Divergent star Theo James is more than ready for his close-up. The 29-year-old has been acting for years and if the blockbuster book series becomes a blockbuster movie series, the UK actor has a good head on his shoulders and is ready for fandemonium.
We saw it already walking into the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills to talk to James. There were fans lined up outside screaming his name, simply because he popped his head out.
James portrays Four, the leader of the Dauntless faction and one who mentors -- and romances -- Shailene Woodley as Tris. James immediately found a kinship with his character from the pages of the book and the script.
“I love this person who you don’t really know what he’s thinking. He’s the type of person that walks into a room and doesn’t need to be the loudest voice but you still feel his presence. He doesn’t speak too much, but you know that he’s thinking all the time,” James said.
“He’s a very perceptive person and he has a dangerous stillness. I love masculine characters who don’t have to be shouting in someone’s face, or wielding their masculinity in a way that’s jamming it down someone’s throat.”
The actor was also drawn to how the two love interests intermingle throughout the pervasive action in Divergent that director Neil Burger has immaculately executed in his film. Tris is clearly drawn to him… but also kind of put off.
“She is fascinated by him but doesn’t understand his motivations. He seems to be very cold, momentarily hot. He sees in her something unique and dynamic,” James said.
“It’s an interesting relationship because it’s not based on lots of swooning. It’s based on two people who respect each other. He really respects her and sees that she is completely selfless and strong.”
The two do eventually kiss, as seen in this Divergent trailer. James, kidding we think -- but maybe not -- insisted on working at it repeatedly with Woodley.
“I wanted to practice the kissing scene with Shai as much as possible,” he said and smiled.
“I’d say, ‘Listen, after dinner we could just go over that scene again.’ The kissing scene with Shai and I, we wanted that to be as good as possible. Because it’s the only scene where they get together and we wanted it to be real and not just be lots of cheese. So, we shot that a second time because the first time it didn’t feel right. We wanted to honor it in the way that it earned. It’s quite a functional, tough, intricate relationship.”