When an actor begins their career, they probably don’t imagine themselves running away from a tennis ball on a stick while wearing a motion capture leotard on a cavernous soundstage comprised of nothing but green screens, but we’ve all got to pay the bills somehow. Theo James knows that better than most having lent his talents to no less than two crushingly dull properties, and it sounds as though he didn’t have the greatest of times.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, The White Lotus star opened up on his three-film stint as Tobias in the The Divergent Series and his sole outing as David in Underworld: Blood Wars, and it doesn’t sound like he had the most fun-filled experience on either of the famously uninteresting effects-heavy IPs.
“You do a certain type of film and you sign contracts where you are beholden to those roles for a certain period of time and people see you in a certain light that you have to wrestle your way out of. That is 100 percent the case with actors — and it was definitely the case with me. I felt I didn’t have the fluidity to move in the directions that I wanted. You’re very much in a certain type of role — and those roles can be pretty f*cking boring.”
That’s a very eloquent way of saying “I did it for the money,” but perhaps it should be James’ agent and not the franchises themselves that deserve to be the object of his scorn. After all, we’ve seen the stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, the DCU, and other big-name brands positively gush about their time working with CGI monsters and spandex, and it wouldn’t be harsh to say that neither the canned Divergent or consistently middling Underworld exist in the same stratosphere in terms of either critical acclaim, commercial success, or widespread adulation.