“Divergent,” the adaptation of the hit novel by Veronica Roth, hit theaters on March 21. The film was directed by Neil Burger, of “The Illusionist,” and stars Shailene Woodley as Beatrice. The Ahwatukee Foothills News (AFN) recently sat down and talked to Miles Teller who plays Peter and Jai Courtney who plays Eric. Teller previously starred in “The Spectacular Now” and will be playing Mr. Fantastic in the upcoming “Fantastic Four” reboot. Courtney worked alongside Bruce Willis in “A Good Day to Die Hard” and recently landed the role of Kyle Reese in “Terminator: Genesis.”
AFN: Miles, you’ve done two movies with Shailene Woodley now. One was in “The Spectacular Now” where you played her boyfriend. In “Divergent,” you play a rival who’s constantly harassing her. Which do you prefer playing, Shailene’s lover or enemy?
MT: The falling in love part with Shailene was really nice. For me, I prefer “The Spectacular Now” just because we got to work more.
AFN: Jai, much like Hugh Jackman, Mel Gibson, Sam Worthington, and other fellow Australian actors, you’ve played a lot a macho guys in your career. Do you think there’s a reason why Austrians keep getting the best parts in American action movies?
JC: I don’t know. It’s a question I get asked a lot. Someone said to me recently that they think American men have a different idea of what it is to be masculine. I don’t know how much truth there is to that, but there is a bit of a patent immerging.
MT: They are taking a lot of our freakin’ roles, I’ll tell you that! Thank God, Captain America is American.
AFN: What attracted you both to this project?
JC: The people who were making it attracted me. I didn’t know anything about the books, but I liked Neil’s previous work and I was a big fan of Shai’s after seeing her in “The Descendants.”
MT: For me, it gave me an opportunity to do something different. I had done some comedy and indie drama stuff. This was a more physical role with some action in it. I told my agent I wanted to do a movie where I shoot somebody or ride a motorcycle or something. Plus, Shailene kind of convinced me to do it.
AFN: What upcoming projects are you excited about?
MT: I’m really excited about “Fantastic Four.” I’m liking the idea of this character who’s been established since my dad was a kid and getting to put my stamp on it.
JC: “The Terminator” is gearing up pretty quickly and I’ll be getting into that in April.
MT: He’s losing some weight for the role. Jai’s not drinking this whole press tour, which I thought was a joke at first.
AFN: Would you want to live in the world depicted in this film?
JC: Absolutely not.
MT: Hell no. If you want to live in a world where you’re told what to do all the time, join the military. A lot of people need that firm structure. I’m pretty good at cracking my own whip.
AFN: What do you hope to see in the sequels, “Insurgent” and “Allegiant?”
MT: Naked chicks. I’m just waiting to see Shailene take it off.
AFN: I think we all are.
• Ahwatukee native and Desert Vista graduate Nick Spake is a student at Arizona State University. He has been working as a film critic for five years, reviewing movies on his website, NICKPICKSFLICKS.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.