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From the very moment audiences meet Theo James’ Four in the upcoming adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent, it’s pretty clear that there is more to the character than meets the eye. Sure, he’s as tough and distant as one would expect a soldier to be, but he’s also clearly a character with an interesting past and more than few secrets. Approaching this type of material can be a real challenge for an actor – who has to determine exactly how much of the character is defined by his past – so naturally it was the first thing I wanted to ask James about when I got the chance to sit down with him at a recent press day for the new sci-fi film held in Los Angeles earlier this month.
In the film, James stars as Four, a member of the Dauntless faction that helps maintain security in the futuristic Chicago in the story. He is one of the instructors who both helps train the new recruits what it means to become Dauntless, and push them to the limit to see whether or not they can take it. Tris (Shailene Woodley) – the protagonist of the story and one of the aforementioned recruits – clearly has a strong connection with him, but that relationship is strained by the fact that Four is very standoffish and unwilling to trust anybody. As the plot develops, however, the two begin to grow closer and closer, until Four is just about ready to reveal personal demons that he has been hiding for his entire life.
James has spent most of his career working on the small screen, making his debut alongside Doctor Who’s Billie Piper on the 2010 UK series A Passionate Woman, but has been slowly getting more feature work, with Divergent being his biggest film to date. Take a look back at some of the titles in his past filmography – which actually includes a bit of work with Woody Allen – below:
Divergent arrives in theaters this Friday, and you can watch my interview with star Shailene Woodley HERE.