One of the biggest shocks in the cinematic world last summer was Lionsgate’s announcement that it’s least popular YA franchise, Divergent, would finish out its storyline on television instead of the big screen. It’s been rumored that the studio has shown regret about splitting the final book of the series, Allegiant, into two parts. The trend of splitting the final books of YA film adaptations into two films stemmed from a decision made by Warner Bros’ in regards to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Regardless of whether or not it was a decision made as a cash grab, the 7th book in the series is a whopping 759 pages as opposed to Mockingjay’s 390 page count, or Allegiant’s 526 page count.
Several of the cast members expressed extreme surprise at the television move, and expressed similar sentiments about wanting to finish the series on the big screen. Actors Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Theo James have stated their willingness to come back only if Allegiant Part 2 was given a theatrical release. However, Miles Teller, who portrayed the antagonistic, Peter Hayes was on the fence about his participation in the series as of last year. During press day for his upcoming film, Only The Brave, which gives the audience an in-depth story into the lives of the Granite Mountain Hotshots before the events of the Yarnell wildfires, the actor updated Screen Rant about his participation in the proposed Allegiant TV series, his role portraying real life hotshot Brendan McDonough, and the start date to Nicolas Refn’s Too Old to Die Young.
SR: How was it getting to know Brendan and what did you take away from this experience?
Miles Teller: I took away from this experience a lot of friendships. I know for a fact that I’ll never work again in a movie where there’s like twenty guys that you’re with all the time. Most of the time you’re in a movie, and you have a buddy or two, but this one was such a unique group of individuals who it was their first movie to Josh Brolin. Such an incredible cast everyone really bought into in. With Brendan it was tough, and I was nervous to go down and meet him for the first time because the incident had only happened four years before. He’s dealing with post traumatic stress and it was a really tough time in his life, but he opened himself up to me, and this process because he wanted to get it right. He wanted to honor his brothers.
SR: For sure. This year you’re starring in two films based on real life tragic events. For some actors it’s hard for them to step away from those types of films, they usually take a break. What prompted that decision to take both of those roles?
Miles Teller: So I did Thank You for Your Service and then five weeks later I was on set doing this. For me, that’s not ideal, but at the same time these are the movies I want to tell. These are the stories that I want to be a part of. I’m grateful to be able to get these scripts in my hand, and to work with these types of people so it is what it is. You can take a break after.
SR: What moment in the film really stuck out to you?
Miles Teller: A lot of moments but I guess the ending sticks out to me because it’s something that you can read about and you can read about the story but visualizing it and having the type of production that we had on it….yeah it’s a tough moment but at the same time we celebrate these guys’ lives. I would say the last thirty minutes are really intense. In a good way I think because you want to tell the story honestly.
SR: Like you were saying Brendan was dealing with PTSD so was the mood of the set kind of somber or….
Miles Teller: No the mood on the set was so much fun cause you got twenty guys. We weren’t in trailers everyone was just…like filming out in the woods, and people are sitting under a tree we would play this game called ‘Silent Rock’, where you would sit in a circle and just toss this rock around. If you drop it, if you’re not looking and it hits you then you gotta do twenty pushups, twenty sit ups or twenty squats. That’s what we would do to pass the time.
SR: That does not sound fun.
Miles Teller: Yeah, I was getting in shape you know.
SR: Last question, what’s next for you? The Divergent TV series, perhaps?
Miles Teller: No, I’m not doing that. Just that’s not happening for me. I’m doing a thing with Nic Refn where he’s writing and directing…I don’t want to refer to it as an episode cause he sees it as a 10 hour long movie, but that’s what I’ll be doing. That’ll be seven months for me starting end of November, and I’m doing an animated film. I’m playing an aardvark.
SR: An aardvark?
Miles Teller: Yeah.
SR: Very cool.
Miles Teller: Hard hitting stuff.
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