Theo James and Shailene Woodley Excited To Reunite For ‘Insurgent’
Theo James and Shailene Woodley scored a hit with last year’s adaptation of Veronica Roth’s YA novel, “Divergent,” and the co-stars are very excited about the sequel, “Insurgent,” which hits theatres on March 20th. The first film spent a lot of time setting up the dystopian society created by Roth. This time around, Tris and Four are on the run and looking for allies against Jeanine Matthews and the Erudite.
Shailene Woodley, who plays heroine Tris Prior, enjoyed reuniting with Theo, “I feel so lucky that Theo and I get to work together. He’s such a class act. We both have similar rhythms and ways of approaching the work. You become a family during filming and then you disperse. But in a franchise, you get to come back and have the comfort of the tribe once again.” Theo James, who plays Tobias aka Four, is impressed with his talented co-star, “It’s great to be back with Shai, because she’s fun to work with and she’s also a great actress. It’s fun for us to discover different things together about the characters, and different places that we want to take their unconventional relationship. They are two damaged people who are trying to struggle through a war, which makes it richer and more enticing.”
Theo also talks about how his character has evolved for the second installment in the franchise. “He can be more open, and he’s fallen in love with Tris,” explains the British actor. “His mother, who for years he had presumed was dead, is introduced into the story. She’s going to try and coerce him into joining her as a leader of the resistance. This movie is about his mission to protect Tris and the broader society, and mixed into that are his own personal demons.” The beautiful Naomi Watts joined the cast as Evelyn, Four’s mother.
The series has added some amazing talent to the cast including Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer. “Octavia Spencer was awesome and ingenious,” he says, “and brought to Johanna this sense of gravitas that she naturally has.” And it seems the warm feelings are mutual! “Theo is a very different person from Four,” Octavia explains, “He is gregarious, funny, and really off the cuff and quick. Four is very reserved and guarded and that serves him when he needs to be lethal. But when we see that window into his soul, the way Four is with Tris, we get to see just a little bit of who Theo actually is.”
The sequel has a new director as Neil Burger left the project, reportedly due to issues with the challenging schedule of the franchise. Robert Schwentke (RIPD) took on directing the young cast and Theo explains why change is good, “As much as we loved working with Neil Burger, it’s nice to have a new perspective that injects the project with a different flavor. Robert’s quite emotional, which is good because he’s great at carrying on the narrative’s character through lines within the action in ‘The Divergent Series: Insurgent.’ With all the fun and the gloss of an adventure movie, character is important because there are places they’re going to go. Robert has done that really well, not only for Shai and me, but for Miles’ and Ansel’s characters as well.”