Theo James

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Theo James
Theo James Divergent premiere.jpg
James at the Divergent premiere in March 2014
Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis

(1984-12-16) 16 December 1984 (age 36)
Alma mater
  • Actor
  • producer
  • musician
Years active2010–present
(m. 2018)

Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis (born 16 December 1984) is an English actor and producer. He is known for portraying Tobias "Four" Eaton in The Divergent Series film trilogy. He has also starred in the crime drama series Golden Boy (2013), the horror films Underworld: Awakening (2012) and Underworld: Blood Wars (2016), the action film How It Ends (2018) and most recently in the sci-fi Indie film Archive (2020).[1]

In 2015, he became the brand ambassador for Hugo Boss fragrances for men, appearing in print ads and commercials.[2] James also runs a film and television production company Untapped along with Andrew D. Corkin of Uncorked Productions.[3]

Early life[edit]

James was born on 16 December 1984 in High Wycombe, England.[1][4] He is the son of Philip Taptiklis, a business consultant, and Jane (née Martin), who worked for the National Health Service.[5][6][7] His paternal grandfather was Greek (he moved from the Peloponnese to New Zealand).[8] His other ancestry is English and Scottish.[9] James is the youngest of five children, having two older brothers and two older sisters.[9][10]

James was raised in Askett, Buckinghamshire, England.[11] He attended Aylesbury Grammar School and went on to earn his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Nottingham. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.[1][4]



In 2010, James made his television debut in two episodes of A Passionate Woman, starring opposite Billie Piper.[4][12] He played Turkish diplomat Kemal Pamuk in an episode of the first season of Downton Abbey.[13] His film credits include You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010). James was cast in Stranger while still in his final year at drama school. He was named a "Star of Tomorrow" in 2009 by Screen International.[14]

In 2011, James starred in the short-lived horror series, Bedlam, playing the lead role of Jed Harper. James played James, an obnoxious night club rep, in the British comedy, The Inbetweeners Movie (2011).

In 2012, James appeared in the TV-mini series, Room at the Top as Jack Wales and ITV's Case Sensitive as Aiden Harper.[15] He was in the films, The Domino Effect (2012) and the fourth installment of Underworld: Awakening (2012), playing the role of David, opposite Kate Beckinsale.[16] James starred as Detective Walter William Clark Jr. alongside Chi McBride in the American crime-drama series Golden Boy (2013), which aired for only one season.[17]

James at the Divergent premiere in 2014

His breakthrough role was portraying the character of Tobias "Four" Eaton in Divergent (2014), the film adaptation based on the New York Times bestselling novels by Veronica Roth.[18] James reprised the character in the sequel, The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015).[19]

In 2015, he became the brand ambassador for Hugo Boss fragrances for men, appearing in print ads and commercials.

James starred alongside Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton and Jim Sturgess in the film adaptation of London Fields,[20] and in the indie drama The Benefactor (2015), alongside Richard Gere and Dakota Fanning.[21][22]

He returned in one more Divergent film, The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016). He reprised his character David in the fifth Underworld film, that time as the film's male lead.[23][24]

James starred as Michael in Backstabbing for Beginners (2018). He starred as Will Younger in the Netflix film, How It Ends (2018).

In 2019, he also starred as Sidney Parker in British series Sanditon as a male lead. It is an eight-part period-drama adaptation of Jane Austen's final novel, written only months before her death in 1817. When Sanditon was renewed for season 2 and 3 in May 2021, it was announced that Theo James would not be back to reprise his role of Sidney Parker.

James starred as George Almore in British sci-fi indie film Archive released in 2020. He plays a robotics scientist working on a hidden project involving building a prototype based on his dead wife.


Outside his acting career, James was the singer and guitarist of the London-based band Shere Khan.[25]

On 21 November 2012, the band announced on their Facebook page that they were no longer actively playing as a band and that members would be pursuing other musical endeavours.[26]

Producing and directing[edit]

James is the executive producer of Backstabbing for Beginners, Lying and Stealing, Sanditon, and produced his first movie released in 2020 called Archive. In mid-2019, James launched his own film and TV production company Untapped.[27]

Personal life[edit]

James is married to Irish actress Ruth Kearney. The two met at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.[28] They divide their time between Venice Beach, California, and North London.[29]

In June 2016, James travelled to Greece with UNHCR, where he met Syrian refugees and learned more about their situation.[30] He has since been a supporter of refugees' rights and called for greater humanitarian aid for people displaced by the Syrian Civil War.[31][32][33]


Year Title Role Notes
2010 You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Ray
2011 The Inbetweeners Movie James
2012 Underworld: Awakening David
2014 Divergent Tobias "Four" Eaton
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Tobias "Four" Eaton
2015 The Benefactor Luke [21]
2016 War on Everyone Lord James Mangan
2016 The Divergent Series: Allegiant Tobias "Four" Eaton
2016 Underworld: Blood Wars David
2016 The Secret Scripture Father Gaunt
2018 Backstabbing for Beginners Michael
2018 Zoe Ash
2018 How It Ends Will Younger
2018 London Fields Guy Clinch
2019 Lying and Stealing Ivan
2020 Archive George Almore
2021 The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf Vesemir Voice role[34]
TBA Mr. Malcolm's List Henry Ossory
Year Title Role Notes
2010 A Passionate Woman Alex "Craze" Crazenovski
2010 Downton Abbey Kemal Pamuk 1 episode
2011 Bedlam Jed Harper 6 episodes
2012 Case Sensitive Aidan Harper 2 episodes
2012 Room at the Top Jack Wales 2 episodes
2013 Golden Boy Walter William Clark, Jr. Lead role
2018–2021 Castlevania Hector (voice) Main role; 19 episodes (season 2–4)
2019 Sanditon Sidney Parker Lead role
2019 The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Rek'yr (voice) Recurring role
2019 The Witcher Young Vesemir (voice) 1 episode
TBA The Time Traveler's Wife Henry DeTamble Upcoming drama series
Producing and directing
Year Title Role Notes
2018 Backstabbing for Beginners Executive Producer
2019 Lying and Stealing Executive Producer
2019 Sanditon Executive Producer 8 Episodes
2020 Archive Producer
Year Title Role Notes
2017 Sex with Strangers Ethan Hampstead Theatre
2020 City of Angels Stone Garrick Theatre

