Veronica Roth Addresses Shailene Woodley and Theo James’ Age Gap

May 10, 2013

TEEN.COM – The big-screen adaptation of Veronica Roth‘s YA novel, Divergent, might not be hitting theaters until next March, but that hasn’t stopped millions from obsessing over it — present company included! Recently, Teen was able to catch up with the book’s author at the Lionsgate offices in Santa Monica (umm, no big deal), to talk about not only the film, but the book series’ third offering, Allegiant, which will be released in October.

One topic of discussion during our chat was the age gap between lead actors Shailene Woodley (Tris) and Theo James (Four). In the book, these characters are 16 and 18 respectively, but the actors playing them are a bit older at 21 and 28. When asked about the age subject, Veronica assured that fans wouldn’t be disappointed, saying:

“I think that head shots look a lot older than actual people. When I’m meeting them in real life I’m like ‘Oh yeah this is not a problem.’ Seeing them all together, they definitely look younger than you think. I was most concerned about the age gap looking okay. Obviously Shailene is [six years] younger than Theo. It doesn’t really look that way because I think when you cast an actual 16 year old and actual 18 year old they look the same age, especially if the 18 year old is a boy because they don’t age. So that would actually look kind of creepy. So I’m happy with the maturity of the actors I think that was crucial to making this movie work and by casting older actors we definitely have gotten that maturity which is amazing. I think that gap looks great in real life.”

Veronica also sang Theo’s praises in another way, mentioning that he was the one actor who matched her vision of the book character the closest.

Another topic of discussion was the film’s script. Obviously as the book’s author, Veronica has a lot invested in this, so was she happy with the script after she read it? Veronica told us:

“Reading a script is interesting. I had never read a script before. I was really impressed by how closely it stuck to the general plot line of the book. I haven’t read the updated script so I don’t know how it’s transformed. I’ve been told it’s transformed in really positive ways and I’m going to read it I think soon. From what I saw on set it’s developing really nicely so it was surprisingly positive. I was expecting to feel very personally insulted if anything changed but I didn’t feel that at all.”

Veronica also opened up about Kate Winslet, who will play the movie’s villain, and how she was in disbelief that the Oscar winner was even interested in the project.

“When they told me they were talking to her I was like ‘Psh, yeah that’s going to happen.’ Seriously that was my reaction because I don’t believe anything until it’s official. Then when it was official I had a little panic attack like ‘Oh my God, it’s really happening!’ So the official strategy is defensive pessimism always. But lately I’ve been allowing myself to be a little more excited.”