Imagine the heartthrob of period dramas and action films, Theo James, not acting but battling through a music gig? Believe it or not, it’s something that almost happened. Before captivating movieholics, James had a brush with a different kinda spotlight—one that went awfully wrong. 

Theo James as Tobias "Four" Eaton in Divergent | Red Wagon Entertainment
Theo James as Tobias “Four” Eaton in Divergent |Red Wagon Entertainment

As unlikely as it may seem, this incident propelled James to quit his music passion, and build a successful acting career. So, grab a metaphorical towel and unfold how one “strange, sweaty, horrible gig” redirected the Divergent star from music to movies! 

From Pee Bottles to Divergent: How a Shower of Discontent Launched Theo James’ Acting Career

Theo James reveal his thoughts about how people's perception of them have changed and what makes them Divergent
Theo James reveal his thoughts about how people’s perception of them have changed and what makes them Divergent | Wikimedia/KidsPickFlicks

The handsome star of the Divergent series, Theo James, had completely different aspirations for his stardom. James had a strong desire to pursue music and be a rockstar (could you believe it?)


In a throwback interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, James hinted at how he didn’t only daydream about music goals but worked actively hard towards achieving them as well. He stated, “That was my initial goal, kind of forever,” showcasing how much he wanted to be a singer. But what went down? Why didn’t he pursue a career in music? 

The White Lotus actor opened up about this one awful incident that had his heart (and music dreams) broken. So, he was performing on stage with his band and this extremely tragic occurrence unfolded. Explaining how things took a drastic turn for him, James said rather sarcastically, 

I had a bottle of urine [thrown] at me. It was a strange, sweaty, and horrible gig. I think the act before us was late, and everyone was kind of inebriated and angry. Someone decided that the best way to deal with that was to pee in a bottle and throw it at someone’s face.

Despite how strange the event was, it made James rethink his professional future. As the ugly reality of the music industry became apparent, the fantasy of becoming a rock star began to fade. 


The “pee bottle incident” prompted James to take up acting as a new career path. While he shall never be seen on stage tearing up the guitar, it led him down a different—perhaps more fruitful road in the end. 

Theo James said how Fatherhood Has Changed the Way he Chooses Projects

Michael Ealy and Theo James at 2011 Comic-Con pop culture geek
Michael Ealy and Theo James at 2011 Comic-Con | Wikimedia/pop culture geek

In a recent roundtable interview with THR, Theo James, alongside co-star Anthony Mackie, opened up about how becoming a father changed his views about his acting career. The conversation dwelled upon the idea of pursuing acting solely for personal ambitions. James, now a father of two, responded candidly, 

Because when I was a young actor, I was rather hungry. I’d jump from job to job and f—— all that stuff. But I don’t want to take our kids out of school just because [a job] seems sexy at the time. Obviously stopping taking all the Class A drugs helped as well. I’m joking

James’ journey from a career-driven young actor to a father prioritizing stability is a relatable one, reminding us that life’s priorities can shift dramatically with a few diaper changes (and maybe a break from the wilder days!)

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