March 26, 2014 12:00 PM

ERIC

Played by: JAI COURTNEY, 27

HOW YOU KNOW HIM: The Australian actor played Bruce Willis‘s son in the 2013 action flick A Good Day to Die Hard.

HIS FAVORITE DIVERGENT SCENE: “Probably the one where Eric pushes Christina over the ledge above the chasm,” says Courtney. “She had it coming.”

WHY IT WAS EASY TO PLAY A VILLAIN: “Veronica Roth created a really cool world for us,” he says. “I just had to channel my inner bully.”

CHRISTINA

Played by: ZOE KRAVITZ, 25

HOW YOU KNOW HER: The actress and singer played Angel in 2011’s X Men: First Class. She also happens to be the daughter of musician and Hunger Games star Lenny Kravitz.

THE JOYS OF DANGLING OVER THE DAUNTLESS CHASM: “That scene was really cool,” says Kravitz. “I was hanging there with my full weight. At one point the director thought I was cheating – he thought I had my feet on something, but I was holding on for dear life! He was like, ‘Zoe, can you just, um, actually hang?’ and I was like, ‘Dude, please record! I can’t hang here anymore.’ It was the most intense thing I’ve ever done.”

PETER

Played by: MILES TELLER, 27

How you know him: He costarred with Woodley in the 2013 teen romance The Spectacular Now.

His Divergent journey: “Originally I auditioned for Four,” says Teller. “I didn’t hear anything for, like, a year. Then they said, ‘Do you want to read for Eric?’ and I said, ‘I don’t think that makes sense – I’d have to be physically intimidating.’ Then they said, ‘We think you’d be right for Peter,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah.’ The characters I usually play are more lighthearted, so I was looking for an opportunity to do something more physical and to get to beat Shailene up.”

TORI

Played by: MAGGIE Q, 34

HOW YOU KNOW HER: The model turned actress had the title role on the CW action series Nikita.

WHY SHE LOVED PLAYING TORI: “You look at her and you know you don’t mess with this woman,” she says. “She’s a very unwilling mentor [to Tris], but she takes this girl under her wing because it’s the right thing to do.”

HER HAIR INSPIRATION: “I used Johnny Depp as my hair reference. He always has really cool texture. The hairdresser created a lot of Johnny Depp‘s looks for Pirates of the Caribbean, so she was able to create a look where I almost have dreads but I don’t.”

MAX

Played by: MEKHI PHIFER, 39

How you know him: He starred on TV’s ER and in the Eminem film 8 Mile.

Biggest perk from playing the Dauntless leader in Divergent: “This is the first thing I’ve ever done that my 14-year-old son is excited about,” says Phifer.

The faction he’d choose in real life: “I fit with Dauntless best. I like doing things like paintballing and wartime stuff, so Dauntless is something I’d hold on to.”

CALEB

Played by: ANSEL ELGORT, 20

How you know him: You probably don’t. Elgort has been primarily acting Off-Broadway, though he did nab a role in the 2013 horror remake Carrie.

Bonding with Shailene: “She and I became best friends on that set,” says Elgort. “We work really well together, and we have really good chemistry.”

What he learned from Kate Winslet: “She gave me a lot of good advice about how to separate my personal life from my professional life. She was really nice to me, better than she would have to be to some kid.”

AL

Played by: CHRISTIAN MADSEN, 24

How you know him: He costarred opposite his dad, Michael Madsen, in the 2012 drama Refuge from the Storm.

What he has in common with his emotionally fragile character: “If you take out the part about backstabbing Tris, I really connected a lot with Al,” says Madsen. “I myself am shy, and I’m a tall guy, and I related to his sort of being a quiet giant. I just had to be myself a lot of the times in the scenes.”

His most surreal Divergent moment: “Shooting the dining hall scene. For me, seeing the mess hall with all of us in our Dauntless uniforms and seeing all the extras and the director moving around, it was all kind of like, ‘Whoa, this is strange.'”

WILL

Played by: BEN LLOYD-HUGHES, 25

How you know him: The British actor appeared in the 2012 adaptation of the Dickens classic Great Expectations.

What life was like on set: “It’s weird when you’re doing a film with a young cast,” says Lloyd-Hughes. “There’s more energy, and sometimes it feels like Lord of the Flies – like there’s no adult supervision.”

His career goal: “Tom Hanks’s performance in Big is my inspiration. If I could ever be as good as he was, I’d die happy.”

MOLLY

Played by: AMY NEWBOLD, 27

How you know her: The former nursing school student is still getting her acting career revved up, but she’s already had the chance to play a nurse on an episode of Chicago Fire.

The upside of playing Tris’s Dauntless nemesis: “Molly loves to fight, and through the training process I discovered my own strange love of fighting,” says Newbold, who had mixed feelings about squaring off with Woodley. “The first day I met Shailene, she flung herself into a hug, so it was hard to beat her up, but it was also really fun.”

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