Theo James is diverging from typecasted heartthrob roles.
The “Divergent” alum reflected on being “beholden” to the young adult film franchise that debuted in 2014. James starred as the main love interest opposite Shailene Woodley in the novel adaptations. The box-office flop of the third film in 2016 eventually led to a scrapped fourth film and spin-off series.
“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,” James told Vanity Fair. “That is a hundred percent the case with actors — and it was definitely the case with me.”
James added that he was resistant to starring in “those types of films” and promoting them.
“I felt I didn’t have the fluidity to move in the directions that I wanted,” the “Time Traveler’s Wife” alum said. “You’re very much in a certain type of role — and those roles can be pretty fucking boring.”
Similarly, James’ “The White Lotus” Season 2 co-star Aubrey Plaza addressed being typecast coming off of playing deadpan government worker April Ludgate in beloved sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”
“I don’t mind being typecast because I feel like I was so lucky to be on ‘Parks and Recreation,’ and that was one of my first really big jobs, and I am so heavily associated with that character,” Plaza said earlier this year. “I think there were years when I was on that show where I was like only getting offered those kinds of parts, and that’s just what happens. You do something, people respond to it, and they want to see you do it again, again, and again. I think you just have to be really proactive in changing that narrative for yourself.”
Plaza continued, “It gave me motivation to prove myself. I think, for a while, I did feel like, ‘Aw man, I’m being put in a box, and I don’t like it, so I’m going to fight to get out of that and show people what I can do,’ or something. But then I started to look at it as a gift. If I convince people so well that I was that one thing and then I do something that’s totally different, it will be that much more satisfying to surprise them. So I started to try to think of it like that and be a little bit more positive and less bitter about it.”
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