Theo James is a young British actor who became a Hollywood sensation after the first part of the acclaimed franchise «Divergent».
Full name Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis
Theo James was born on December 16, 1984, in Oxford, the capital of South Oxfordshire. He was the youngest of five children in the family. The father of the actor, business consultant Philip Taptiklis, a Greek by origin, was born and raised in New Zealand, where his family moved from the Peloponnese. Mother, Jane Martin, in whose veins the Scottish blood, was a member of the National Health Service.
Baby Photo Theo James, one of the few that the actor showed to fans
His childhood actor believed cloudless and happy: he didn’t lack the parental love. Therefore, the father and mother became his main role models: «My main inspiration is my parents. They raised five children and gave them all the best».
The childhood and youth of Theo James were rosy
Theo inherited atypical features for British appearance, dark hair and almost black eyes, from his father and from his mother he got nice plump lips. The actor claimed that due to the type of «sensual macho» he was at first noticed by the directors: «I know that I often get a job because of how I look, but I hope that I keep it because of how I play».
Theo James was an ordinary British teenager and he didn't even dream of becoming an actor
About the years of study in high school Aylesbury James spoke thus: «I was a common man from a middle class, constantly listening to hip-hop and playing basketball. I tried to look much cooler than I actually was. I’ve been in a group of cool guys and we called ourselves The Crew».
After graduation in 2001, Theo continued his studies at the University of Nottingham, where he received a bachelor's degree in philosophy. At this time he was in love with a girl who dreamed of playing on stage and persuaded her boyfriend to go with her to audition for acting school. Fate decreed in a very ironic way: James was considered a «promising guy» and accepted at the Bristol Theatre School, and his companion remained behind.
Theo James became an actor by lucky chance
James never regretted his choice: «I was thinking about a writing career. But actually, I always wanted to do acting, to join the ranks of famous, respected artists. So it is unlikely I would use my education for its intended purpose». Although during his studies the young man had to work as a barista, as a bodyguard, and as a hospital attendant, he played brilliantly in all productions and soon attracted the attention of filmmakers.
First acting experience Theo James got on theatre stage: in 2009 he made his debut in the show «Stars of tomorrow».
In 2010, an aspiring actor showed up on television in an episode of the series «A Passionate woman». 25-year-old beau got the role of Alexander Krasilovsky – the lover of the girl Betty, played by Billie Piper.
The series «Passionate woman» – was the first role of Theo James
Just a three-minute appearance of James in the acclaimed series «Downton Abbey» also didn't go unnoticed. He again played a fateful macho, this time he got the role of Turkish diplomat Kemal Pamuk, who has his eye on Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery).
A short but effective appearance of Theo James in «Downton Abbey»
Same year Theo James managed to enter into the world of big cinema: he played Ray in the film «You will meet a tall dark stranger» by Woody Allen.
The debut of Theo James in full length film
In 2011, Theo James was involved into the several projects. The first serious work of the novice actor was the main role in the TV-drama «Bedlam», broadcasting by the channel Sky Living. Soon James was invited to the sitcom «The Inbetweeners» – a comedy about the misadventures of British teenagers during a holiday on Crete.
Theo James in the sitcom «The Inbetweeners»
In 2012, Mans Marlind offered the young actor a leading role in the fourth part of the franchise «Underworld: The Awakening». To perfectly play the role, Theo with Kate Beckinsale started to learn parkour and make a lot of training with knives and whips. The vampire David played by James was so convincing that producers invited the actor to continue cooperation in the fifth part of the franchise «Underworld: The next generation».
«Underworld» franchise: Theo James is a vampire
In the same 2012, James got several episodic roles in the pictures of famous directors. Theo played a guest at a dinner party in the film «Domino Effect» by Paula van der Oest's and an officer in Anthony Hemingway's war film «Red Tails», based on the book of the same name by John Hallway. He also appeared in the crime drama «Case Sensitive» by the ITV channel. After that, the popular British tabloid of Screen International called the actor a «Star of tomorrow».
Theo James in the TV series «Case Sensitive»
And in 2013, James finally went to conquer America. In Hollywood, he made his debut in the role of detective Walter Clark in the criminal detective series «Golden Boy». To prepare for filming, the young actor studied the work of the police from the inside: he spent several days side by side with the detectives of New York's Department of Internal Affairs. The project has not met the expectations of producers, and it was closed after the first season.
The ratings of «Golden Boy» with Theo James didn't meet the expectations of the channel
The heyday of the acting career of Theo James. «Divergent»
In March 2013, Theo James was invited to auditions for a screen version of the anti-utopian young-adult bestseller «Divergent» by Veronica Roth. The novel describes the society of the future, divided into five castes or so-called fractions; every citizen on reaching 16 years of age have to pass the test, and according to the results they’ll be placed in one of the fraction.
