INSURGENT - Final PosterChicago has so many incredibly talented individuals, but how many can say that they’ve written a successful New York Times best seller series, complete with a successful movie franchise under their belt all before the age of 25. That’s just a short summary, of all of the accomplishments of the one and only Veronica Roth.

Veronica Roth’s name may be familiar to many of you as she is the author of the young adult series Divergent. The native of Barrington recently made her press rounds in Chicago to promote the latest installment of the Divergent movie series; Insurgent.

Veronica Roth: Insurgent

Insurgent picks up where the first film had left off. Tris played by Shailene Woodley and Four played by Theo James, have essentially become outlaws as they break away from their factions. Going against the grain, they rebel against authority causing them to fight for their lives. Played by the Phenomenal Kate Winslet Jeanine is the villain of the story as she seeks to destroy all divergents, leaving Tris and Theo on the run. The audience can expect to be taken on quite a wild ride as are sitting on the edge of their seats eagerly awaiting the fate of our beloved characters.

While the film is shot in Atlanta, the story itself is based in our beloved city of Chicago. As Veronica began to picture the setting for this dystopian universe, she immediately imagined trains running above ground which is paying homage to the Metra and CTA systems.  Veronica shared with me how Chicago is such an ideal setting because not only does Chicago possess beautiful architecture, but it is also very clean compared to other cities. This set the stage for the ultimate destruction that audience goers can expect to see in Insurgent.


Throughout the interview, we delved into the creative mind of Veronica some more as she shared the inspiration behind the Divergent series.  The story came about during her freshman year of college when she took a Psychology 101 class.  During this class, she learned about the inner workings of exposure therapy.  This therapy is meant to treat anxiety by repeatedly exposing an individual to an environment that provokes fear. Exposure therapy makes itself quite relevant as the audience witnesses the battles that each of the factions must endure. The SIMS make another daunting experience in Insurgent, as it serves as the ultimate exposure therapy putting Tris and others through various trials.

After watching the first movie, I thought I had a good sense of what faction I would be placed in if Veronica Roth’s story were real life. However, after everything that went down in the second movie, I would pray to God that I would be factionless. Since Veronica is the creator of all the madness, I wanted to know which faction she would belong to. She mentioned Abnegation due to the selflessness, but since each faction has their own share of problems, she would join me and break away with the factionless.

52069.cr2 Through Insurgent, not only do we get a deeper look in the battles of the different factions; but we also witness major character development with Tris, Four, Caleb, and Peter. As an author, of course, all of the characters are near and dear to her, it’s Tris who holds a special place in Veronica’s heart.

Audience members can expect to see Tris like they have never seen her before. Expect a break in that tough girl exterior as she exhibits vulnerability, as well as humanity. This balance is what allows her to become a character that the audience is steadily rooting for.  Tris has endured quite a bit in the first two movies, so one can only wonder what does Veronica have in store for the conclusion of the series. Based on the ending, I’m certain that the battle isn’t over and it may have just begun as we prepare for Allegiance.

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What I particularly admire about the Divergent series is it really makes you think to yourself what would you do in that situation? There is no right or wrong answer, but your choices can truly say a lot about your character and to me that was the takeaway I got from the film. As human beings, we are all multifaceted so in a sense we are all somewhat Divergent.

Veronica shared with me that one of the positive outcomes of having your book turned into a film is the ability to reach a new audience of curious readers. Based on the excitability of the second film, I think Veronica Roth may have gained a whole new set of readers.

I thank Veronica for creating such a thought provoking series and it should make us all incredibly proud that she is one of Chicago’s very own.  I  recommend Insurgent if you want to go on a thrill seeking ride.  Be sure to get the full experience by seeing the film in IMAX 3D. Insurgent is in theaters now.