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2014 Divergent Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Action Won
Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Breakout Star Won
Young Hollywood Award for Fan Favourite Actor - Male Nominated
Young Hollywood Award for Best On-Screen Couple (with Shailene Woodley) Nominated
2015 People's Choice Awards for Favorite Movie Duo (with Shailene Woodley) Won
The Divergent Series: Insurgent Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Action[35] Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Liplock (with Shailene Woodley) Won
2016 The Divergent Series: Allegiant Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Action Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Chemistry (with Shailene Woodley) Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Liplock (with Shailene Woodley) Nominated


  1. ^ a b c "New Theatre graduates star in blockbuster TV roles". University of Nottingham. 23 April 2010. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  2. ^ Cooper, Jennifer (September 2015). "Theo James Hugo Boss". Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  3. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (15 August 2019). "Theo James & Andrew D. Corkin Launching Film & TV Label Untapped". Deadline. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Biog: Theo James". Sky Living. 2011. Archived from the original on 19 December 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  5. ^ Young, Susan (9 September 2011). "James' 'Stranger' Role Leads to 'Bedlam' – TV's Top 10: New Faces for Fall – Theo James". Variety; retrieved 27 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Who is Divergent Actor Theo James' girlfriend?". Daily Entertainment News. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  7. ^ Claire Black (14 March 2015). "Divergent star Theo James on his career ascension". The Scotsman. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Εχω χάσει τον ύπνο μου για την Ελενη" (in Greek). Espresso News. 27 January 2012.
  9. ^ a b Ouzounian, Richard (7 March 2013). "Theo James leapt at chance to play tough New York cop in Golden Boy". The Star. Toronto.
  10. ^ Topel, Fred (10 October 2011). "Theo James Talks Bedlam". CraveOnline. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  11. ^ 23, Marty. "Theo James Speed Date". YouTube. YouTube. Retrieved 24 September 2017.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "A Passionate Woman: Theo James Plays Craze". BBC Press Office (Press release). 7 April 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  13. ^ Rozen, Leah (25 March 2014). "Round-up: 'Divergent's' Theo James Recalls His Quickie 'Downton' Stint and other 'Downton Abbey' News". BBC America.
  14. ^ Dobson, Patricia (6 July 2010). "Class of 2009: where are they now?". Screen International. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  15. ^ "Casting Unveiled on Room At The Top". Screen Yorkshire. 22 December 2010. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  16. ^ Rose, Tiffany (17 March 2014). "'Divergent' Interview: Theo James Talks Personal Fears & Complex Characters". Screen Rant. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  17. ^ "'Golden Boy' Canceled: CBS Series Not Renewed For Season 2". 10 May 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2018 – via Huff Post.
  18. ^ Vilkomerson, Sara (15 March 2013). "'Divergent' has found its 'Four'! Theo James talks about starring in the next big YA franchise". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  19. ^ Jacobs, Matthew (22 March 2014). "'Insurgent' Has Officially Been Given The Green Light For 2015, Not That You Had Any Doubts". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  20. ^ Fleming, Mike, Jr. (9 September 2013). "'London Fields' Gets Underway With Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton And Jim Sturgess". Deadline. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  21. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (25 September 2013). "'Divergent' Star Theo James, Dakota Fanning Join Richard Gere in 'Franny'". The Wrap. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  22. ^ "Dakota Fanning, Theo James Board Richard Gere's 'Franny'". Deadline. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  23. ^ "THEO JAMES, THE STAR OF DIVERGENT SERIES". Celebrity Ping. 5 August 2018.
  24. ^ Ford, Rebecca; Youn, Soo (11 September 2014). ""Divergent" actor theo james to star in Fifth 'Underworld' Movie 2017 (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  25. ^ Deming, Mark (15 March 2013). "Theo James to Star in 'Divergent': Five Things to Know About Him". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  26. ^ Jones, Nate (26 March 2014). "Sexy Man Sing-Off! Divergent's Theo James & 8 More Actor-Crooners". People.
  27. ^ "Untapped". Untapped. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  28. ^ Pavia, Lucy (11 March 2020). "Theo James interview: 'I'm just not interested in big movies'". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 18 December 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  29. ^ Agnew, Megan (1 November 2020). "The Interview: Theo James talks Sanditon, objectification and being a heart-throb". The Times. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  30. ^ "Theo James Visits Greece". UNHCR. UNHCR. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  31. ^ James, Theo (20 June 2016). "'Downton' star: My grandfather fled war for safety, today's refugees deserve the same chance". CNN. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  32. ^ Gajanan, Mahita (15 February 2017). "How Actor Theo James' Family History Turned Him Into an Activist". Time. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  33. ^ James, Theo (23 December 2017). "Theo James on his refugee story: from past to present". GQ. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  34. ^ "Netflix Reveals The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf Anime Cast and Characters". IGN. 21 July 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  35. ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2015 Winners: Full List". Variety. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.

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