The Fandom’s Visit to the Divergent Set

In May, Summit Entertainment generously invited The Fandom along with other fan sites—Divergent LexiconDivergent Fans, Divergent Movies, I Am Divergent, Divergent Examiner, Divergent Guide, and Divergent Society—to visit the Chicago set of Divergent.  While in Chicago  we got to chat with the amazing cast and crew,  hang out on set where we had the privilege of watching a scene be filmed, saw some remarkable concept art, got an up-close view of the costumes, and even had the chance to do some Windy City sightseeing, which included a ride on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel–in the gondola, of course, as climbing is prohibited!  Another of our stops in the city was the Abnegation neighborhood located at 600 S Wells.  The uniform, square, Abnegation gray houses were built for the film and visible from the road; however our group had the opportunity to go inside the fence and see the houses up close while they were in various stages of completeness, as you can see below.

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In addition to this incredible experience, we had the pleasure of meeting with the cast from the bottom of The Pit! While we couldn’t take any photos while at the indoor set,  I can assure you it was AMAZING! The morning of our first day on set we spoke with a number of the cast members, most of which will we tell you about in future posts, but today we’re sharing our interview with Shailene Woodley (Tris) and Zoe Kravitz (Christina) who came to us as a pair.  It’s worth noting how refreshing it was to see what wonderful chemistry those two have–it’s clear they’re great friends, which comes across in the interview as they banter with each other. Overall the cast, which you’ll know if you follow them on social media, all get along so well and Shai and Zoe are no exception.  Among the things they discuss with us are their characters, favorite days on set, and why Theo James is the perfect Four!

DIVERGENT

Shailene, was it intimidating for you to come into sort of a heroic type of YA literature role?

Shailene: It was intimidating because of the word heroic. I don’t think Tris is a hero necessarily–she’s not a super hero and she’s not like an action star, she’s just a normal girl who’s put in a very elevated situation and she has to rise to the occasion. Just in the same way had it been Christina who had been in this situation, she would have risen to that event. I don’t think that Tris is more special than anyone else, she’s just the one that has to be girl who has to get her sh*t together.

Zoe: (laughs) Get your sh*t together.

Do you relate to your characters in any way?

Shailene: You relate to yours a lot right?

Zoe: Yeah, because I can’t keep my mouth shut? Yes I do, I do. Christina’s like, she’s brave and she’s wacky and she’s honest. I have no filter either.

Shailene: They’re both Sagittarius.

Zoe: It’s true.

Were you excited when you got the parts?

Shailene: Very excited. Yeah, I was more excited when she got the part.

Zoe: Aww.

Were you guys friends before this?

Zoe: No. 

Shailene: SUCH good friends. Yeah, we met doing this. We had a lot of mutual friends.

You guys are obviously wearing very different costumes. How much does it help you to step out of those and into Dauntless?

Shailene: You want to take that?

Zoe: Go for it. 

Shailene: Well, you see right now I’m wearing some laundry cloths…some kitchen wipes. Um, no I think the Dauntless clothes are very cool because they’re very tactical based and Carlo the designer did a really good job at making them functional as well as physical beautiful for the eyes to look at. And so to transform obviously from going into a dress to leggings that you can move and run and kick in is a pretty big difference.

Zoe: Yeah I mean the Dauntless outfits are badass–you feel tougher depending on what you’re wearing. I put on my big army boots and I’m ready to fight.

Go below the cut for the rest of the interview.

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Allegiant Book Cover Reveal, Plus Veronica Roth Talks About Her Thoughts On The Movie

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The folks over at Lionsgate were gracious enough to invite TheFandom.net, along with other fansites, such as Divergent Fans, That’s Normal, FangirlishHypable, Page to Premiere, Young Adult Hollywood, and I Am Divergent, to their offices in L.A. to participate in a roundtable interview with author Veronica Roth.  We got to ask Veronica about anything and everything to do with Divergent, and as you might guess, most of the questions involved were either about the Divergent movie, or the third book in the trilogy, titled Allegiant, like if she had a problem with the ages of the actors playing her young characters (no), or if the end of book three will really be the end (yes), and what scenes she’s excited to see in the movie (the answer of which you’ll have to read about below).

On the books

Was Allegiant always the title, or did you go through a few different ideas? 

Veronica Roth (VR):  I did not go through a few different ideas.  It was always going to be the title.

Were you laughing when these ideas (book titles) kept coming up? 

VR: I wasn’t laughing, because in the very early stages, I certainly thought of those words.  I remember looking up a list of the 36 words in the English language that rhymed with Divergent.  I really don’t know what to do here, because Assurgent was never going to be the word.  I wasn’t laughing, but I was laughing when they put Detergent.  I was like, yes!  It’s permeated the public conscience!

What kind of tidbits can you share from Allegiant? 

VR: What can I share? Is there anything I can share? I can’t say very much.  I think the things that you expect to learn more about, you do.  (acting coy, then laughs)  But you will find out who this Edith Prior person is and how they’re (her and Tris) are related.

So, questions will be answered (regarding the third book)?

VR: Yes! I try very hard to answer all the questions I thought that readers are likely to have, because those are the questions that I set up and those are the ones that I had when I started writing.

What does the word “allegiant” mean to you?

VR: To me, it means one who is loyal or faithful to a particular cause or person.

The second book really opened up a whole new world.  It could go so many different directions, and I was thinking that it seems like it could be really difficult to close it all off in one more book.  Would you ever continue after the third, or is that the end?

VR: I definitely mapped it out to be three books, and I think the ending is definitely an end.

