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The most comprehensive source for everything DIVERGENT.

#Divergent Fansite Set-Visit: Theo James Interview (Part 1)


Chicago Set Visit Report- Theo James Part One


Out of all of the interviews that we took part in during out whirlwind trip to Chicago in May 2013, the prospect of meeting Theo James was probably the most daunting, if you pardon our word choice. I mean, this is Four we’re talking about here.

We interviewed Theo James on our second day on the set. We had interviewed the bulk of the cast the previous day but we still had Theo James and Jai Courtney to meet. Our fan site group would be heading straight to O’Hare after our interviews with Theo so there was a lot of excitement and anticipation when we arrived that morning. While our other cast interviews took place in the huge Pit set, we were ushered over to the area that housed all of the cast member’s trailers. Rows of fold out tables were also in this area, which served as the cafeteria for the cast and crew on their meal breaks. Since our group would be joining the “non-Divergent” specific group (including sites like our friends at Hypable and Page to Premiere), we needed a larger space.

We ended waiting for him for quite a long time since he was in the middle of shooting scenes. While we waited we spotted several other cast members walking by on the way to their trailers including Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Zoe Kravitz, Shailene Woodley (in Dauntless gear, raven tattoos exposed), Miles Teller, and several others. Ben Lloyd-Hughes actually walked over with a sandwich and sat down with us for a few minutes just to chat. (How sweet is that?)

Many members of the group were engaged in conversations with each other as I glanced around the large warehouse we were in, mainly in disbelief that I was actually there. I was also feeling a little nervous since I came bearing gifts for the cast members, including Theo. Meg made some fantastic bracelets to give out and I had set aside one that read “Focus” on it, since I thought it went well with the character Four. And since gift-giving means actually speaking to the man himself, I was internally panicking a bit.

After what felt like an eternity, out of the corner of my eye I saw a tall figure walking in wearing all black- a Dauntless costume. It was Theo James and I think my heart stopped for a moment. No judging…any of you fangirls would have done the same thing. He walked first to the craft services table and grabbed a piece of fruit, which would later become internet famous, and made his way to our table.


After greeting us, we got down to business with the interview since we only had a limited amount of time with him. Theo definitely has an awkward sense of humor that is equally parts dorky and hilarious, something that just makes him all the more swoony.

A bit of a warning: Theo curses several times throughout the interview, something that oddly enough adds to his charm.


What have you been filming recently?

We just did the scene – it’s a brief scene – but Four gives them a little pep talk after Christina’s been hung over the side of the chasm, you know, when Eric tests her and stuff. He isn’t there for it, but he kind of justifies why they’re there. I think with Four, he, in many ways – especially with the movie, because you have less of a chance for exposition – he in a way is the… Not exactly the moral voice, but, you know, he believes in the ideals of Dauntless in a way, or at least he believes in the ideals of the factions, and he believes in conquering fear and those kinds of things. So, in a way, he is the voice of that sometimes – kind of what’s behind the concept. Neil said, when we started doing it, he said one thing is really important – and I didn’t think about this, but when he said it, I think it is really important – that at the beginning of the movie, you need to set up a world that is functional in a way that you believe it exists for a reason, whatever happened before, you know the war or whatever. But you believe that it functions and it is a viable alternative, rather than a place where people might go, “What the fuck? Why would you join this faction only to be treated like shit?” There needs to be a higher ideal. Otherwise, then, you know, what are they doing; why are they there? So yeah, we just did that scene, so we’re on the train and we’re going to the fence to check out the perimeter.


I hear you’re into martial arts. Are you bringing any of your own moves to [Theo’s fight]?

That sounds quite sexy – my own moves. Well, my background is actually boxing: I did that at college, so ever since, really… So, yes, in terms of… I mean, J.J. and Garrett, they’re great, and what we’ve been doing. What I like with him – what they’ve developed, and kind of what we developed together – is he’s very efficient, so it’s kind of a mix. It’s a kind of new style of fighting, but with him particularly, it’s quite aggressive, so it’s a bit of kind of Bourne/some Muay Thai with elbows. He’s not doing flourishy, crazy kicks; he’s efficient. There’s a great move at one point where someone goes to punch me in the head and I use my head to deflect his hand, if that makes sense. It kind of reflects that he’s efficient and aggressive, because if someone punches you in the head and you headbutt them back, then they’re like, “Whoa. I don’t want to fuck with this guy.” I do that regularly as well, when I’m on night outs, but, you know, I kiss people’s fists. So yeah, that’s his kind of style.


Did you read the short story “Free Four”, and if so, did you use it?

No, I didn’t. The reason was, I suppose, I read the first two books, and then I stopped myself from reading anything else, because I thought – especially in the first movie – I wanted the information to be able to flesh out him and to be there and in the moment and have everything going through osmosis in his story and his history and his background and all the demons that he has and the secrets that he’s keeping. I didn’t want to be too influenced by too much other material, because obviously I want to have my own take and bring my own things to the table. So I kind of made an active choice not to, but after this one is done, I probably will check them out – the Four stories – because they could be useful. I wrote one myself, actually: it’s called “Four Enters the Dragon.”


Can you tell us what would be in your fear landscape?

That’s a good question. Awkward sex. No, uh, my fear landscape would be… What would be yours?

Mine? Failure and falling.

Yeah, that’s a good one. You’re Two, yeah. She’s so formidable.

There’s more. They’d come out in the landscape.

Yeah, they’re just really weird ones, right? Um, what would mine be? I don’t have any fears. No, I’m kidding. I think mine would be a mixture of, I suppose… I don’t mind jumping off stuff so much, but climbing up, so maybe… I used to have this reoccurring dream where I was constantly climbing a set of vertical stairs, and I think that’s from when I was a kid. I think I fell back off some stairs and like fucked up my head. So that would be one. Bananas would be another; I hate bananas. What else? Losing, you know, death of family. Maybe drowning. Oh, getting torn apart by a great white shark; that’d probably be in there.


What faction would you choose?

I actually believe, in the same way to Four, I think that all of them, because I think that it’s impossible to be genuine. You were looking for something sexier? I would be, just Dauntless, yeah.


At this point, Theo was called back over to the other side of the studio to resume filming but we didn’t know if we would get another interview with him, so I hurriedly spoke up in a timid voice to hand him our site’s gift to him. I expected a simple thank you, but Theo was so gracious about the whole thing. I’m sure he was just being kind but he even said in an excited tone, “maybe I can wear this!”

As in, he wanted to wear it in the movie.

*cue all the swoons*

So, off he went to make some more movie magic, accidentally leaving his half-eaten pear behind. Still on a high from being in the presence of Theo, we began to joke about taking the pear. That escalated to asking the Summit folks if we could get by with taking a picture of the pear (we weren’t allowed to take any photos or videos). I think they were a bit confused and maybe even worried for our sanity but we got the okay, thus the #TheosPear trend on Twitter.

Stay tuned later this week for part two of our interview with Theo, including the hilarious moment with him involving the pear.


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