March 26, 2014 12:00 PM

1. He’s British. James was born in 1984 in the U.K. city of Oxford (above), and his full birth name is Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis. As the youngest of five, James doesn’t get the star treatment in his family. “My brothers are constantly ripping me for being the little one,” he says.

2. He seduced Downton Abbey‘s Lady Mary. “It’s strange because he’s only in about 20 minutes of one episode,” said James of his infamous Downton character – a Turkish lothario who dies in Mary’s bed.

3. He received his college degree in philosophy from the University of Nottingham and then went on to take acting classes at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. His first lead acting gig was in 2010’s steamy British TV mini-series A Passionate Woman.

4. He got a little overenthusiastic during a Divergent fight scene. “It was, like, six guys coming at me and, unfortunately, one of the guys ended up getting 25 stitches in his face. I felt very guilty about it,” recalled James.

5. He has a girlfriend whose identity he prefers to keep private. It sounds like she’s not a fellow actor, however. “In this industry there’s lots of passionate people, but there’s also a lot of crazies,” he says. “I like a grounded, normal girl who has a strong sense of self.”

6. He loves Four’s low-key manliness. “He has this kind of Paul Newman [charm]. Those Old Hollywood men who weren’t pushing masculinity.”

7. James also sings and plays guitar. He used to be in a band called Shere Khan (named after a tiger in Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book). Their music was a mixture of punk, funk, dance and rock.

8. He’s a boxer. “It’s fun for me; you can let off steam,” he says. It also comes in handy when filming an action flick. “Theo is an incredible fighter,” says Divergent director Neil Burger. “All of his abilities and talents just piled on more good stuff.”

9. He’s already tried to hit it big in the U.S. as the lead on 2013’s CBS cop drama Golden Boy, which got canceled after one season. But James isn’t fazed by failure. “As long as you do your best at creating an interesting character, you’re in a positive place,” he says.

10. He has a soft spot for Divergent‘s romance. “I like the chemistry between Four and Tris and between Shailene and me,” says James. “There’s great interplay between them, and Four falls in love with her, but it happens very slowly, which I love.”

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