Theo James – Tobias Eaton, instructor of divergents
After multi-stage auditions, Theo James was approved for one of the leading roles – Tobias Eaton, instructor of so-called «divergents» (of human phenomena with multi-faceted abilities). Casting Theo has beaten his main competitors Alex Pettyfer and Jeremy Irvine.
Theo James' tattoo in "Divergent"
After the premiere on March 21, 2014, Tobias «Four» Eaton became the idol of millions of teenagers. «I was very lucky with the team and director. Neil Berger is a real professional, he is very smart and has a great taste. It was also great to work with Shailene Woodley. At the set there was an almost home atmosphere, and it helped a newcomer like me», said Theo James about shooting of «Divergent».
Between Theo James and Shailene Woodley was the real "chemistry"
In May, 2014 the shooting of the sequel called «Insurgent» started. The world premiere of the second part of the franchise took place on 20 March 2015, and exactly one year later, in March of 2016, viewers watched the third part, «Allegiant».
Theo James on the set of «Insurgent»
In the break between filming the franchise, Theo James managed to add to his filmography a drama called «Frannie». The picture about the intricate relationships of the character Richard Gere and newlyweds Luke and Olivia (Theo's partner was young actress Dakota Fanning) was presented to the viewers in 2015.
Theo James and Dakota Fanning – colleagues and friends
In the same year, the actor became the face of the fragrance, The Scent from Hugo Boss.
Theo James in Hugo Boss commercial
If in 2014 the name of Theo James appeared in the press next to such epithets as «discovery of the year» and «young talent», then just two years later, the audience already unanimously recognized him as one of the most popular Hollywood actors of the new generation.
For Theo James, the year 2016 was saturated: 4 premieres!
In 2016, there were four promising premieres featuring Theo James: the fifth part of the «Underworld» franchise, «police» black comedy «The War against all» with Alexander Skarsgård, Irish drama directed by Jim Sheridan and based on the novel by Sebastian Barry «The Secret Scripture» with Rooney Mara in the lead, and the third part of the «Divergent» franchise.
Musical career of Theo James
Theo has never tried to hide his love to music: «I love music! Nothing can be better than listening to favorite songs back home after the trip». The actor has a good baritone, besides he knows how to play the guitar, piano, saxophone, and harmonica.
While studying at university, James was the lead singer of Makora, and in 2010 he organized his own band Shere Khan, named it after the famous tiger Shere Khan from «The Jungle Book» by Rudyard Kipling. Except Theo, who was both a soloist and a guitarist, the band also included bassist Joy Sherratt, the rhythm guitarist Will Earl and drummer Sam Sweeney.
Theo James and his band, Sher Khan
The participants of Shere Khan described their music as a mix of dance, indie, rock and punk. They were rarely seen on the big stage. The musicians uploaded their songs to MySpace and SoundCloud. Internet listeners especially liked their songs «Straight Up», «Skin» and «Can't Complain». However, due to the tight schedule of the group leader in November 2012, there was an announcement about the breakup of Shere Khan on the official website in Facebook.
The private life of Theo James
In 2009, Theo met amateur Irish actress Ruth Kearney, his partner at the acting school. Their relationship was not released by the pair, which gave rise to a lot of rumors and conjectures.
Theo James and Ruth Kearney
After the release of first part of «Divergent», the fans started talking about the romance of Theo James and Shailene Woodley, arguing that «they played love too convincingly». The phrase of the actor about the first kiss of Fora and Tris added oil to the fire: «Sometimes you have to force the chemistry to appear on the set. Should cause it. But when you don't do it because everything happens very real and natural, it only has the most positive effect on the scenes. And Shailene and I have it – the natural chemistry». Later the actors had even awarded the Teen Choice Award in the «Best onscreen couple».
The «romance» of Theo James and Shailene Woodley remained within the set
In summer 2014 year famous pop singer Taylor Swift has hinted that she considers Theo the sexiest actor of Hollywood. Fans of James immediately began to discuss the probable romance between the stars, but James stayed true to his principles and didn't comment on these rumors.
Theo James' girlfriend is still Ruth Kearney?
In 2015, the press again «brought together» Theo and Ruth Kearney. The paparazzi caught them in a jewelry store, where the stars viewed the showcase with rings. Actors often got under a sight of cameras, walking together in New York, but official confirmation of their romance still was not made.
Theo James now
Theo James’ acting career is not going to slow down: in 2018, several large premieres featuring this artist are expected at once. This is the thriller «London Fields», based on the novel by Martin Amis with Amber Heard and Jaimie Alexander in the lead, and the political thriller «Backstabbing for beginners», where Theo played the UN resident coordinator, whose chief during the mission in Iraq becomes a diplomat Pasha (Ben Kingsley).
Frame from the film «London fields» with Theo James and Amber Heard
Now in production, there is also fantastic melodrama «Zoe» with Ewan McGregor, Lea Seydoux and Theo James in the roles of scientists-experimentalists and crime thriller «Lying and Stealing», where Theo is starring with Emily Ratajkowski.