The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

“Divergent” stars talk challenging the status quo


Opening this past week was the third installment of the book adaptation of the “Divergent” series, “The Divergent Series: Allegiant.”

The film follows outcasts Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) as they lead a group to escape beyond the enclosed post-apocalyptic Chicago wasteland into the Fringe. The third book follows the trends of recent book series to film series adaptations, as the final book installment was split in two in the film series in order to establish new characters, and the final film in the Divergent franchise, “The Divergent Series: Ascendant,” hits theaters next March.

Newcomers to the franchise are European actress Nadia Hilker and Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård. Both portray members of the new community in which Tris and her group later comes in contact with. These two stand out by setting the pace of the film. Nita (Hilker) is a no nonsense soldier whose main mission is to serve her community. Matthew (Skarsgård) serves as the right hand to the leader of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare leader, David (Jeff Daniels).

DePaulia: With this being one of the biggest roles to date in your career what was your first reaction in being cast in this franchise?

Hilker: I couldn’t believe it. It’s like you dreaming on winning the lottery for your whole life and then you win it. It took me a while to realize it but that was definitely a big moment and I’m really grateful and excited.

Skarsgård: It’s surreal, also the fact that to get cast in something that’s already out there. It has a huge fan base. It’s a weird thing that you get cast into something that you’re already familiar with. Other times you get a job and sure, you can be familiar with the director, but the story itself is unmade it’s on the page. But now in preparing watching the past movie it’s saying “I’m going to be a part of this world,” which is quite exciting.

Your characters received the most onscreen transformation just entering into this film. There lives change when Shailene Woodley’s Tris and the others enter into the community. Can you relate to your character’s revelation? 

Skarsgård: I think one of the most important things of being a human and growing up is that you need to question everything that you’ve been taught. Whether it’s religion for instance, you’re born into a religion because of you parents, challenge that. Then when you’re a grown up, make a decision on if it’s right for you. Question everything. Our characters are apart of a society where people have been brainwashed to think a certain way. But what sets them apart is them questioning themselves saying, “You know what maybe what everybody else has been telling me isn’t right?” I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything that drastic. I hadn’t had those obstacles but I just think it’s a good practice to do as human beings.

Hilker: I was bullied a lot in school in terms of acting and in terms of my pursuing my dreams. In Germany I’m a very exotic looking women. They would say, “What is she?” and “She looks weird with her big hair.” I was told many times to just do something else instead of what I wanted to do because I looked different. Now I’m on the movie (“The Divergent Series: Allegiant”) poster. I just kept dreaming and believing in myself. Looking at Tris, she’s such an important figure for young fans especially young girls to believe in themselves and to do whatever they think is right while saying it’s okay to stand up for yourself and fight.

With “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” opening soon what are your thought on your involvement the coming franchise.

Hilker: It was really intimidating entering this film, but I can not wait to go back and shoot the next one this summer because now we’re a part of it. We’re apart of the family now, we’ve got that tune down. I cannot wait; I’m really excited.

Skarsgård: Me too. It’s going to be fun. It’s also fun being apart of the final character of this too. To be there when all when the story comes to an end is exciting.

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