Tuesday 5 August 2014

Christian Madson on Playing 'AL' in DIVERGENT & Relating to the Story

Christian Madsen who plays Dauntless initiate 'Al' talks about filming the movie, relating to Tris and more: You can read the full interview at Up&Comers. Below is an excerpt:

Al may have the physical advantage of being bigger than his peers, but that doesn’t work out for him during training so he resorts to betraying Tris, which is something he later ends up regretting. How was it like to film the big scene where Al tried to apologize to Tris?

When I read the script, I knew that was going to be a challenging scene because of the emotion behind it. When you shoot a movie like that, there’s a lot of times when you are having a lot of fun because there’s a lot of action sequences. Everyone literally became so close — you know, friendships, stuff like that. When we shot that scene when I was in the dining hall with Tris, I had to really separate myself from everybody because I had to go to that headspace of Al being very, very alone, trying to be somewhat of a forgiving — It was really hard that day.

Along with being a coming-of-age story for a teenager discovering her identity in the world, the film also centers heavily on the issue of individuality versus conforming to society. Even after you graduate high school, those pressures are still around. Were you able to relate to that aspect of the story?

The thing that’s going to work for you the best in life is just to be yourself. Once you figure out who you are, that’s who you’re going to excel the best at. For Tris, even though I’m like a guy, I connect with Tris’ story a little bit in terms of her mental state. As soon as she finds out who she really is — which is divergent — she excels at that so for me its like…Maybe acting is what I want to do so I try to excel at that. I think for me, it’s just try to be yourself. Don’t be a follower.

Prior to filming, you and your cast mates did about two weeks of stunt training with J.J. Perry and Garrett Warren. In past interviews, you’ve stated that this as a bonding experience for the cast. Do you guys still keep in touch?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the second movie but they all were texting me and stuff. I see a couple of them here and there, but not much. I just shot a movie in New York a couple of weeks ago, I saw Ansel [Elgort]. I talk to everybody here and there, but everybody’s been kind of busy recently.

Filming of “Divergent” took place last year, and it’s also been officially been five months since it was first released into theaters. Has the character of Al stayed with you? 

Yeah, I know I think I sort of…You shed your character when you finish. When you have to do press or these sort of interviews, when we did Comic-Con…You get some sort of message on Twitter about Al, it’s like a remembrance of him. But yeah, I guess he’ll always sort of be there with me.

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