What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Theo James, created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more

Theo James

Theo James36 posts
12 Sep, 2014

Replaces Beckinsale in Underworld movies

Beckinsale will not be returning to complete the Underworld sequel and James is cast to take her place. James is featured in Underworld: Awakening and the producers decide to cast James for the lead role in the upcoming film Underworld 5. Lakeshore Entertainment:

James is a star on the rise, and thanks to his leading role in Divergent and its upcoming sequel, he’s a worthy investment.

4 Apr, 2014

Divergent interview


Actors Woodley, James and director Neil Burger chat about their new film Divergent. Burger:

For me I didn’t feel like I was making a young adult film, I think the themes are interesting for everybody whether you’re 18, 28, 48 or whatever.

31 Mar, 2014

Daybreak interview


Woodley and James discuss their roles, stunts and preparing for the film Divergent. James:

You have to be careful that you don’t become that character in real life.

21 Mar, 2014

EW interview


James is interviewed with Woodley for Entertainement Weekly about running a boot camp on the set and performing stunts.

I would choose Dauntless, because I like the idea of the brotherhood of the military faction

His second choice would be Erudite.

20 Mar, 2014

Speed Date interview


James is asked a series a questions regarding his early life, preparing for roles and dating.

I wear nothing around the house. Or a sweet robe and a cigar.

18 Mar, 2014


James stars as the mysterious warrior Four in the movie Divergent. The action adventure film, directed by Neil Burger, is an adaptation of the book trilogy by Veronica Roth.

The crux of why I like the series and why I wanted to play him was his complexity as a character. He has these qualities that you don’t always see in these young male lead characters much anymore. He has a masculinity that he wears very wholly and very lightly in the sense that he can admit fear. He doesn’t have to be the loudest voice in the room but he’s also someone with presence and someone that you notice and someone who is potentially dangerous – and also he has a kind of broken background. He comes from this abusive father and all of those elements that come into play a rich complex character.

17 Mar, 2014

Live! interview


James chats about his philosophy degree, embarrassing short films and his Downton Abby and Divergent success.

If anyone gets their hands on my bad plays it will be extremely embarrassing.

29 Jul, 2013

ET Canada Interview


James and Woodley comment on their visit to Comic Con and discuss their roles in Divergent. Woodley:

Forcing chemistry always looks like forced chemistry and we’re lucky that we didn’t have to do that.

19 Jul, 2013

Comic Con panel

Woodley and James talk about Divergent as part of a panel that includes Burger and Roth. Woodley:

I’ve never done a movie this scale before, with themes this big

Facebook Comic Con Q&A

James and Woodley answer Divergent fan questions on Facebook for San Diego Comic Con. Woodley on her favorite scene to shoot:

I loved the Ferris wheel scene, that was badass. How often in life do you get to climb a Ferris wheel?

James on meeting Veronica Roth:

We had dinner 3 days in with her, we were able to ask her questions about the series that helped informed our own narrative for the character.

19 Jun, 2013

Comic Con interviews

In interviews at Comic Con, Woodley talks about shooting initiation scenes for Divergent:

It was super fun, it looks a lot more intense than it is.

James discusses their on-screen chemistry:

As soon as we met each other for the test it came very naturally, and all the scenes have had a very natural chemistry.

Jun 2013

Entertainment Weekly cover

Magazine Cover

shailene-woodley-ew-coverWoodley and James feature on the magazine’s cover, and talk about their approach to life in Hollywood. Woodley:

We’re not into the industry and have separate lives outside of it. That’s refreshing. I don’t know what I would do if Four was played by someone who cared what he looked like or spent more time in front of the mirror than I do.

7 Jun, 2013

First photo as Four

The first official Divergent photo showing James in character is released. He talks about holding a boot camp with the cast and where shooting is at:

I’ve introduced them to this world and they’re still in the beginning stages of training. At this stage you don’t really know what Four is all about.

May 2013

Young Hollywood interview


James performs different accents, speaks about his childhood and role on Golden Boy.

My funniest moment was filming a BBC love scene.

16 Mar, 2013

Praises James

Roth praises James after seeing the screen test that landed him the role:

Theo is able to capture Four’s authority and strength, as well as his depth and sensitivity. He is a perfect match for Shailene’s incredibly strong presence as Tris. I’m thrilled!

