“Divergent” cast members talk inspiration, third film installment

Hunter Gierhart

Actors Bill Skarsgård and Nadia Hilker have joined the Divergent Series for the upcoming third installment, “Allegiant.” They spoke to The Daily Texan about their rise to stardom and their new film, which premiered March 18.

The Daily Texan: How did you guys get into acting?

  • Bill Skarsgård: For a while, I didn’t want to be an actor, of course, because [my father] was one, but eventually, I came around. I made it a point to try not to involve any of my family members, because I’m always going to be associated with them, so when I do my work I want to do it my way.
  • Nadia Hilker: Well, it’s a long story. I used to be a dancer, which led me to modeling, which led me to acting, but I never wanted to do it. But there was this crazy agent in Germany who saw me, and she thought I was an actor. She would call me every month for two years trying to convince me to become an actor. Finally, I quit economy school and I was like, “Okay, I’m just gonna be an actor, this woman keeps on calling me, so I’m just gonna do it.” I was really lucky; I asked myself why everybody was saying it’s so hard to be an actor, because everything went very smoothly in the first two years. 

But then I stopped being able to work for a very long time, and I stopped being able to pay my rent. I feel sorry for actors or artists in general who are successful right from the beginning, because you don’t get to appreciate it that much. I definitely had a couple years of suffering, and I nearly quit twice. 

DT: Who inspires you, either as an actor or as a person in general?

  • NH: There’s so much inspiration, but my boring answer would be Meryl Streep. I just love artists who do it for the art and not for fame or money.

DT: What’s been the highlight of the “Divergent” series so far?

  • NH: There’s been so much in terms of work being on such a big film and movie set. It was challenging to be the new kids in school, but thankfully, Bill and I had each other. That definitely helped a lot. It was just such an amazing experience, and we can’t wait to go back this summer and shoot the last one. 
  • BS: The highlight for me was just to get to know all these people, Nadia and the rest of the crew and cast. It was a lot of fun.

DT: What are you looking forward to most with the premieres this month?

  • BS: Well, it’s a funny thing because we shot this film last summer and it’s just coming out now, which means it’s relevant for everyone else, but for us, we’ve been living with it. Our job is done. Now when it comes out, people get to see what we’ve done, which is exciting and almost a bit of a relief to know that it’s out there. 

DT: What are your goals for after “Divergent”?

  • NH: I like being the badass chick, but I want to play the girl next door or something people would never cast me for. On top of that, [my goal is to] make movies that can make a change or really touch people —  movies that, when the audience leaves, they think about for a day or an hour or even two weeks. I love challenging myself and, as Bill just said, working with inspiring people. I also love doing movies that have a tiny little budget, [but also] doing things like “Allegiant” and mixing it up.