Shailene Woodley, the star of Divergent who plays Edward Snowden's girlfriend in Oliver Stone's forthcoming biopic, has called the controversial whistle-blower a "hero". The 23-year-old actress shares Stone's reverential views on the former NSA contractor and told E!'s Marc Malkin that she respects Snowden for his integrity.

Shailene WoodleyShailene Woodley plays Edward Snowden's girlfriend in Oliver Stone's forthcoming movie

"I define a hero as somebody, who against the judgment of other people, if they believe something will positively impact the world and they choose to do it and honor their integrity, that's what I sort of consider a hero, no matter how big or small a feat they create," she said.

"And in that light, absolutely I think that Edward Snowden is a hero."

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Snowden fled the United States in 2013 after leaking classified information that proved the U.S government had been spying on its own citizen. Snowden was branded a traitor by some and a hero by others. A documentary about Snowden - CitizenFour - won an Academy Award last month.

"You are the epitome of the word selfless," Woodley told Malkin, when asked what message she had for Snowden.

"Your integrity on what you believe was right or wrong or should be public knowledge was more important to you than almost your own comfortability and the life that you had lived for so long.So I would like say thank you to him," she said.

Woodley is currently shooting Stone's move Snowden in Munich with a planned Christmas Day release. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the whistleblower. 

Snowden is currently living as a fugitive in Moscow.

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