Divergent Cast Q&A: Theo James and Shailene Woodley


This evening, Theo James and Shailene Woodley, stars of the upcoming Divergent, were joined by director Neil Burger at the Apple Store in London for a cast Q&A.

Shailene seemed a bit on edge and hesitant at first but she lost that after like 5 minutes and become the warm and friendly girl I imagined her to be. She is extremely articulate too. Theo looked gorgeous as can be expected but he was so nice and charming. I think his British sense of humour helped endear him to the audience but I was really surprised by how happy he seemed, especially as I know both leads had been doing press interviews all day.


Here are some interesting facts about the film that I learned:

– The scene were they jump off the train is real (although the height is a CGI effect) and they had to do multiple takes. One stage Shailene fell off the train and she hurt herself so bad that they wanted to take her to hospital to check for suspected concussion. Ever the hard nut, she insisted she was fine and just continued shooting.

– Neil and his team had serious difficult finding the actor for Four because they couldn’t find anyone strong enough to dominate ‘Shai’, who is a tough cookie. They were fully in production mode, making sets etc when they finally found Theo.

– Before the film began shooting, the Dauntless crew, about 60-70 people in total, had to undertake bootcamp. A few times, Theo ran the bootcamps as his character Theo, barking orders at people like he would in the movie. He said he loved it because it established his role within the faction before shooting had begun. His method acting didn’t go down so well with Shai when he demanded she do 20 push-ups. She refused, thinking he wasn’t being serious, but he shouted at her to do it again and she stopped laughing. By this point, she realised he wasn’t going to drop out of character and had to do the push-ups in front of the whole Dauntless cast.


– The zip wire scene where it looks like Tris is ‘flying’ through the skyline was done primarily in a studio. A small section was filmed on location in Chicago. Shai was in the studio with a green screen, strapped in the sling with a massive fan blowing at her face and Neil shouting cues like ‘react to your left’.

– The scene where Four and Tris first kiss was the hardest for both of them to get right as they didn’t want to go down the cliched route and it was difficult to maintain the emotion when he was showing her his tattoos on his back. They filmed it twice and several weeks later, bosses came back and told them they didn’t like it so it was re-written and re-shot.

– The final cut of the film was only ready by the start of March – three weeks before its U.S. opening. Neil was set to return to the sequel but got so bogged down with shooting additional scenes and editing that he couldn’t fit in the pre-production for it, so sadly Neil will not be back for the second one which begins shooting in the summer.


  1. […] pair did the same event last year (read about it here) and that was probably more exciting as they were more enthusiastic and fun. That’s not to […]

  2. […] it odd. I was hoping for another Apple Store Q&A because they were good fun (you can see recaps here and here). I liked the books a lot, I like the film series enough but I feel it has already run out […]

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