Though part of the strength of "Divergent" is that it's much more than just a love story, the big-screen version of suburban-Chicago-raised Veronica Roth's massive novel simply wouldn't work with underwhelming leads. So 100 gold stars for the casting director who selected the exceptional Shailene Woodley and Theo James to play Tris and Four, the newbie and her trainer in Dauntless -- one of five factions in a dystopian, futuristic Chicago where complex people are seen as a threat.

Woodley, who was snubbed for an Oscar for "The Descendants," notes how filming in sequence helped the pair progress. "Our chemistry just kept building as it went on because we got to know each other as people," the 22-year-old said at the Peninsula Hotel. "And we got to begin to trust one another on a personal level which lent to the characters."

Adds James, the 29-year-old relatively unknown Brit who won't stay that way for long, "That was really lucky."

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