Actors Jai Courtney and Miles Teller talk ‘Divergent’

Actors Jai Courtney and Miles Teller recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about their roles in the new action adventure “Divergent.”

In “Divergent,” which opens Friday, March 21, Shailene Woodley plays a young woman who is warned that she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy to destroy all Divergents, she must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous – before it is too late.

Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment’s” full interview with Courtney and Teller by clicking HERE. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which the actors discuss their characters in “Divergent.”

On the page I guess that I thought Peter was a little more one-dimensional – especially when I read the book. I was like, ‘Oh man! This is guy is just mean all of the time. He just says ‘Stiff’ after every sentence. And he is always just kind of like the picking on [Shailene Woodley’s character].’ So, for me, it was nice to just kind of get into that headspace. I mean, the kid is very competitive. He wants to be the best in the program. But he is also very mischievous and conniving. What I learned is that you don’t always have to worry about who likes you. And that is fine sometimes.” – Miles Teller

It doesn’t require much of a transformation for me. I think that you probably have a tendency to try to make your characters as likable as possible – even when you are playing someone who is not supposed to be. So that was probably the challenge; remembering that you are not supposed to be liked. I would often try to just instinctively be a little more charming or something with the character and [director Neil Burger] was always telling me to kind of just make him dead and flat.

Eric is interesting because his attitude may kind of reflect the fact that he is a [jerk] or whatever but in the early part of the training there is a drive there. He wants the initiates to be as fit and as strong as they possibly can be. So he is not there to be a [jerk]. It is just kind of his way. It is his method. I think that is highlighted by the relationship with Four and that kind of dynamic rivalry there. It is fun playing those kinds of stakes – even if you are the guy with the attitude problem. It is always good to kind of get into that. It is a little meatier. I don’t necessarily agree with his approach but I don’t judge him either.” – Jai Courtney

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at

More Posts