As we told you guys back in May, Teen got to visit the set of Divergent in Chicago, and now we can finally reveal some of our interviews with the cast! That’s right, we spent an action-packed day on set where we chatted with a majority of the cast — who were all SO awesome, BTW — and even got to watch Shailene Woodley and Theo James film a scene! In addition to that, we got to tour all over the set, see props, concept art, and much more. We have so much to share with you, but for the mean time, read below for our chat with Zoe Kravitz, aka Christina!
As you probably know, Zoe’s father Lenny Kravitz is part of The Hunger Games franchise thanks to his amazing portrayal of Katniss’ stylist Cinna, so did he give her any advice before she signed on to star in Divergent? Not exactly — it was actually Jennifer Lawrence who encouraged her to take on the Dauntless role. When we asked about if her dad gave her any words of wisdom, she said:
“No so much, I spoke to Jen[nifer Lawrence] more about it. She was just like, ‘Do it’ and was super supportive. It’s obviously changed her life quite a bit for the best, she’s killing it. It’s crazy, I never expected to be in a big franchise film. I was surprised when I did X-Men and then Mad Max and now I’m doing this. It’s really crazy for me.”
In addition to that, we also chatted a bit about the infamous hanging scene, which she had just filmed the day before. In the “intense” scene, her character Christina is forced to hang from a chasm to show her strength during the Dauntless initiation. When we asked about that scene, she told us:
“I was really excited to do the scene where I hang from the chasm. We did that yesterday and my arms really hurt today but it was really good it was really fun. It’s an intense scene.” So, was it all Zoe during the “intense” hanging scene? Not exactly. She revealed that she had a stunt double, adding: “I was doing most of it but I have this really awesome stunt double and there’s some stuff they wouldn’t let me do and she was like hanging there for five minutes straight, really hardcore. I don’t have the arm strength for that, Christina would’ve died I would’ve fallen off.”
That’s not all we talked about. For the full Q&A — including her thoughts on on-screen love interest Ben Lloyd-Hughes‘ “gentleman” ways — read below!
How difficult is it to put yourself in a scene where you don’t really know too much of what your surroundings are going to look like until a few months later?
It’s definitely strange and you have to channel the inner child in you and just kind of use your imagination. It’s like the only way you can do it because Neil [Burger, the director] will say ‘There’s people up there and things climbing, people swinging,’ and I’m just like ‘Okay.’ And you have to just use your imagination, which is cool, it’s nice to go back to childhood for a minute.
What were the fighting scenes like for you?
The fighting was great. I think it was important for all of us to look authentic and dirty and not look choreographed. That was really important to Neil. And I fight Molly who is twice my size I’m very short and that was good I got my ass kicked and that was really fun to do! You choreograph it to the point where you forget it’s choreographed. It’s all muscle memory and you just start fighting and it’s hardcore.
How is your character’s transition to becoming a Dauntless and how are we going to see that on screen?
I think with Christina I don’t think it’s a huge transition. I think it’s she’s someone that, she was a Candor, she was always outgoing and can’t keep her mouth shut. So she brought that into Dauntless, she still has that quality. I think mostly she’s finding herself, dressing the way she wants to dress. Her loud mouth is actually quite appropriate because Dauntless is kind of like do whatever you want. So I think she’s right at home.
She influences Tris a lot just like a bigger sister.
Yeah I think that’s the difference between Christina and Tris is that Christina is able to walk through Dauntless like she owns it, and thinks that she owns the place. With Tris it was a bigger transition so it was nice that they had each other.
What was the chemistry like between you and Ben (Will)?
I met him when I first got here. I met him in the lobby of our apartments when we first got in and he helped me with my luggage, he was very sweet. He’s a gentleman, he’s a great guy. It’s hard because even in the books there isn’t that much, kind of all of the sudden they’re a couple. So we’re trying to find ways in scenes to add little flirtatious moments and chemistry so it’s not like all of a sudden we’re a couple. But have chemistry it’s easy to do.
Does that mean you have more dialogue together than you do in the book?
Not really I think it’s mostly like a lot of the scenes are centered around Tris but we’re all together. We kind of become this threesome of friends but me and Ben have tried to add little flirtatious things.
If you were forced to choses one of these factions which would you chose?
I don’t think I would survive in Dauntless, that’s some real sh-t. Maybe Candor, I’m into honesty it’s a good quality. Not selflessness, not Abnegation.
What about the idea of leaving your family?
A lot of people do what their families do. Imagine if everyone in the family is a doctor and they decide to become an actor. Then people have to make those choices for themselves and their art and what they believe in. It’s sad to have to leave your family but I like the idea of someone believing in something so strongly that are willing to find a new family.
What would be in your fear landscape?
Snakes and insects, it’s an easy one but honestly throw me in like a box full of snakes I would not do so well.
