Theo James Dressed up as Batman in Acting School

Over the years, Theo James has carved out a unique place for himself in the entertainment industry. He has starred in huge blockbuster hits like the Divergent movies and period TV dramas like Downton Abbey. His most recent project, The Time Traveler’s Wife, finds him showing off his skills as a leading man. Because of James’ success, most fans are surprised to learn that he started his professional acting career a little later in life. In fact, he didn’t attend acting school until after college.

acting school grad Theo James attends the premiere of 'The Time Traveler's Wife'
Theo James | Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

Theo James studied philosophy in college

Though he portrayed a Dauntless soldier in the Divergent movies, James could easily survive in the Erudite faction in real life. Prior to going to acting school, James studied philosophy at the University of Nottingham. So how exactly did he transition from studying fundamental questions about human existence to studying acting? According to James, he’s always had a passion for performance, it just took him longer to realize that acting could be a viable career path.

Why did the ‘Sanditon’ alum decide to become an actor?

“What made me want to be an actor?” James posed in a conversation with Elle. “Ah, I’m not really sure, to be honest. I was one of those little kids who did it around school, and then I got to university and made lots of bad plays and short films, and then midway through that, it suddenly dawned on me that this might be a satisfying way to earn a living, if that was at all feasible.”

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‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ star attended acting school at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

After James graduated from the University of Nottingham, he decided that he wanted to get some acting training. Thus, he attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The acting school prepares its students for careers in both acting and production regardless of their preferred medium (film, TV, or theatre). The Sanditon alum is hardly the only famous graduate of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Other notable alumni include Daniel Day-Lewis, Gene Wilder, and Olivia Coleman.

James dressed up as Batman for a party

But acting school wasn’t all work for James. He also made sure he had time for fun amidst his training. He attended social events and even once dressed up as Batman for a house party. In the aforementioned interview, the actor recalled the hilarious experience.

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“I dressed up when I went to The Old Vic, which is an old-school, post-grad place, which is like drama school, essentially, and famous English dudes went there,” James remembered. “Not that that makes any difference, particularly. But we had a big house party, and I remember the whole living room got completely destroyed, and me and my friend, we dressed up as Batman and Robin. The old-school Batman and Robin, not the Christian Bale.”

Clearly, James’ time in acting school was memorable. Though it’s clear that his studies paid off, he also found time to have a little fun. Only time will tell if the actor chooses to don another Batman suit in the future, be it for a role or just for the hell of it.

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