Veronica Roth Clarifies Some "Free Four" Details

Will you ever write from Four’s point-of-view again, or any of the other characters’ point-of-view?

VR: I wouldn’t rule it out as far as sort of like side material, like Free Four.  What I discovered when I wrote Free Four was that it’s intensely difficult to re-write a scene from another character’s perspective because you have to keep composing the original scene to make sure that it lines up.  Then you have to keep the whole frame of the story in mind.  It was so hard that I thought I don’t know if I could ever do this as a full-length “thing.” It was fun, but it was definitely a challenge.  (open to it, yes) Open (to the idea), but I chose Tris’ narrative for a reason.

After we read Insurgent, it really turned the whole story on its head.  Can we expect that level of shock in Allegiant?  Or will it just become like answering questions? 

VR: I can’t really like anticipate how you’re going to react to it.  I think certainly some things will be shocking and some things will be like, “Ahhh!”

When you sat down to write Divergent, did you have people in mind when you were writing the characters?

VR: Not really.  I’m not one of those people who make fancasts mostly because I don’t really know actors that well.  Also, I think the images I have of characters and of the settings of the book is slightly more vague, sort of like squinting at something from afar, and I think that has helped me be more open-minded about watching the filming happen.  It’s been more magical than disappointing, because it’s like seeing someone flesh-out the details of this thing that I imagined.

On your blog, you said that what you want to write about has changed.  If you could “dreamwrite” whatever you want, what’s your dreamwriting, then?

VR: I think when I said that, I was writing the same world, the same kind of story.  But I think [Allegiant] is different in some of the things it tackles.  I mean Divergent and Insurgent are like heavy action, kind of pretty violent books.  And the third book has action, but a lot of my interest has kind of moved toward the societal struggles that are happening, and the wrestling that Tris is doing inside her head.  That was more of what I was referring to.  I love action, and I’m an action girl, but I think it’s a little more balanced now.

If you were going to place yourself in the Divergent story, which character do you think you would see yourself as? 

veronica-roth-hufflepuff

No, she didn’t really wear a Hufflepuff shirt at the interview

What a question! I don’t know.  Probably one of the side people (laughs).  Like Susan.

So, are you Divergent? What faction do you see yourself a part in?

Well, that’s an interesting question.  I used to think that I would choose Dauntless.  I think that’s just a desire like a lot of people have.  “Oh yes, I want to be a badass!” I’m not!  I think I would actually choose Abnegation.  I’m a Hufflepuff [so it makes sense].

On being an author

Why do you think the dystopian future drama is so compelling right now? 

I’ve thought about that a lot.  I think it’s interesting because it sort of pulls you in both directions.  You’re interested in the forward thrust of the story and the history of the world and how it sort of became that way.  So, I think anything that will pull your mind that way will be really interesting.  Also, it would just create some really dynamic backdrop for the very human struggles and stories.

What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

I like revision a lot.  My rough drafts are just insane.  Like, word vomit mess.  Gross.  Awful.  Terrible.  And so, what I really love is kind of getting really good notes, which I’ve gotten, and totally ripping it apart and putting it back together to find the story that I originally wanted to tell.  I especially like late-stage revisions where you’re fixing little things and you start to see what it’s going to look like at the finish.  It’s really amazing.

This is going to open it up to such a new audience for people who haven’t read the books.  What does it feel like to have the last book coming out and closing the story not too far from when all these new people are starting it? 

It’s a little weird, because a lot of people are asking me about Divergent, and I’m like, “Oh man, that was so long ago!” Sometimes I don’t remember the details, but it’s incredible, obviously, to see so many people gravitating towards the books.  I kind of convinced myself that after the first burst of readership that I got, that that would be it, but it seems to be continuing its roll, and that’s amazing.  I’m glad I finished the third book before a lot of this move stuff started, so I could still imagine the characters the way I had without that changing.

On the movie

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Veronica Roth Shares Her Set Visit Experience, Addresses Uriah’s Absence From Film

Veronica Roth recently visited the set of Divergent and posted about the experience on her blog.  In addition to her account of meeting the cast and crew, she also confirms that Uriah will not be cast until the second film.

Veronica Roth

Roth’s experience meeting the cast:

I know you’re probably mostly interested in the cast, because that’s who you’ll actually see on the screen. Let me first say that everyone was so nice, despite the fact that, for the first half of the day, I was too stunned to form coherent sentences. The people I talked to: Shailene Woodley (Tris), Theo James (Four), Jai Courtney (Eric), Christian Madsen (Al), Miles Teller (Peter), Ben Lamb (Edward), Ben Lloyd Hughes (Will), Zoe Kravitz (Christina), Amy Newbold (Molly). Basically, the whole Dauntless gang.
And they were all awesome. What can I tell you? They were all SO GOOD in that scene. Every time! Which is probably why I was able to watch it so many times! Without getting tired of it! Exclamation points!

And here’s what she had to say about Uriah not being cast in the film:

Now, to address something else– the issue of Uriah. Some of you may have heard, and some may not, that Uriah won’t be cast until the second movie, if we are fortunate enough to make another one. It is understandably disappointing when a favorite character doesn’t make it on screen. However, what I do think is encouraging is that the people working on the movie are taking the role of Uriah so seriously and taking so much care to get him right.
How do you feel about Uriah being cut from the film?  Like she says, it is disappointing when a character doesn’t make it, so we understand that.  However,  this isn’t unusual when books are adapted to film.  Assuming Insurgent gets the green light, we look forward to seeing him there!

For the complete story check out Veronica’s Blog!  Thanks to Page to Premiere  for the heads up!