Shailene Woodley Didn’t Know She Had ‘Crazy Chemistry’ With Theo James Until She Saw ‘Divergent’

Shailene Woodley has had plenty of on-screen romances throughout her multi-decade career. However, her chemistry with Theo James was particularly palpable. The pair portrayed on-screen lovers Beatrice “Tris” Prior and Tobias “Four” Eaton in the three Divergent movies. And because they had such an easy rapport with one another, some fans even believed they were secretly dating in real life.

Divergent stars Theo James and Shailene Woodley laugh at the AOL Build Speaker Series
Theo James and Shailene Woodley | Jenny Anderson/FilmMagic

Theo James and Shailene Woodley had palpable chemistry in ‘Divergent’

James and Woodley inadvertently fueled romance rumors quite a few times. The pair often joked about “rehearsing” their more intimate scenes in their trailers. They even made their fair share of sexual innuendos about each other. However, the root of their chemistry seems to be built on mutual respect and trust rather than an actual romantic connection. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Woodley explained her chemistry with the Downton Abbey alum.

RELATED: Theo James Caused His ‘Divergent’ Co-Star to Get 25 Face Stitches

“Theo is in it for the right reasons,” Woodley shared about James’ interest in being an actor. “He’s not in it for the glamour, the toys, or the excess, and neither am I, so we respect each other on that level. And we’re good teammates and have each other’s backs, and I think a lot of our chemistry stems from that.”

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ star didn’t realize she had intense chemistry with the ‘Sanditon’ actor

Woodley may know the root of her chemistry with James, but it took her a while to realize that they had intense chemistry. According to the Big Little Lies actor, she was all but oblivious to her connection with James. While it was crystal clear to those watching them, it took quite a while for her to see it for herself.

RELATED: Theo James and Shailene Woodley Fought to Reshoot that ‘Divergent’ Kiss Scene

“With Theo, I think everyone knew,” Woodley revealed about how James got cast in Divergent. “When we were filming, everyone said, ‘You and Theo have such crazy chemistry,’ but I didn’t realize it until I saw the movie.” After seeing the film, Woodley couldn’t deny that she and James had a very natural connection that really served the story they were trying to tell.

Woodley explains why James was cast as Four in ‘Divergent’

Woodley may not have realized that she and James shared chemistry right away. However, the Endings, Beginnings star revealed that she knew that the Sanditon alum was the right person to play Four immediately. According to Woodley, James came in with a unique energy that other actors vying for the role lacked.

RELATED: Theo James Called One of His ‘Divergent’ Co-Stars ‘A Bit of a Babe’

“We auditioned a lot of guys, and a lot of these actors were playing male, masculine leaders,” Woodley shared. “Even if they were good, they were still acting it. Theo walked in and just demanded it with his presence. Theo is smart as a whip—he majored in philosophy and traveled the world before he even became an actor—so he’s had a full life before the industry, and he didn’t feel like he had to prove his masculinity.”

Clearly, James was the right person to bring Four to life. It’s too bad the final movie got scrapped and he and Woodley couldn’t complete their Divergent journey together.

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