Did having parents in the industry people you for joining this?
Maybe, yeah. I grew up in the industry and I don’t know anything different. It’s like if your parents were doctors you would know your way around and feel comfortable in a hospital. It’s probably helped me a little bit in some ways. I think it helped me not care so much.
So, were you hesitant at all and she just kind of helped you?
I wasn’t hesitant like I didn’t want to do it but I was definitely aware, especially now that we have Twilight and Hunger Games, we’ve seen how it affects the people’s lives that are in it. So I was cautious but I really like the story and I really liked the book so it wasn’t a hard decision.
Have you had crazy fan experiences?
Z: Not so much yet. I’ve had a few people be like “OMG she’s my favorite character in the book!” That means so much to me you know because there are so many amazing characters in the book and Tris is such an amazing character. So when people have said things like that to me it really means a lot. I hope that they’re happy!
What do you hope your fans walk away with from your performance in this movie?
What I like about Christina is her honesty and me as an actor I’m trying to be as honest as I can for my performance of her. So I hope that they feel her authenticity. She’s not ashamed of who she is and that’s what I love about her so much. I hope that’s what young women can take away from her too.
Is there any one moment you’re particularly proud of and are excited for people to see?
I mean yesterday [the hanging scene] was really fun I hope it comes together well, the hanging off the cliff when Eric pushes me off. I mean this women hangs from a cliff for five minutes straight and if she falls she’s going to die, it’s crazy. That is so Dauntless.
Have you had any conversations with Veronica [Roth] about your character?
Not so much, she’s been really supportive. She’s come to set a few times and she’s so young it’s crazy. I wasn’t expecting that and it’s cool you see her watching the monitor and she’s interested to see. She’s not judging, she’s just like you gotta let it go. You wrote it and now you just gotta let it go.
When you first stepped on the set did everything looked the way you imagined it? Or better? What were your thoughts?
I was actually surprised happily by how raw everything was. We’ve been shooting in real industrial spaces like abandon warehouses and stuff. So it was nice seeing they really left it raw and real, they didn’t make it some kind of Disneyland version of the book, which I think is really cool.
Was it intimidating signing up for multiple films?
It’s funny because I have a few other options at the moment just with other films I’ve done. It’s amazing honestly it’s nice to know you’re going to be working. I love these books I’m happy to be apart of this franchise. It will be fun, they become your family and it’s nice because sometimes you do a film and you bond with everyone and then you don’t see them again. So it’s nice to know that I’ll see you guys in a year or six months.
Is there anything you have to do before you go back to set now and act? Or can you just get up from the table, go in and do it?
I go into my room and do 50 push ups. [Laughs] No, it’s pretty casual on this set it’s nice. Like yesterday was that scene so I was a little bit more focused but it’s pretty joking around.
Christian [Madsen, who plays Al] told us you were instrumental in the bonding. You got a bunch of people to go see the Erykah Badu concert?
He keeps telling that story it’s so funny! Yeah the first week, the first thing I do when I go to a new city, I want to go see music. So I was looking on Stubhub.com and I was like “Dude Erykah Badu’s playing!” No one was excited as I was and I was like “You don’t understand she’s amazing!” So we got everyone to go. Theo [James] and Christian, the next couple of days like every time I would go to their apartments they would be listening to Erykah Badu.
Have you seen any cuts of this?
I’ve seen some playback and it all looks f–king cool. Sorry for my language but I haven’t seen anything cut together.
You mentioned your hanging scene. Is there another scene you’re looking forward to coming together on the big screen like the capture the flag?
We’ve done that, it was really fun it was cool. Those were night shoots so we were like at Navy Pier by ourselves at four in the morning watching the sun come up. It was really fun. That’s like the ultimate dream, we’re in these costumes with guns running around playing, there’s a Ferris wheel. We’re like “We’re being paid to do this!”
Did you guys actually use paint balls?
No I wish.
Was there anyone of your co-stars when you read the book you pictured them in a certain way and they really brought the character to life?
I think Miles [Teller] is doing such a great job as Peter, he’s such an a–hole. In every scene I’m like “Can I add the line ‘Shut up, Peter’ in this scene?” I think Neil did such a great job casting everyone seriously like on the nose. Everyone’s I think even making the characters more well rounded then when I had read them. Al is amazing, Will is amazing. Theo James is incredible, he can turn it on like that because he’s so goofy and then he says action and he’s this striking man. I’m just like “Where did that come from?” He’s incredible.
How intense were your fight sequences?
It was pretty intense. It was really tiring doing it over and over again. Like I said Molly is twice my size, or Amy, so she throws me around and beats the sh-t out of me in this scene. I got a few punches in. At first they were like the fight sequence was just me being beaten and I’m like “Come on give me a few punches, please!”
Are you excited for Divergent to hit the big screen on March 21, 2014? Tell us in the comments!