inclusive it was. You were already a well oiled machine and it was like 'hello,' welcoming everyone else with open arms. I felt very wonderfully protected and [Shailene] you were a big part of that, with how you treated everyone."
Naomi also chimed in to give Shailene props, saying, "I have to agree with that. I was new and to arrive late in the process of the filming it does make it a little scary, but I remember when I first met Shailene I was enveloped in these giant hugs and it relaxed me right away."
That theme of support and general women's empowerment was a big one during the junket. In addition to praising Shailene as a person, Octavia also talked about the importance of her character, Tris, onscreen.
"I think that young women, little girls need to see that they don't have to be the damsel in distress or whatever the stereotype is that they go to in their minds," the Oscar winner added. "I think it's important that they see a heroine like Tris and that Shailene in her own life is equally strong."
"I also feel blessed that we also have a female producer who's been really successful," she continued. "The paradigm is shifting in regards of women and what we bring to the industry. I also grew up never knowing there was a glass ceiling, so when people tell me there is, I'm like I don't see one."
Divergent series writer Veronica Roth also gave her take on the importance of strong female characters in the media, saying, "Sometimes people try to diminish the importance of seeing yourself in media and I don't think we should do that...[it's] so important for young people to be exposed, to see themselves reflected in media. It's incredibly important to acknowledge that women are not the niche part of the population – we're over half. It feels insane that it's taken so long for female driven stories, especially action stories."
Tune into our AOL BUILD Live Video Q&A interview with Shailene and Theo James on here on Cambio. Sign up for our newsletter to receive a tune-in reminder!
Insurgent hits theaters March 20.