Theo James Gives Us a Chemistry Lesson on the Set of ‘Divergent’
"What's up gurrrl?" Theo James says as Shailene Woodley strolls by on the set of "Divergent," his eyebrows going in all directions.
This cheeky flirtation is in stark contrast to the cold, grey buildings surrounding us on the site of Abnegation, the "selfless" faction of the film's futuristic society, in downtown Chicago.
Seeing as he was a virtually unknown actor – well, except for that small but unforgettable turn on "Downton Abbey" – before being cast in the coveted role of Four, the big love interest for Woodley's Tris, it should be a relief for fans to see such chemistry. And the jokes didn't stop there.
Theo James and Shailene Woodley in 'Divergent' (Summit Entertainment)
"I took her out to McDonalds and we had two shakes," he said when we asked if they did anything to build their relationship. After expressing our own shock that they didn't just order one shake with two straws, he added, "We didn't do that – we thought that was too cliché."
Touché. But, according to director Neil Burger, it was James's strength, not his sense of humor, that won him the coveted role.
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"Shai is a really fierce actress and so we needed somebody who was even stronger than her. A lot of times, Shai would push forward and the guys we were auditioning would go back," he said of the audition process. "With Theo, it's like no, no, she steps back. He's just a really strong guy and a really great actor as well."