Shailene Woodley Knew if Theo James Was Uncomfortable at a Glance

Though they were never confirmed, Shailene Woodley and Theo James sparked dating rumors while filming the Divergent movies. The pair portrayed onscreen lovers Beatrice “Tris” Prior and Tobias “Four” Eaton in the films. Thanks to their palpable chemistry, easy rapport, and penchant for joking around, fans wondered if romance was brewing off-screen. But it seems more likely that the duo simply had a good friendship.

Shailene Woodley and Theo James gaze at each other at the Divergent film premiere
‘Divergent’ stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Theo James explained his chemistry with Shailene Woodley

In an interview with Culture Calling, James explained his connection with his fellow Divergent co-star. According to the Sanditon alum, they hit it off right away. However, over time, they were able to deepen that initial connection because they were in close proximity for a few years.

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“Shai and I had good chemistry from the first moment we met,” James explained about Woodley. “I’ve also had the opportunity to see her evolve as a person in a very wonderful way. Our friendship has grown in the same way, and that’s been a good thing since you’re not just spending time on a set together but you’re also spending months promoting the films all over the world together.”

‘The O.C.’ alum could tell if James was uncomfortable with one look

Woodley was quick to echo James’ sentiments when she was promoting Allegiant. She explained that, throughout the years, she got to know the Downton Abbey alum very well. So well, in fact, that she was able to read his mood based on his body language and facial expressions. This, she shared, came in handy when they were filming more intimate scenes with one another that required trust and vulnerability.

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“I can look at Theo and tell when he’s uncomfortable,” Woodley shared about James when speaking to Cinemovie. “He can look at me and tell when I’m uncomfortable with something.  We have each other’s backs so fully, in such a unified way that when it comes to intimacy or uncomfortable situations, we’re both able to make sure they’re comfortable for one another and ourselves.”

Woodley doesn’t like filming movies with an intimacy coordinator

It’s likely for the best that the Big Little Lies alum was able to read James so well. This is especially true since she personally prefers to work without an intimacy coordinator on set. Intimacy coordinators are hired to choreograph intimate scenes and advocate for actors. They are present to ensure that everyone feels safe and that boundaries aren’t crossed. While Woodley respects their purpose, they cause her a bit of discomfort.

“For me, intimacy coaches make me uncomfortable because it feels like another set of eyes that I don’t need,” Woodley revealed to The New York Times. “But I have no problem stopping production when I’m uncomfortable, and I don’t think that’s the case for a lot of people, so I think it’s wonderful that there’s a lifeline that people can lean on to know they’ll be protected.” Clearly, Woodley is comfortable advocating for herself. It’s also nice that she and James were able to look out for one another while filming the Divergent movies.

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