His Allegiant castmates – and his dad – help Ansel Elgort ring in his 22nd birthday

By Jeffrey Slonim
March 15, 2016 09:50 AM
Jamie McCarthy/Getty

The New York premiere of The Divergent Series: Allegiant evolved into a cheery 22nd birthday bash for beloved cast member Ansel Elgort (Caleb) on Monday night.

“I’m going to wish Ansel so many one-ounce birthday wishes at the bar tonight,” Miles Teller (Peter), told PEOPLE on the red carpet before the premiere.

“Guy’s it’s our Ansel’s birthday,” announced Shailene Woodley (Tris) at the front of the AMC Loews Lincoln Square theater while wearing a black jumpsuit with a self-described uni-pocket.

Inside the screening, the cast surprised Elgort with a roaring rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.”

From left: Ansel Elgort, Naomi Watts, Theo James, Shailene Woodley, and Nadia Hilker
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The outpouring of admiration was not without cause.

“We had a couple of Make-A-Wish kids come to set,” recalled fellow actor Joseph David-Jones (Hollis) on the red carpet. “And Ansel gave up his trailer and went and just sat on an apple box so that they could stay.”

Ansel Elgort and Violetta Komyshan
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Maggie Q (Tori) also kiddingly shared what present she might give her costar and pal.

“My birthday wish for Ansel? Maybe to grow a couple of hairs on his chin. He’s such a baby, but so adorable. Maybe I’ll get him a razor,” she joked on the carpet while arm-in-arm with her stubble-faced fiancé, Dylan McDermott.

“He’s very funny,” Naomi Watts (Evyln) also said of the birthday boy. “All these kids are great. There is no outsized ego among them.”

As for Elgort, being among friends and family for his birthday was the treat.

“I got to come home and just get a lot of love from everybody,” said a humble, hunky Elgort, wearing an edgy, oversized white collar and counting his birthday blessings for PEOPLE. “I know that sounds cheesy, but that’s what I want a lot right now, because I’m working all the time. And to be able to come back and spend time with everybody, it’s the best birthday present. It’s been so great to have my dad with me tonight and my mom and my whole family. I have like 22 guests.”

Ansel Elgort (second from left) and family members
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Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley at Allegiant afterparty
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Famed photographer and proud father Arthur Elgort said his son “always wanted to be an actor since I can remember.

He also shared that the family had begun celebrating earlier in the evening. “We had 17 people at our apartment. And then we go to Cipriani 42nd Street. And there is a surprise afterwards, but even I don’t know where.”