I had the amazing opportunity to cover the Divergent Tour Stop in Chicago this past Tuesday! Check out videos of exclusive red carpet interviews with Veronica Roth, Theo James, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Amy Newbold, where we discuss how they feel about being back in Chicago to premiere Divergent, some of the challenges they faced in their roles, and whether or not they think they’d survive the Dauntless initiation!
As you can imagine, it was pretty loud on the red carpet, but we’ve added a transcript at the bottom of each interview to help you follow along (make sure to watch the videos in 1080pHD)!
TrisAndFour.com: How are you? How are you feeling?
Veronica: Pretty excited!
TrisAndFour.com: Back in Chicago, Chicago’s birthday, the Chicago premiere of Divergent?
Veronica: It’s Chicago’s birthday?
TrisAndFour.com: It is, 177, I think.
Veronica: I should have gotten Chicago a present.
TrisAndFour.com: Well, you sort of did, right?
Veronica: Well, it’s funny you said that.
TrisAndFour.com: Are you excited to be back home?
Veronica: Yeah, I am. (Reacting to screaming in background) Oh my god, this crazy. Yeah, it’s really amazing, and you know, it’s a little overwhelming. This is a lot people, but that’s a good sign. Yeah, and I hope everybody likes it.
TrisAndFour.com: So, we saw that you have a cameo.
Veronica: I do, yeah, really brief. You’ll miss it if you’re not looking for it.
TrisAndFour.com: We will be looking! But you, yourself, Veronica, do you think you’d be able to survive a Dauntless initiations?
Veronica: No, no, I would die…almost immediately. I don’t think…I couldn’t get on the train. I mean, I would be like that guy, that Amity boy, still running.
TrisAndFour.com: So, why Chicago? Why not a fictional city as the background, the setting, of this amazing novel?
Veronica: Well, originally…(Reacting to screaming in the background) Sorry, this is going to keep happening. Originally, it was not really set in a specific place, and I felt it kind of suffered for that because I wanted it to feel grounded in reality. Plus, I had all these trains, this marsh and stuff, and I was like I set it in Chicago without really realizing it. So, it felt really natural. And Chicago is my favorite place.
TrisAndFour.com: Congratulations on everything.
Theo: Thank you…
TrisAndFour.com: How does it feel to be in Chicago on Chicago’s birthday for the Chicago premiere of Divergent?
Theo: It feels very, very good. We missed it, you know. It’s nice, we flew in, city was looking beautiful, Lake Michigan was frozen over, the snow…it was really nice.
TrisAndFour.com: Well, you brought the sun with you!
Theo: Yeah, yeah..well..yeah. It feels really good, we had a great time here, so it’s nice to be back, yeah.
TrisAndFour.com: So a question I’ve been asking and I really want to know from you because your character and you, of course, are this manly man, would you, yourself, Theo, survive the Dauntless initiation?
Theo: I hope so, otherwise I’m kind of screwed! Yeah, I wonder, I wonder, it’s pretty hard, isn’t it? But yeah, I’d like to back myself. Yeah.
Shailene: Hi guys! How are you?
TrisAndFour.com: Doing well, how are you?
Shailene: Very good!
TrisAndFour.com: So how does it feel to be back in Chicago on Chicago’s birthday for the Chicago premiere of Divergent?
Shailene: It’s exciting. I mean, this is where we filmed, so it’s been wonderful to see it come to fruition and kind of full-circle.
TrisAndFour.com: What would you say was the most challenging part of being Tris?
Shailene: …Challenging part of being Tris…I mean Tris struggles between being selfless and being brave, right. So sort of finding that line and that balance of ‘is she a fighter in this scene’, or is she still sort of submissive and calm and passive because that’s the way she was brought up in Abnegation. So it was her struggle in the overall storyline.
Ansel: It’s good to meet you too.
TrisAndFour.com: How are you doing? You’re in Chicago, Chicago’s birthday, Chicago premiere of Divergent?
Ansel: Pretty good…yeah.
TrisAndFour.com: So what would you say was the most challenging part of being Caleb, of playing this role?
Ansel: You know, Caleb is not a one-noted character, to say the least. There’s a lot of things going on in his head. And as an actor, you know, it’s something that, you know, definitely has it’s difficulties, but it’s what, it’s what we want in a character. Yeah, you want someone who is complex and has an arc, you know has an emotional arc.
TrisAndFour.com: So it sounds like that’s also what you enjoyed the most about the role was the complexity.
Ansel: Totally. Totally, yeah, but it’s also hard…you have to…also, you know—spoiler alert, by the way—both of Caleb’s parents die in the first story. So to have to do the first movie where a lot of the movie for me is like me realizing that my parents have just died and then dealing with that. That was really tough…yeah, it’s emotional.
TrisAndFour.com: So one last question: your character is not in Dauntless, but you, yourself, Ansel, would you survive the Dauntless initiation?
Ansel: Yeah. (SLY SMILE)
TrisAndFour.com: You’re pretty certain! Well, I believe you!
TrisAndFour.com: What was the most challenging part of playing Molly?
Amy: The most challenging part was probably getting over the fear of like actually stepping on-set because I’ve never done this before. So the first day I walked in…the first two days of filming we did my fights, which was like ‘really guys?! That’s crazy!’ So much pressure. So the first day I walked in, I was like ‘what am I doing here?’ But once I got past that, it was just so much fun.
TrisAndFour.com: What would you say you enjoyed the most?
Amy: The fights. Absolutely. I love fighting, which was a huge surprise and also kind of weird, but I loved it.
TrisAndFour.com: And given that you love fighting, and Dauntless is all about the fighting, if you, yourself had to do the Dauntless initiation, do you think you’d survive it?
Amy: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Physically for sure…even just like, honestly, I have a huge advantage, I’m like a foot taller than most people, but yeah, I mean maybe not…once it gets to the fear landscape business, it gets a little tricky. But yeah, I could do it!
More exclusive photos from the event are on the way!