Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis (born 16 December 1984), better known as Theo James, is an English actor. He is known for portraying Jed Harper in Bedlam, Walter William Clark, Jr. in the crime drama Golden Boy and Tobias “Four” Eaton in the film adaptations of Veronica Roth’s dystopian sci-fi novels, The Divergent Series.
Early life and education
James was born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, the son of Jane (née Martin) and Philip Taptiklis. His paternal grandfather was Greek (he moved from the Peloponnese to New Zealand). His other ancestry is English and Scottish. The youngest of five children, Theo has two brothers and two sisters. 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.
James at the Divergent premiere in Westwood, March 2014
James made his television debut in A Passionate Woman, starring opposite Billie Piper. He played Turkish diplomat Kemal Pamuk in an episode of the first season of Downton Abbey. James starred in Bedlam, playing the lead role of Jed Harper. He appeared in the 2012 adaptation of John Braine’s Room at the Top, as “Jack Wales”.
His film credits include You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and The Domino Effect. James was cast in Stranger while still in his final year at drama school. He played James, an obnoxious night club rep, in The Inbetweeners Movie. In 2011, James was chosen to play the character of David in the fourth installment of Underworld: Awakening, released in 2012, opposite Kate Beckinsale. In 2012 he appeared in ITV’s Case Sensitive starring Olivia Williams and Darren Boyd. He was named a “Star of Tomorrow” in 2009 by Screen International.
James played the male lead, Tobias “Four” Eaton, in the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s best-selling book, Divergent (2014). James reprised the character in the sequel to Divergent, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which began filming in May 2014 and was released in March 2015.
James will star alongside Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton and Jim Sturgess in the film adaptation of London Fields, and in the indie drama Franny, alongside Richard Gere and Dakota Fanning. He is slated to return in two more Divergent films, Allegiant parts 1 (scheduled for 2016) and 2 (scheduled for 2017). He is also scheduled to reprise his character David in the fifth Underworld film, this time as the film’s lead.
Outside his acting career, James was the singer and guitarist of the London-based band Shere Khan. 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.