27 Jan, 2013

Cast as Four

James is cast after a chemistry test with Woodley. Producer Doug Wick:

We didn’t know much about him, just his one memorable appearance on Downton Abbey. He is doing the same scene with Shai that she’s done with dozens of other actors. But Shai always plays it full out. Theo is smart, observant, and incredibly handsome. He has a wryness, a sense of humor. It adds a layer to all the scenes. He plays off Shai’s power. He has plenty of his own intensity. They are electric together. Even when Theo’s quiet, you wonder what he’s thinking about. He’s got that movie star thing… Just in the nick of time, I think we have our Four.

18 Oct, 2012

The Domino Effect

James is cast as the Dinner Party Guest in Paula van der Oest’s drama, The Domino Effect. The film is about the collapse of the global economy and James is cast alongside Manish Dayal and Harriet Walter.

26 Sep, 2012

Room at the Top

James is cast as Jack Wales in two episodes of Aisling Walsh’s drama, Room at the Top. He stars alongside Juila Ford, Peter Wight and Tom Brooke.

13 May, 2012

Golden Boy

James plays Walter Clark Jr., a young detective on Nicholas Wootton’s Golden Boy. He stars alongside Chi McBride and Bonnie Somerville.

You need to trust your instincts. You hang out with cops, you drink in bars with them, you notice how they walk and talk, but you don’t try to imitate them. That’s death. You just pray when the moment comes you can slip inside the character.

1 Oct, 2011


James receives a starring role in David Allison, Neil Jones, and Chris Parker’s horror-thriller series, Bedlam. He stars alongside Lacey Turner, Will Young and Charlotte Salt and plays Jed Harper, a buff clairvoyant living in a former asylum-turned-condo.

It’s quite different and the pace is different.

17 Aug, 2011

The Inbetweeners Movie

James makes an appearance in Ben Palmer’s comedy The Inbetweeners Movie. James plays James, an insufferable nightclub representative and stars alongside James Buckley and Blake Harrison.

I play a a cocky and abusive alpha male.

2 May, 2011

Case Sensitive

Theo James Case SensitiveJames is cast as Aidan Harper in Charles Martin and John Strickland’s thriller, Case Sensitive. He plays a minimal role alongside Olivia Williams and Darren Boyd.


Downton Abbey

James makes a brief appearance in Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey. Starring alongside Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan and Elizabeth McGovern he plays Kemal Pamuk, a Turkish diplomat who seduces Lady Mary. 

He may have been in only one episode, but he certainly had a lasting impact on the show.

22 Sep, 2010

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

James is offered a small part in Woody Allen’s film You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.  He stars alongside Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts and Josh Brolin. James plays Ray in this comedy-drama film. Starpulse.com:

Not a bad start for a drama kid still in school.

11 Apr, 2010

A Passionate Woman

James makes his television debut on the BBC mini-series A Passionate Woman directed by Antonia Bird and Kay Mellor. He stars opposite Billie Piper (Bettry) and plays Alex (Craze) Crazenovski, Betty’s love interest. MetroUK:

So it was no wonder the rather too perfectly formed Craze (Theo James, with gym-buff body and perfect teeth a not really a 1950s look) caused something of a stir.


Student productions

James is cast in two student productions:A Streetcar Named Desire and Monsoon Nights directed by Rupert Miles.

That did it for me. Instantly. I saw that an actor could be almost animal and yet very human as well. Brando looked so cool and masculine, but he also showed me that vulnerability could be a powerful tool.


Trains at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

James attends and trains at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

The Bristol Old Vic is great, it’s a very classical school and that’s just what I needed. The discipline was eye-opening. I finally came up against people who wouldn’t take my indecisiveness anymore and they kicked me into shape.


Pursues acting

James goes to a drama school audition with his girlfriend, he decides to audition just for fun and gets accepted.

I became an actor by accident.


Attends University of Nottingham

James attends and earns a degree in philosophy.

I thought that was going to be the big thing for me, I really did. But after a while, I found it all a bit disappointing. I loved ethics, but logic was the bane of my existence. I remember one exam when I only got 10 out of 100. And no matter how much I loved Descartes, that didn’t help me.

I realized that I would probably be s— if I seriously continued to pursue philosophy on an academic level, so I dropped it. Then I thought about law, but I was way too impatient for that.

16 Dec, 1984

Theo James born in Oxford


Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis is born in Oxford, England to parents Jane Martin and Philip Taptiklis. He is the youngest of five children and has two brothers and two sisters. He has Greek, Scottish, and New Zealand ancestry. On admiring his parents:

They raised five kids and they are very giving to their kids.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Theo James, created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more