Attention all you Four fans: here’s an exclusive reveal of Theo James as Tobias “Four” Eaton, the mysterious–and rather dreamy–Dauntless leader that takes a special interest in Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley).
For those of you who haven’t read the Veronica Roth books, Divergent takes place in a dystopian future where all of society is divided into five factions: Amity (peaceful), Abnegation (selfless); Candor (honest, Erudite (intelligent); a nd Dauntless (brave). Our heroine, sixteen-year-old Tris, chooses the Dauntless faction.
EW caught up with Theo James while he was on a break from shooting Divergent in Chicago where the production will continue until mid-July. ”Is this the picture where I have a t-shirt on and no pants? I was really hoping they’d use that one,” James jokes, before explaining that this picture (note: he is wearing pants) captures a moment from early in the film when Four is showing the Dauntless initiates around their new headquarters. “I’ve introduced them to this world and they’re still in the beginning stages of training,” he says. “At this stage you don’t really know what Four is all about.”
James got a taste for leadership when much of the cast participated in a kind of boot camp before filming. James was even given the opportunity to take charge of the Dauntless training, leading the 50 or so actors that make up the core group of background Dauntless characters. “They didn’t know he was playing Four, they thought he was our stunt coordinator,” says director Neil Burger, with a laugh. “He put them through it.”
Says James, “I know it sounds ridiculous but it was really quite useful: it helped set a tone for those scenes, being able to live the character a bit. At one point, Shailene was laughing and I got real serious with her and said”—the actor lowers his voice to a menacing whisper—”Don’t. Laugh.” He laughs. “Shai was like, ‘um, are you joking right now?’”