Sugarscape had the chance to sit and talk with Divergent author, Veronica Roth. During the interview Veronica talked about the Divergent Movie and more.
So we NEED to talk about the movie – Jeanine is obviously absolutely terrifying, how are you feeling about Kate Winslet playing her?
Oh she’s so good! Because it would be easy to do the Disney villain thing with Jeanine, because it’s kind of how she comes across in the first book and at least and in some ways in the second. But Kate Winslet is like super smart and very subtle about it, so she was just like kind of you almost like her but she’s sinister like undertone of sinister – she’s perfect!
And what about Theo James being cast as Four? Is he what you imagined?
He’s so good. The first time I was introduced to him as the idea of Thor was when I saw the screen test, so it was great, it was like ‘This is who we’re thinking of – watch, like see how he does,’ and he had such good chemistry with Shailene and he did it just right. It was like this really tough dude with this like little soft underbelly, just a little hint of the sensitivity so I was happy with it yeah.
What seems really exciting about the casting is that Shailene and Theo are not people who are massive, massive household names. Did you think that was quite important for the story, to star people who were perhaps not already hugely well-known?
Yeah, there’s definitely something nice about that. I mean, I think Shailene’s well on her way and probably Theo too, but it was nice to discover them fresh. I mean obviously I’d seen Shailene in the Descendants but I’d only seen Theo as Kemal Pamuk in Downtown Abbey, which was one episode, and he was wearing a wig so its hard to know anything! But it was nice to see them for the first time as these characters as well.
Insurgent has already got the green light, which is awesone. Are there any scenes from Insurgent or Allegiant that you’re really excited that you’d really like to see on screen?
Man I haven’t thought about it yet. I am interested to see Shailene fighting herself because that happens, you know, at the end of Insurgent, so I always thought that would really be really weird and trippy to watch. I try to keep weird trippy things in the books, but yes, the idea of the fear landscapes will be fun to see. More train stuff and Amity too, I forgot about that – that would be fun.
In terms of your writing, any hints about what you’re working on next?
Still writing for young adults, although I don’t know what because right now I’m finishing off the short stories and then I’m going to take a little break, that’s my plan!
Well you definitely deserve it!
Take a nap, you know.
Do you think maybe you’ll stick with Dystopia or do you think you’d just want to do something completely different?
I don’t know I think you’ve only got like one dystopia in you, you know as a writer so I think this was it for me dystopia wise and I’m ready to try something different.
Yeah especially with such an epic world, we’d imagine it would be quite difficult to do that again.
Right and inevitably there would be a lot of similarities because I’m still the same person so I come up with the same kinds of ideas you know. I think every writer struggles with that so I wouldn’t wanna stick so closely to that genre because I’d be afraid.
And for fans, how do you think they’re gonna react to the Divergent movie?
I don’t know, I haven’t seen it yet, from what I’ve seen, I think they’ll love it but I have to see it put together to before I can really say.
How did you feel giving up this world you’ve created in your mind to other people kind of creatively?
It’s kind of hard, you know, as with anything that you hand over something that you worked so hard on to be like ‘Here, interpret this, good luck!’ It’s a little difficult but you know I trusted the people I sold the rights, they were very passionate about the book so from the very beginning I had a lot of faith in them and then the more I talked to people working on it, the more faith I had so now I’m just excited and only a tiny bit nervous to see how it turns out.
It’s quite nice to see how other people interpret it I guess as well.
Yeah it’s kind of fun, its like rediscovering this thing that I was kind of finished with a couple of years ago so it’ll be really interesting at the very least to see how other people see this book.
Well we CANNOT WAIT. Do you have any tips for budding writings, people that want to get into writing?
Man I used to be really liberally with my handing out of tips and tricks but in the past few years I’ve kind of abandoned that because what I’ve realize is that if I rely on little tricks I forget that what I really need to be doing is just writing so that’s kind of my advice now, just write a lot, write all the time, write when you don’t really feel like it and maybe eventually find people you trust and care about to show what to do cause that’ll be the best way to improve.
How did actually happen for you, because obviously you wrote Divergent when you were so young, but how did it actually go from you writing it to it getting published?
Well I had tried with a previous manuscript, a very bad manuscript, to get an agent because I knew that I wanted to be traditionally published and the way to do that was to get a literary agent so I just googled and that’s how I found that out. So when I finished Divergent, I thought well I’ll try again until I really cant anymore, I guess that was my plan, I didn’t think it would work but it did, so I sent a summary of the project to literary agents and then one woman was interested and she read the manuscript and then she offered to represent me. Then we revised and then she submitted it to publishers so that’s kind of how it happened. The standard route