March 21, 2015 | 10:00 a.m.

‘Insurgent’ author Veronica Roth wants young women to see a flawed, powerful Tris

"Divergent" trilogy author Veronica Roth in Beverly Hills. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
At 26, author Veronica Roth already has penned a bestselling YA book trilogy and co-produced two films based on the tale, including “The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” which opened in theaters Friday. The film stars Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller and Kate Winslet, and is based on the second novel in the series. Chicago-based Roth wrote “Divergent” when she was a 21-year-old college senior; her wild ascent has been a surreal ride. She recently discussed the big-screen adaptation, what she hopes the story means to young women and what’s next in her writing career. Hero Complex: You saw “Insurgent” several weeks ago, but now everyone else gets to see it. Veronica Roth: I’m looking forward to seeing it again with my mom and my stepdad and my husband there. HC: Do you feel different about showing your work to your family as […]
March 20, 2015 | 12:17 p.m.

‘Insurgent’: Shailene Woodley talks Tris’ battles, inside and out

Actress Shailene Woodley (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
The wait is over for “Divergent” fans. “Insurgent,” which opens today, sees Shailene Woodley return to the big screen as action heroine Tris Prior. The sequel, based on the second installment in Veronica Roth’s bestselling YA book trilogy, follows Tris Prior, a young woman who discovers she has an aptitude for multiple factions in her dystopian world’s rigid societal system. Tris tries to hide this unusual and dangerous trait, known as divergence, until she is forced to reveal her secret when one faction stages a coup by decimating another. “Insurgent” finds Tris and her allies on the run after interfering with this uprising in an effort to save their communities. Since “Divergent,” Woodley has appeared as Hazel Lancaster in “The Fault in Our Stars,” another adaptation of a YA bestseller, opposite her “Divergent” series costar Ansel Elgort. Woodley spoke to […]
March 19, 2015 | 1:00 p.m.

‘Insurgent’: Jai Courtney talks Eric’s journey, ‘Terminator’

Actor Jai Courtney.  (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
The release of “The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” which opens Friday, will reunite fans not only with the film’s heroes Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James), but also with their foes, including Four’s rival and vicious Dauntless leader Eric, played by Jai Courtney. “Insurgent” is based on the second book in the series of Veronica Roth’s popular dystopian YA novels. It follows Tris Prior, a girl whose aptitude for multiple factions, called divergence, means she is considered a threat to the rigid society of a future Chicago that values the balance created by dividing its citizens into five factions based on dominant personality traits. Tris and her allies are on the run after the events in “Divergent,” in which she intervenes in an uprising organized by the leaders of two of the factions. Tasked with finding these refugees are leaders […]
March 19, 2015 | 5:00 a.m.

Actor Theo James relishes this ‘Divergent’ experience

"Insurgent" actor Theo James is photographed in Beverly Hills on March 6, 2015. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
It’s 2 p.m. on a Thursday, and Theo James is ready for his weekend to begin. “Can I get just a single shot of tequila?” the English actor asks a server at a trendy downtown L.A. eatery. Seconds later, James, 30, breaks out a movie star grin and an apologetic “Just kidding,” and takes another sip of espresso. If there were a faction for class clowns in the dystopian future, James, clearly would be sorted into it, given his talent for deadpan one-liners and his gift for winking, witty sarcasm. There’s little of that sort of levity, however, in the actor’s new movie, “The Divergent Series: Insurgent.” Opening Friday, the film is the second in a planned four-part adaptation of Veronica Roth’s best-selling YA trilogy about one special girl who sets out to bring down a corrupt system. A younger […]
March 18, 2015 | 8:00 a.m.

‘Insurgent’: Naomi Watts on Evelyn and the universal themes in ‘Divergent’

Naomie Watts in "The Divergent Series: Insurgent." (Andrew Cooper / Lionsgate)
When “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” hits theaters on Friday, fans will not only be reunited with Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James), but they will also be properly introduced to several new characters who are making their big-screen debuts. Not least among these is resistance leader Evelyn Johnson, played by Naomi Watts. Based on Veronica Roth’s dystopian YA novels, “Insurgent” is set in a future version of Chicago in which citizens are divided into five factions based on personality traits. Young heroine Tris Prior, whose aptitude for multiple factions threatens to upset the societal order, finds herself on the run, along with love interest Four and other allies. Along the way, they meet Evelyn, the leader of the Factionless and Four’s estranged mother, who faked her death in order to escape the abuse she faced at the hands of […]
March 17, 2015 | 8:02 a.m.

