‘Divergent – Insurgent’ Actor Keiynan Lonsdale speaks to FAULT Online on his upcoming US blockbuster

Photo: Isaac Sterling


Former face of MTV Australia, Keiynan Lonsdale is currently making his US debut starring as Uriah in the highly anticipated follow-up to Divergent, Insurgent. FAULT caught up with the 23 year old Aussie star who spilled the beans on his love for Michael Jackson, how it feels to break America and more.


FAULT: Insurgent is just about to hit the big screen and things seem to escalade quite quickly for you as an actor right now. Could you tell us a bit about your character in the film?

Keiynan: I play Uriah Pedrad, from the Dauntless faction. Uriah’s also a Divergent, so he doesn’t always conform to the rules. There is a lot more depth to him and his way of thinking, than he often lets on.


How did you get involved in the Divergent series?

I sent in my audition for Insurgent via video, because I was living in Australia at the time. A month after my initial tape, I did my final call back on video chat with the director, Robert Schwentke, and was lucky enough to be cast a few days after that.

Photo: Isaac Sterling


Had you read the books beforehand? Did you have an interest in the series before getting the part? 

I watched the film (and loved it) the night before I found out that there was an audition for the sequel, so the story and the world still felt fresh in my mind, which was helpful. I read all three books quickly after I found out I had been cast.


You’re originally from Australia and were shooting a number of projects over there before Insurgent. How does the production differ in the US than from Australia?

Production wise, everything was a whole lot bigger, but the environment still felt pretty familiar. As daunting as it was to step into such a big film set, everything was pretty relaxed, so I felt comfortable.


Whether you have seen the first film, Divergent or you haven’t, what do you think is a good reason to see Insurgent?

It has such a stellar cast of all ages and experience; I’m personally of a fan of every actor in the film. It’s also a great story, and it makes you question how you would survive and who you would become if you had to live in a society like the one in Divergent. I can’t wait for people to watch it.


Let’s talk a bit about you as a performer, musician and television presenter. What was your transition like from the face of MTV Australia to landing your own dance show on ABC Australia to then receiving a role on US blockbuster Insurgent?

I feel like at times the transition felt smooth & other times it has felt pretty sharp – and that’s probably because I wasn’t expecting my first job in the US to be such a huge and amazing film franchise. MTV was always supportive of the acting side of my career, so I never felt like presenting got in the way or hindered my chances of crossing over to film.

Photo: Isaac Sterling


When did you discover your passion for performing, whether it was acting or dancing?

I was obsessed with Michael Jackson from the age of two, so I danced all day every from that point on. When I was about 15 I really started to get passionate about acting and music. I don’t ever remember not wanting to be a performer, it’s just what I’ve always done.


You’re a singer as well and you released a single last year. How is your music career coming along?

I think a few days after I released “One and Only” independently, I found out that I got Insurgent and would need to fly out to Atlanta for filming. My whole mind set had to change if I really wanted to give acting my best shot. I’m not going to rush anything with my music just for the sake of it, when it’s my focus again and when I know I’m creating the music I want to, then I’ll push it out there.


What other projects do you have planned? What else would you like to get yourself involved in?

I wrapped filming on “The Finest Hours” in December, which was extremely challenging but such an incredible learning experience, that film comes out in October. I just really want to continue working with creative people, and continue to push myself further outside my comfort zone which each role I do.


Lastly, what’s your FAULT?

I let my own doubt control my confidence.


Words: Adina Ilie