On Wednesday, “Divergent” fans overtook Tempe Marketplace’s Harkins Theatre. Enthusiasts of Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” converged on the outdoor mall around 6 p.m. to catch a glimpse of two members of the cast.
Several local celebrities made an appearance at the event. Artists such as Young MC (“Bust A Move”) and the Cardinals cheerleaders were present. Will Curran, president of Endless Entertainment, provided the music for the event.
They hosted a raffle and dance competition, movie posters were handed out and several fans were able to purchase V.I.P. passes in order to meet the two cast members.
“Divergent” has been on the rise in the literary world for the past two years. The series revolves around Tris (played by Shailene Woodley) and her uncommon inability to fit into one of the five factions (Dauntless, Abnegation, Candor, Amity and Erudite).
Roth has been praised for writing a novel that features a strong, but kind female protagonist. Tris doesn’t play the stereotypical female role in a post-apocalyptic universe. She has a romance with the male protagonist, Four (played by Theo James), but their attraction to one another is not central to the storyline.
“Divergent” is the first book in the trilogy. It’s followed by “Insurgent” and the final installment of the series is titled, “Allegiant.” The production process for “Insurgent” has already begun. Miles Teller (Peter) and Jai Courtney (Eric) walked the red carpet around 7 p.m. with bright smiles as they greeted fans and press alike.
The effervescent energy of the crowd amused the actors as they stepped onstage to give a pre-screening speech to their screaming fans. Courtney and Teller gave away V.I.P. passes for their meet and greet after the show during their speeches.
When asked about his preparation process for the film, Teller talked about experiencing his first boot camp.
“A lot of the preparation for this movie was physical,” he said, “because I wasn’t in as good of shape as my character Peter, this great fighter – so I had to work on that.”
Teller also talked about his feelings toward playing a villainous character.
“It feels good,” he said, “I like it. It’s a lot easier than trying to make people laugh all the time.”
He stated that both comedy and action were hard, but a lot more work goes into being funny than people realize.
“It’s hard to be funny right after lunch,” Teller said, “especially when I just want to sit in my trailer and do nothing.”
Courtney seemed awed by the premiere experience. He is fairly new to the acting business and seeing so many people there to support him was surprising.
“It’s crazy, this atmosphere,” he said.
Courtney stated that his favorite part of the experience was getting to know the cast.
“Being in another city, like in Chicago, and kind of locked down with this great group of people,” he said, “All of us being in our 20s and living in the same place, we hung out a lot and made some great memories.”
Teller had similar thoughts about his favorite part of the experience.
“Just getting to know a lot of these guys,” he said, “Jai, Theo, Christian… It was a lot of fun.”
Teller and Courtney shared many commiserating looks throughout the red carpet line. Their friendship seemed warm, honest and open. They were very genuine about their answers, cordial and jovial. The two autographed posters, took selfies with fans and offered waves to those who couldn’t get closer.
Teller will be continuing his role as Peter in “Insurgent.” He will also be filming the next installment of “Fantastic Four.” Courtney is going on to play a lead role in the new “Terminator” film.
“Divergent” will be in theaters worldwide on March 21, 2014.
Reach the reporter at Stephanie.Tate@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @StephanieITA