Maggie Q & Mekhi Phifer Talk Divergent

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(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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One of the most anticipated movies of the year is Divergent, which hits theaters on Friday March 21st.  Two of the stars of the film, Mekhi Phifer and Maggie Q talked all about their roles in what could be the next big movie franchsie when they spoke with Gina J.

Movie adaptations of popular Young Adult novel series have brought us smash hits like Twilight and The Hunger Games, and word is Divergent will be the latest franchise to gain serious attention when the first film hits later this month.  The buzz is already huge– while the movie doesn’t come out until the 21st, advance tickets have eben on sale since March 4th and are already selling fast!  “They have a reservations list for this!” Maggie Q remarked.

The Nikita actress plays Tori in the new film, but she admitted she didn’t get to employ many of her physical skills from her history on the action TV show… At least, not yet. “We really don’t [have many action sceens], especially in the first one,” she said.  “But we’re brewing at the end of this movie, we’re going in to war possibly.  It’s been stopped for the moment, but we’re going into something bigger in the second one.”

“Really the first [movie] just establishes all the different characters, Shailene, Theo, Kate Winslet… all of us,” Mekhi Phifer, who plays Max, added.  “You get embroiled into the world in this first one.  In two, you’ll be totally delved in to it, and we’ll see where the characters go from there.”

While they have yet to begin filming the second movie– based on Insurgent, the second novel in the series– Maggie Q is excited just to be part of this franchise, working with a-list actors like Kate Winslet.  “I think it’s really cool… it doesn’t matter what perception you live in, in the industry.  No matter what you’re doing you always want to try something else,” Maggie said.  “Kate Winslet is an incredibly well established and accomplished actress, and she might have just wanted to do something fun and commercial, and she can because she’s done everything that isn’t.”

Phifer agreed that the most fun part of a movie like Divergent is trying something different, and opening up to a whole new audience. “That’s what’s kind of fun about this, we get to have the prvielidge of being able to touch so many different people in so many different walks of life,” he explained.  “Each one of us with all the different things we do, we touch a different demo every time.”

When it comes to adaptations– especially adaptations of much-loved books– there is always a risk of a movie not living up to expectations.  But the importance of these books is something Phifer and Maggie are very aware of.  “I told my oldest son about [my role]– he was all over it,” Phifer recalled.  “[The book] was fun, but the movie is funner,” Maggie added.  “To be very honest, I thought the [movie] execution was better than my own imagination, when I was reading the books.  And that is a tall order.”

As you’d expect from a movie this big, there will be lots of exciting tie-in merhcandise as well, including a Divergent cosmetics line.  “I did hear they were partnering with Sephora on something, but I didn’t know what… we should get that on our contract,” Maggie joked. “Is there a Mekhi Phifer bronzer?”

Divergent opens in theaters nationwide on March 21st.  Advance tickets are on sale now.

–Bill Sencio, 96.5TIC/ Hartford

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