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Theo James and Shailene Woodley seem to get along famously. The pair were thrust in close proximity when they were filming the Divergent movies. Their on-screen chemistry was palpable and their rapport in interviews was often playful and fun. In fact, the pair sparked dating rumors on more than one occasion. James has always spoken highly of his fellow co-star, but what did he think of Woodley the first time he met her?

Shailene Woodley and Theo James dress in all black for the Allegiant premiere
‘Divergent’ stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James | Jim Spellman/WireImage

Shailene Woodley had found success prior to joining the ‘Divergent’ cast

Unlike Woodley, James wasn’t well-known prior to joining the cast of Divergent. Though he had roles in shows like Downton Abbey, they were relatively small. Woodley, on the other hand, had been in the spotlight for quite some time. Thanks to The Secret Life of the American Teenager and The Descendants, she’d earned some recognition in Hollywood. So what was it like for James to interact with her for the very first time? In an interview with Games Radar, The White Lotus actor weighed in.

Theo James reveals his first impression of Woodley

“She was very refreshing, actually,” James said of Woodley. “Inevitably you meet on the test and you don’t know each other, and it’s always slightly awkward because you’re doing a kind of intimate scene with someone you have never set your eyes upon. But she’s really refreshing and she’s very open to collaborating as two people and making the scene as good as possible.”

Continuing on, James gushed about what it was like to work with Woodley one-on-one. “When we were filming, what she is great at, and what we managed to do a lot is really ground the work,” he shared. “And, as pretentious as that sounds, bring it back to the fact [that] the reason you are there is that you are trying to tell a story of two people or several people. She is so great with that, very emotionally intuitive, and able to bring a truth to something, even in the craziest circumstances.”

James reveals that he and Woodley developed a great friendship over time

It seems that James’ relationship with Woodley only increased as they continued to work together. They were always on the same page as castmates. However, through years of working together, they were able to develop a strong friendship as well. This is something that the Allegiant star elaborated on during an interview with Culture Calling.


Shailene Woodley and Theo James Were ‘Relieved’ When They Saw ‘Divergent’

“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.”

Clearly, Woodley and James made great scene partners. It’ll be interesting to see if they ever have the opportunity to collaborate again on a future project.