Stars walk the red carpet for the Canadian premiere of The Divergent Series: Insurgent

Movie bad guys Mekhi Phifer and Jai Courtney defend their characters at the premiere of the highly-anticipated sequel in Toronto Tuesday.

Movie bad guys Mekhi Phifer and Jai Courtney defend their characters at the film's Toronto premiere

Insurgent stars walk the red carpet in Canada

Arts and Entertainment

6 years ago
Movie bad guys Mekhi Phifer and Jai Courtney defend their characters at the film's Toronto premiere 1:43

Insurgent, the highly-anticipated second instalment in the wildly popular Divergent series, had its Canadian premiere last Tuesday night in Toronto, drawing some of the film's stars to the red carpet.

The sci-fi adventure, based on the second book in Veronica Roth's bestselling dystopian young adult novel trilogy,​centres on Tris and Four (played by Shailene Woodley and Theo James) who are now fugitives on the run in the ruins of a futuristic Chicago.

The city's faction system—in which citizens are divided into five groups based on personality traits— is crumbling and everyone is clamouring for power.

Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet reprises her role as Jeanine, the leader of the power-hungry Erudite faction, who will stop at nothing to hunt down Tris and Four.

British actress Kate Winslet as Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews. (Lionsgate)
​Jai Courtney is back as the villainous Eric Coulter. But at Tuesday's premiere, the Australian actor tried to describe his character as "misunderstood".

"He's a complex character ... [he's] very insecure," Courtney told CBC's Deana Sumanac-johnson. "But, yah, he's definitely a villain," he admitted.

Australian actor Jai Courtney as Eric Coulter in a scene from Insurgent. (Lionsgate)
American actor Mekhi Phifer, who plays fellow baddy, Max, the leader of the Dauntless faction, also sought to paint a more nuanced portrait of his character.

"People always describe him as bad," said Phifer. "But I think he really believes in his code. I think he believes in the code of [bringing] order. Obviously, society is going toward disorder and I think he's really holding onto the future of mankind."

Octavia Spencer, Naomi Watts and Ashley Judd round out a cast that's bursting with rising stars, like The Fault in Our Stars actor ​Ansel Elgort and Whiplash's Miles Teller.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent opens in theatres on Friday.

Watch Deana Sumanac-Johnson's interviews with the stars in the video above


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