Theo James, the 30-year-old Divergent heartthrob is making big waves in Hollywood. The British born actor and musician has four movies on the 2015 roll, with credits alongside big names like Richard Gere, Johnny Depp and Rooney Mara. Before swooning over the actor’s natural chemistry with co-star Shailene Woodley, check out these 10 facts about the up-and-coming James.
10. Not only is Theo James completely gorgeous, but he has a great mind as well. The actor attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, which he describes as an old-school type post-grad program. Notable alumni include Sir Patrick Stewart from X-Men and Gene Wilder from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He attended the prestigious school after receiving a philosophy degree from the University of Nottingham. At one party, he and a friend dressed up as Batman and Robin, even enhancing a certain body part with stuffing to make the costume more authentic!
9. James plays the character Four in the Divergent series, a nickname based on the number of fears the character has. But in real life, James has only one main fear: sharks. Although the actor loves the ocean, he is extremely afraid of being stranded in deep ocean waters where sharks could attack. Surprisingly enough, James would like to earn an oceanography degree if he had the chance to go back to school. He would specialize in ocean archaeology, specifically man-made structures where the sea has risen above structures. Neat!
8. When it comes to the perfect woman, James doesn’t demand a lot. He admits that he likes women with pretty legs and can’t stand bad breath. But most of all, he prefers confident women, probably because he grew up with four strong women: his mother, grandmother and two sisters. He also likes a woman with great listening skills and a lot of empathy, and it looks like he’s found her. James dates actress Ruth Kearney, and rumors have surfaced that the two plan to marry once James has completed the Divergent series.
7. With a franchise as big as Divergent, James was bound to have a few interesting interactions with hardcore fans. Although he says they are usually pleasant, he has had his share of the unusual. For instance, while at a Comic Con convention with his brothers, one fan managed to convince his siblings that she was a friend of his agent. After giving her access to James’ room, his brothers told James, “Mindy is here, but she seems a bit weird.” The weirdest part: James had no idea who the woman was! He walked into his room, and the woman greeted him by crying uncontrollably! Since then, he’s taught his brothers to be a bit more careful when screening fans.
6. James has been able to avoid the pressure of using social media. Unfortunately for us, the actor doesn’t use any form of social media, much unlike his Divergent co-stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. While he jokingly admits that he thinks he would get himself into trouble with Instagram or Twitter, the real reason he lacks the forums is because he likes to keep a distance between his professional and private lives. While he appreciates those stars that are able to make a business out of using social media, he puts more stock into living in the present. James said in an interview with E!, “I think people struggle with that now, being present in a time and place. There’s a lot of talk about mindfulness now and that’s about the ability to be present and not constantly affected by erroneous sources around you—that stimulus through a computer or through worries.” Good for you, Theo.
5. Not only can he make us swoon by playing one of the sexiest movie characters of the century, but he’s also blessed with musical abilities. His London-based band, Shere Khan, broke up in 2012, but you can still find videos of their hits “Footsteps,” “Dust,” and others on YouTube. James first got into music by playing jazz and played in various bands before realizing his true dream of being an actor. James sings, plays guitars and admits to being able to play a variety of other instruments. When he’s ready to take a break from acting, he hopes to continue to pursue his love of music.
4. While there may only be a few select scenes of a shirtless Four, producers still wanted James to be in good shape. The Divergent and Insurgent actors only had a month prior to filming to get into shape, and boy did James deliver. But the actor wanted his character to possess visceral strength, not just muscular, so he focused a lot on character development as well. It was easy to keep in shape during filming as James spent 14-hour days in the hot Atlanta sun. He also preferred to do his own stunts as long as they didn’t pose a serious safety threat. One of his favorite parts about playing Four? His neck tattoo. James would have to sit in the makeup chair for 3-4 hours every time his tattoos would be seen on camera. He admits to keeping the neck tattoo on because he felt cool wearing it!
3. You may have noticed James gracing the pages of your favorite magazines lately. The actor recently signed on to be the star in Hugo Boss’ campaign for his newest fragrance, Boss the Scent. James claims he is an “old-school type dude,” which pairs nicely with what he describes as a “fruity gunpowder.” The scent utilizes a fruit grown in the jungle in South Africa and many deem it as one of the sexiest smells on the market. The actor, who prides himself on being sleek, elegant and stylish, paired with Boss after seeing parallels between the brand and his own masculine family members like his father and grandfather. But while he is super pumped to be the new face, he said shooting the commercial ad was a bit tough because there was no dialogue, and the actor had to create a story in his head.
2. Ever hear a slight accent from Divergent‘s Four that doesn’t quite sound like it belongs in a post-apocalyptic Chicago? That’s because James was born in Oxford, England, to a self-described “jokingly-cynical family.” He comes from a close-knit Greek family, and is the youngest of five children. Little known fact: His real last name is Taptiklis! The actor also got his big break in the United Kingdom. His first big role was playing Mr. Kemal Pamuk in the hit show Downtown Abbey. But despite the show’s popularity, he says that no one noticed him after the premiere because he was wearing a wig!
1. James worked as both a bartender and a lifeguard before beginning his acting career. But his weirdest job? Working for the National Health Service in England. His job required him to go to the homes of the recently deceased and clean up excess body fluids! Not the most glamorous job, but anything to make money, right? James doesn’t let himself forget his humble background. When he finds himself complaining about acting pains, he says he “slap[s] [him]self in the face.” He says it is “nothing compared to what other people have to do.”