Theo James Reacted to Shailene Woodley Calling Him ‘A Great Kisser’

Even though Theo James has been married to his wife, Ruth Kearney, since 2018, many people are still curious about his relationship with Shailene Woodley. The pair starred in the Divergent movies together from 2014 to 2016. Because their characters. Beatrice “Tris” Prior and Tobias “Four” Eaton, were in a romantic relationship, some people assumed that the actors were too. These assumptions were heightened thanks to the natural chemistry the pair shared and the friendship they developed over the years.

Shailene Woodley and Theo James at the premiere for Allegiant
‘Divergent’ stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James | Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images

Shailene Woodley gushed about Theo James’ kissing skills

Woodley and James have always been very complimentary toward each other. The Downton Abbey alum was impressed by Woodley’s ability to keep their scenes real and grounded. Meanwhile, the Big Little Lies alum was appreciative of the English actor’s intelligence and commitment to his craft. Having James play her love interest also seemed to be no hassle for Woodley. She had only the best things to say about his virility.

“He’s an incredibly masculine man with a beautiful soulful heart – and he was a great kisser,” Woodley told PEOPLE in an interview. But how did James respond to his co-star’s flattering remarks? The Sanditon star made a hilarious quip when he was asked how he felt about Woodley calling him a great kisser.

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The ‘Sanditon’ star reacts to Woodley’s compliments

“Well, good!” James shared with Elle. “Cool. Nice. Good work, Shai! I paid her money to say that. Not much, though.” Following his humorous reaction, James got a little more serious. He went on sing Woodley’s praises. He also explained that he and Woodley had an easy rapport from the beginning. They did, however, spend more time together to deepen that initial spark.

How did the ‘Downton Abbey’ alum feel about working with the ‘Big Little Lies’ star?

“She’s a very open and fun person, and that always helps,” James shared about his Divergent co-star. “Especially if you have a bit of natural chemistry, inevitably, it’s going to make the scene better, and we definitely had good chemistry from that start, which is something you always hope for, whenever you get stuck in a love story for the next however long…And you do things together to bond. You make the effort, you really do, because it does make things so much easier in the end.”

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One thing that the actors bonded over was the importance of Tris and Four’s first kiss. The pair were both really adamant about making sure that it felt authentic. They wanted to make sure to get it right because it really serves as the foundation for the relationship. For that reason, they actually filmed the scene a second time when they weren’t happy with the first try.

James and Woodley shot Tris and Four’s first kiss multiple times

“We actually shot that a second time because the first time it didn’t feel quite right, we really wanted to honor it in a way that it is earned,” James shared with  Games Radar. “Hopefully, it is earned because there is not a lot of batting eyelids and kind of fawning towards each other in the whole film. It’s quite a functional, tough, intricate, complex relationship so when they eventually kiss I hope it’s earned.”

Considering the pair did multiple iterations of their characters’ first kiss, it’s a good thing Woodley found James to be a good kisser.

RELATED: Theo James Distanced Himself From Shailene Woodley in ‘Divergent’