Shailene Woodley and Theo James’ Chemistry Made the ‘Divergent’ Author Fan Herself

Before Divergent was a blockbuster movie, it was an eponymous book written by Veronica Roth. The bestselling novel follows protagonist Beatrice “Tris” Prior as she attempts to navigate her dystopian society. Due to the success of the book, Lionsgate Films adapted it into a film. Shailene Woodly won the role of Tris. Meanwhile, Theo James (who was relatively unknown at the time) was cast as the deuteragonist, Tobias “Four” Eaton.

“Divergent” features Shailene Woodley and Theo James

Tris and Four Are Much Older in the ‘Divergent’ Movies Compared to the Books

Naturally, there were some differences between the characters Roth imagined and the actors chosen to portray them. One of the biggest differences from the book was the age gap between Tris and Four. In the books, there was only a two-year gap between the characters. Meanwhile, Woodley and James are seven years apart in real life. For this reason, Tris and Four were older in the Divergent film.

‘Divergent’ Author Veronica Roth Speaks Candidly About Shailene Woodley and Theo James’ Chemistry

But how did Roth react to this change? In an interview with Hypable, she revealed she was “definitely concerned” about the age gap between Woodley and James when she first learned of it. However, after seeing them interact, she knew everything would be fine. “Seeing them all together, they definitely look younger than you think,” said the Divergent shared author. “I’m really happy with the maturity of the actors.”

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Another thing Roth was pleased with was the chemistry between Woodley and James. She admitted that she had quite an intense reaction to seeing them together on screen. “When I saw the screen test, I walked away and left like this… [fans herself]“, shared Roth about seeing the first images of Divergent. “That was really good! There’s a reason they threw [Theo].”

Woodley didn’t realize she and James had intense chemistry until she watched the movie

Of course, Roth wasn’t the only one impressed by the chemistry between the Divergent tracks. Woodley herself said she was pretty oblivious to the electricity between her and James until she saw the film. “When we were filming, everyone was like, ‘You and Theo have such crazy chemistry’, but I didn’t realize that until I saw the movie,” he added. big little lies alum revealed in a chat with The Daily Beast.

RELATED: Theo James on Shailene Woodley: ‘Luckily She’s Not a Douchebag’

James felt connected to Woodley from day one

For his part, James was always aware of the chemistry that existed between him and his Divergent co-starred. “Shai and I had great chemistry from the first moment we met,” said the sandit alum explained to Culture Calling. “I also had the opportunity to see her evolve as a person in a very wonderful way. Our friendship has grown the same way, and that’s a good thing since you’re not only spending time on set together, but you’re also spending months promoting movies all over the world together.

Clearly, Woodley and James’ connection was enough to make even Roth swoon. It is no wonder that most Divergent fans also appreciated the chemistry between the on-screen couple.

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Lola R. McClure