Four is not your typical good guy. That’s the core of what Theo James had to say to the Los Angeles Times in a recent interview.
HC: What drew you to the role of Four?
TJ: I immediately had an affinity with him. I thought he represented a kind of male character that you don’t see much these days. To me he had an old-school Hollywood vibe. I mean those kind of actors where masculinity isn’t worn by biceps, it’s worn by kind of true identity. You think of Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, they had it in abundance, but they didn’t need to jam it down anyone’s throat. And I felt like he has that, he has this stillness, this quietness, and also, he has quite an arc that he goes on, which is interesting. In the book, he’s a kind of aggressive, closed, dark person, who you know you kind of empathize, but then you’re not really sure of his intentions. But then he begins to open up when he begins to fall in love with this girl, Tris, Shai’s character. And as a result, we understand not only that he’s a bit broken by an abusive father, etc., but he’s also someone motivated by nobility and honor and morality and those kinds of things.
James also talked about his rapid rise to fame and where he sees himself going after the Divergent trilogy.
Hero Complex: I understand that you’re a latecomer to the world of acting?
Theo James: I think it was always kind of around. I was always one of those annoying, performing little shits. To pretend that I just fell into it and was like, “Oh my God, whoopsy daisy!” — people sometimes pretend that, and it annoys me. Everyone’s going to try. It’s not like it just happens. But basically, I was 18, I finished school, I vaguely thought about it, but then I didn’t really know how to get into it. I didn’t know anyone involved in it. I went to university. I went away for a bit and traveled and kind of was at a crossroads post-university, and I thought, maybe this is worth a try. So I went to a drama school. Basically, an ex-girlfriend at the time was auditioning for these drama schools, and she kind of told me about it and how it worked, and it went from there. So I kind of started in 2010.
HC: Where do you see yourself going after the “Divergent” films?
TJ: I think it’s important for me post-this to make really smart choices and do things that are the opposite of this character, because I think it’s easy to get pigeonholed. You’ve got to fight as hard as you can against that, because in terms of the longevity of your career, if you don’t do that, then you won’t be able to do the things that you want to do later.
Check out the full interview here!