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. Its obviously changed her life quite a bit for the best, shes killing it. Its 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 Im doing this. Its 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. Its 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 theres some stuff they wouldn't let me do and she was like hanging there for five minutes straight, really hardcore. I dont 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 dont really know too much of what your surroundings are going to look like until a few months later?
Its definitely strange and you have to channel the inner child in you and just kind of use your imagination. Its like the only way you can do it because Neil [Burger, the director] will say 'Theres people up there and things climbing, people swinging,' and Im just like 'Okay.' And you have to just use your imagination, which is cool, its 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 Im 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 its choreographed. Its all muscle memory and you just start fighting and its hardcore.
How is your characters transition to becoming a Dauntless and how are we going to see that on screen?
I think with Christina I dont think its a huge transition. I think its shes someone that, she was a Candor, she was always outgoing and cant keep her mouth shut. So she brought that into Dauntless, she still has that quality. I think mostly shes 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 shes right at home.
She influences Tris a lot just like a bigger sister.
Yeah I think thats 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. Hes a gentleman, hes a great guy. Its hard because even in the books there isnt that much, kind of all of the sudden theyre a couple. So were trying to find ways in scenes to add little flirtatious moments and chemistry so its not like all of a sudden were a couple. But have chemistry its easy to do.
Does that mean you have more dialogue together than you do in the book?
Not really I think its mostly like a lot of the scenes are centered around Tris but were 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 dont think I would survive in Dauntless, thats some real sh-t. Maybe Candor, Im into honesty its 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. Its 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, its 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 dont know anything different. Its like if your parents were doctors you would know your way around and feel comfortable in a hospital. Its 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 peoples 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. Ive had a few people be like OMG shes 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 theyre 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 Im trying to be as honest as I can for my performance of her. So I hope that they feel her authenticity. Shes not ashamed of who she is and thats what I love about her so much. I hope thats what young women can take away from her too.
Is there any one moment youre 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 shes going to die, its crazy. That is so Dauntless.
Have you had any conversations with Veronica [Roth] about your character?
Not so much, shes been really supportive. Shes come to set a few times and shes so young its crazy. I wasnt expecting that and its cool you see her watching the monitor and shes interested to see. Shes not judging, shes 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?
Its funny because I have a few other options at the moment just with other films I've done. Its amazing honestly its nice to know youre going to be working. I love these books Im happy to be apart of this franchise. It will be fun, they become your family and its nice because sometimes you do a film and you bond with everyone and then you dont see them again. So its nice to know that Ill 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, its pretty casual on this set its nice. Like yesterday was that scene so I was a little bit more focused but its 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 its 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 Badus playing! No one was excited as I was and I was like You dont understand shes 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 havent seen anything cut together.
You mentioned your hanging scene. Is there another scene youre 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. Thats like the ultimate dream, were in these costumes with guns running around playing, theres a Ferris wheel. Were like Were 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, hes such an a–hole. In every scene Im 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. Everyones 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 hes so goofy and then he says action and hes this striking man. Im just like Where did that come from? Hes 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 Im 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!