Roundtable Interview with Miles Teller and Jai Courtney
Stars of ďDivergentĒ
Dallas , Texas , March 5, 2014
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Presbyterian Outlook
Presbyterian Outlook: I was interested in the physical training aspect of this film. What did you have to do to prepare, and how difficult was it to go through those fight sequences?
Jai Courtney: I got off light. I pretty much cheated the system and didnít have any training to do, mainly because I didnít have any fighting (scenes).
Miles Teller: Yeah, I signed on for the movie and a week later I was in Chicago in what they called a ďboot camp.Ē Our two stunt coordinators were like, complete badasses. They were like Special Forces, trained killers. I mean, this guy Garrett has an eye patch, and he was very scary. (everyone laughs) So we got out there about two weeks, lot of push-ups, lot of sit-ups, lot of cardio, and then we were doing knife-throwing, and some gun tactical work. You were expected to go to the gym the whole time we were filming.
PO : Did you have any kind of compunction or reluctance, getting in the ring with a girl?
MT: Yeah, at first, it was like ďHow is this going to look?Ē (everyone laughs) Because that should never happen in real life, but in this (the movieís) world, if you donít survive, if you donít move up the ladder in the Dauntless (Faction) and youíre cut, then youíre Faction-less. Then youíre without a home and you canít see your parents and itís pretty dismal. And Shailene (Woodley) is a trooper, we had a good relationship going into the movie, so it was a lot of fun.
PO : Talk a little about the message at the core of this movie.
JC: Well, I think itís about self-discovery, and embracing what it is that makes you an individual, and whatís different about you, and getting in touch with those qualities, and learning how to use that to your advantage. And not being afraid of it, I guess.
MT: You look in movies and thereís not that many young, female leaders or heroes, and I think that Shailene--- both as a person and as Tris---that sheís really a nice role model.
JC: Hmm. I would agree.
MT: Plus this is something my Grandma could go watch.
PO : Iím interested in what you were saying to us earlier, thatís thereís a ďpersonaĒ thatís you, and then thereís a ďpersonaĒ that meets the publicÖ.
MT: No, not really a separate ďpersonaĒ---there are some things Iím required to do as an actor, like doing this press tour. And then there are things likeÖ.itís Miles walking into a gas station. So there are things in my life that are work-related, and things that are personal, but itís the same persona. When I leave here, Iím not a different person.
PO : But itís good that you can separate the twoÖ.itís because of this character that the fans are screaming, not necessarily because of Miles.
JC: Well, I think, for these girls, they love Miles.
(everyone laughs)
MT: And I try to give them what they want---at a safe distance, with security!
(everyone laughs)
MT: You gotta stay grounded. You know, every movie Iíve done, Iíve wanted to be part of, and Iím really proud of. So for me, thatís the big thing. When I walk into a room with my peers, I donít want to hold my head down. I donít want to be ashamed of the stuff I did. Because at the end of the day, this is what youíre picking for a career. I mean you have to make a living, but I really respect actors, and thatís the company I want to be in----the good ones.
PO : Thanks for your time.