Sara Vilkomerson
July 12, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Here’s one lesson we can learn from Beatrice ”Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley), the heroine of Divergent: Bravery doesn’t require tights and a cape. ”I like superhero movies, but I like that Tris isn’t a superhero,” says director Neil Burger. ”She takes a beating and then has to figure things out under enormous pressure on all fronts.” Adapted from Veronica Roth’s best-selling YA series, Divergent takes place in a grim future civilization divided into five factions: Candor (the honest), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the smart), Abnegation (the selfless), and Dauntless (the brave). Tris discovers she’s ”divergent,” suited for more than one faction, and must hide her status after aligning with the Dauntless crowd and finding romance with hunky instructor Four (Theo James).

In addition to enduring Dauntless initiation rites like jumping off trains, Tris faces off against a possibly sinister Erudite official played by Kate Winslet. Is acting opposite the Oscar winner akin to leaping from great heights? ”When you’re in a scene with someone who is really, really good, they just make you better,” Woodley says.

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