TODAY

TODAY   |  March 21, 2014

‘Divergent’ star Theo James on his short stint on ‘Downton Abbey’

The actor who stars in the highly-anticipated “Divergent” talks about his brief time on “Downton Abbey” and if he’s prepared for all the newfound recognition from the film.

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>>> if you don't know him already, won't forget him after this. theo james stars in the highly anticipated film "divergent" based on the best-selling novel.

>> he played four, a leader in his community, assigned to train the new inmates including tryst played by shailene woodley .

>> take a look.

>> you all right?

>> you cut me.

>> i meant to.

>> you meant to?

>> you think he was going to let you off with a scratch? would still be standing there if i hadn't hit you.

>> am i supposed to thank you?

>> you're supposed to be smart. if i wanted to hurt you, i would have.

>> oh. we like.

>> he's like the guy on the unilever survey. how are you?

>> how are you doing?

>> welcome.

>> it is a little surreal to meet you in person because we do remember you as the guy that was -- ended up with lady mary , dead.

>> very briefly, yes, back in the day.

>> that was a short ark obviously.

>> five minutes.

>> but memorable. which is important.

>> do people recognize you from that moment?

>> no.

>> they don't?

>> i was wearing a wig.

>> yeah, you were the turkish --

>> yeah, long flowing locks.

>> yeah.

>> a mystery man.

>> yeah. and i had a wig on my chest as well. and my back. and my butt cheeks , but --

>> all right. so do you -- when this film "divergent" they say it will change the lives of the actors in it because it is one of these things that makes instant stars. are you prepared for what's to come?

>> i think to be honest i'm a bit of a realist. i kind of -- until it happens, then i don't think about it too much. some thing's not something until it is something.

>> that's probably rise. it is and iffy business. you've been in a long time, i read a little bit about it. you're very well trained actor. and --

>> yeah.

>> and this not your first rodeo. not the first time around the block.

>> i'm also 52, so --

>> darn good.

>> you sure do.

>> yes, you do.

>> so i guess you have a little wisdom that belies your age.

>> yeah, i think so. i'm youngest of five kids, i think i was always trying to be oldest, so i would say i'm -- i'm the oldest soul --

>> what does your family think of the path you've taken?

>> they think it is great. they find it hilarious. my older brothers are constantly ripping me about it. constantly. but they're good. they came for the weekend, which is really great. some of them, not all of them.

>> are you the only one of the family that went into the arts?

>> yeah. they all do very different things, which is good as well, because, you know, it is something, kind of keeps you as real as can be.

>> it is important.

>> yeah. it is.

>> tell us about your character in the film.

>> he plays a kind of dutch 16th century -- no, i'm kidding.

>> you did a lot of your own stunts.

>> we did.

>> not that one.

>> basically dauntless leader and shailene's character falls in love with him, and society starts to implode and it is a big war.

>> the first of three.

>> yeah.

>> you probably can't give anything away, but does four hang around for number five and six? does four make it to the end.

>> him and shay, they become a unit.

>> wish you good luck.

>> thank you.

>> you can"divergent" in a theater near you.