‘Allegiant’ Stars Bill Skarsgard, Nadia Hilker Were in San Diego To Promote Movie

Allegiant Poster

“Allegiant” stars, Bill Skarsgard and Nadia Hilker, were in San Diego to talk about their roles and about joining “The Divergent Series” franchise.

Bill Skarsgard and Nadia Hilker star in "Allegiant" photo S. Valle

Bill Skarsgard and Nadia Hilker star in “Allegiant” photo S. Valle

The Hard Rock Hotel was the site of a press junket for the upcoming film “Allegiant” Part 1. This movie is part of “The Divergent Series” and is the final episode of this saga. However, fans of the “The Divergent Series” prepare yourselves. “Allegiant” is the first of a two-part conclusion to the wildly successful YA book series by Veronica Roth.

The finale was split in two to satisfy the series’ intense fan base, and to give the characters and the story a proper ending. Filmmakers decided that the only way to introduce the many complex characters in the final 544-page tome of the trilogy was to give them screen time. The series will conclude with “Ascendant,” the second and final part scheduled for a 2017 release date.

In the first part of the conclusion to this successful film franchise, we’re taken beyond the walled city of Chicago where no man has been before: The Fringe.

What lies beyond the wall? Director Robert Schwentke wanted to go past the look of the dystopian world of Chicago seen in the previous films. In “Allegiant,” you can expect bigger visual effects and monumental vistas unlike anything seen in the first films.

Out in The Fringe is where we’ll meet two new characters: Mathew, played by Bill Skarsgard (“Hemlock Grove”), and Juanita “Nita,” played by Nadia Hilker. Skarsgard and Hilker join the series for the first time in “Allegiant.”

Bill Skarsgard and Nadia Hilker of "Allegiant" with Suzette Valle.

Bill Skarsgard and Nadia Hilker of “Allegiant” with Suzette Valle.

I caught up with both actors, and had a casual chat about what it’s like for them to be part of such a successful movie franchise and the demanding fan base.

While Skarsgard had a serious demeanor, which matched his all black Emo-style outfit, Hilker was open and warm.  She gave off a Latino vibe (perhaps to go with her character’s name?) dressed in a Gaucho style get up: black leather gauchos, lace blouse, red open-toe heals with pompoms bouncing with each step, and topped with a black sombrero.

Skarsgard is a Swedish actor and a newcomer to “The Divergent Series: Allegiant.” He’s been acting for a while. He starred in the Netflix series “Hemlock Grove,” and last year appeared in “Emperor” next to Adrien Brody. He comes from a family of well-established actors; his father is Stellan Skarsgard, seen in “Pirates of the Caribean” and Marvel’s “Thor” and “Avengers.”

Nadia Hilker is a successful German-born European actress. She’s worked in television, and was the lead on the TNT pilot “Breed.” She was also in “Spring,” a featured movie at the Toronto Film Festival.

Both actors are foreign born and raised, but are fluent English speakers. The first thing I noticed was the virtual absence of a detectable accent.

I asked them if being non English-native speakers hinders their chances of getting good roles. Hilker commented that it’s hard just getting roles in general.

As members of The Fringe, Skargard and Hilker’s roles in “Allegiant” were physically demanding. Do they share any of their character’s strengths or characteristics in real life?

Bill Skarsgard and Nadia Hilker star in "Allegiant." Photo S. Valle

Bill Skarsgard and Nadia Hilker star in “Allegiant.” Photo S. Valle

Hilker said she loves that Nita is a confident and strong young woman, and she shares these traits with her character in the film. But most importantly, “Nita is a very good human being. And that to me is more important than being strong and confident,” she added.

Skarsgard, on the other hand, cracked a joke first. “I think I look and sound like Mathew!” he laughed. But I prodded a bit and told him he likely resembles his character since he’s only existed in the book.

He then went on to say that Mathew differs more from him than he is like him. “Mathew is very organized and structured. And I wish I was more like him in this way,” he chuckled.

Details like these about the 20-something actors are hard to come by online because they both refrain from joining social media. I had to ask them why since most of their fans want to connect with them on this level.

“I don’t want to depend on Likes to validate what I do,” Skarsgard said. (I completely agree with him on this!)

Hilker is also not a fan of social media. “I just want to concentrate on my work and not have this kind of distraction,” she said.

One of the most difficult aspects of filming “Allegiant” was the location. They filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, or as most of us call it, “Hot-Atlanta.”

Filmmakers sprayed 80,000 gallons of hydra seed and red dye to cover 15 acres of terrain at the Bellwood Quarry in Atlanta, to make it look like a devastated frontier.

“For inspiration creating this broken, colorful, diseased environment, we looked at copper mine run-offs in Alberta and giant garbage heaps in China,” said production designer Alex Hammond.

Skarsgard said that filming in the vast landscape outside of Atlanta, and wearing heavy costumes, was exhausting. The amount of perspiration was incredible.

“We could only film for a few hours because the heat was too much,” said Hilker.

One of the biggest thrills of being a newcomer to the “Divergent” franchise has to be the opportunity to work with the stellar cast which includes Golden-Globe nominee Shailene Woodley (Tris), Theo James (Four), Golden-Globe nominee Jeff Daniels, Miles Teller, Academy-Award winner Octavia Spencer, and Academy-Award nominee Naomi Watts.

I asked Hilker what it felt like to be surrounded by this caliber of talent, and she likened it to being the new kid at school.

“We just want to be liked and accepted. We feel like we’re the new kids at school,” said Hilker.

Both Hilker and Skarsgard were gracious and likeable during our chat, and I can’t wait to see them and their work in “Allegiant!”

The Divergent Series: Allegiant Rated PG-13

Release Date: March 18, 2018

Runtime: 2 hours 1 minute








  1. Diana says:

    How neat to meet them! And they will have big shoes to fill, considering they are characters in well-loved books and coming into an established franchise! Wish them Good Luck! Can’t wait to see the movie!

    • Suzette Valle says:

      What I liked most about meeting them was getting to know their personalities; Bill is a serious actor, and Nadia is so bubbly and just happy to be a part of this! Come back and let us know what you thought about the movie, Diana!


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