‘Insurgent’: Mekhi Phifer on Max’s leadership in ‘Divergent’ sequel

Mekhi Phifer in "The Divergent Series: Insurgent." (Andrew Cooper / Lionsgate)
Fans will be able to see the expansion of the “Divergent” world and its characters when “The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” the second film based on Veronica Roth’s popular dystopian YA series, opens in theaters on Friday. Picking up where “Divergent” left off, “Insurgent” sees Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her allies on the run after interfering with a coup. On the hunt for these refugees are military leaders Max (Mekhi Phifer) and Eric (Jai Courtney). Mekhi Phifer, whose resume includes such TV credits as “ER” and “Torchwood,” plays Max. Max represents an older generation of Dauntless (a societal faction based on bravery in the film’s dystopian world) compared to the younger Four (Theo James) and Eric, which is rare because of the physicality necessary to remain an active member of the faction. Phifer spoke to Hero Complex on the phone to […]
March 16, 2015 | 10:49 a.m.

‘Insurgent’: Miles Teller on Peter’s allegiance, ‘Fantastic Four’

Miles Teller
Another fan favorite for the Peter Parker role, "Whiplash" actor Miles Teller is already immersed in the superhero world as Reed Richards in Fox's "Fantastic Four." Though it's unlikely he'd appear as both nerds-turned-superheroes, he does possess Peter Parker's sarcastic, smart-alecky vibe. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
“Divergent” fans have less than a week to wait before the sequel as “The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” the second installment adapted from Veronica Roth’s popular YA book series, hits theaters Friday. “Insurgent” follows Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), a girl who learns she has an aptitude for multiple factions and thus does not quite fit into the rigid social structure valued in her dystopian world, which divides its citizens among five factions based on their dominant personality traits. Tris learns that people like her are labeled divergent and are considered dangerous. “Insurgent” picks up a little after where “Divergent” left off with Tris, Four (Theo James), Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter, played by Miles Teller, on the run after the Erudite (the faction based on knowledge) has used Dauntless (bravery) soldiers to overthrow the Abnegation (selflessness) to gain political power. In the film, […]
Feb. 25, 2015 | 11:15 a.m.

‘Insurgent’: Final trailer teases fear landscapes, explains Tris’ haircut

Tickets go on sale today for “Insurgent,” and the final trailer for the “Divergent” sequel shows young heroine Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) facing off against enemies both real and in her mind. “Insurgent,” based on the second novel in Veronica Roth’s bestselling YA trilogy, pits Tris and her allies against a ruthless leader (Kate Winslet) who is hellbent on hunting down people who are Divergent, meaning they don’t fit neatly into one of five rigidly divided societal factions in a futuristic Chicago. The film is slated for release March 20. Fans who purchase their tickets today on Fandango,, or can receive a free download of “Divergent.” The new trailer shows Tris and love interest Four (Theo James) arriving at peace-loving Amity faction, a farming community led by Johanna Reyes (Octavia Spencer). The trailer also features Tris’ new ‘do; she cuts her long locks […]
Feb. 02, 2015 | 12:47 p.m.

Watch Super Bowl trailers: ‘Jurassic World,’ ‘Furious 7,’ ‘Tomorrowland,’ more

"Jurassic World," "Tomorrowland" and "Furious 7" were among the films promoted during Sunday's big game. (Handout)
Hollywood studios are hoping prime ad time before and during the Super Bowl will pay off at the box office. Film buffs watching Sunday’s big game caught trailers for “Jurassic World,” “Tomorrowland,” “Furious 7,” “Terminator Genisys” and “Insurgent.” Check out our roundup below. ‘Jurassic World’ The much-hyped fourth film in the franchise inspired by the work of author Michael Crichton stars newly minted action hero Chris Pratt (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), who is called upon to help protect visitors to the world’s grandest theme park from a new, genetically modified dinosaur — the Indominus Rex. “You just went and made a new dinosaur? Probably not a good idea,” Pratt tells co-star Bryce Dallas Howard in the new trailer. The trailer offers a glimpse at the new dino’s enormous feet and deadly maw, as well as pterodactyls snatching parkgoers into the air […]
Jan. 23, 2015 | 11:35 a.m.

‘Insurgent’: See interactive character posters for ‘Divergent’ sequel

Five new character posters for “Insurgent” offer an interactive look at key figures in the upcoming sequel to “Divergent.” The posters feature heroine Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), her ally and love interest Four (Theo James), the villainous Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet) and new characters Johanna Reyes (Octavia Spencer) and Evelyn Johnson (Naomi Watts). Check out the interactive posters below or still versions in the gallery above. “Insurgent,” which follows last year’s “Divergent,” is based on the second novel in Veronica Roth’s bestselling YA trilogy. The tale follows young heroine Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Woodley),  a girl who discovers she doesn’t fit neatly into one of five rigidly divided societal factions in a dystopian future version of Chicago, but rather has aptitude for multiple factions — a dangerous trait known as divergence. She joins Dauntless, the faction based on bravery, to hide her […]
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