8 Things We Learned At The Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Press Conference
Eight things we learned from spending an afternoon with Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh, and more of the Jack Ryan team

Den of Geek, 15 January 2014
By Kevin Taylor

Chris Pine and Kevin Costner star in 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit', an action movie that is giving movie audiences a taste of the summer in the middle of January. We attended a press conference featuring the two aforementioned actors, as well as actor/director Kenneth Branagh, and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mace Neufeld. We heard some great stories during the press event, and we are sharing eight newly learned nuggets from the making of 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'.

1. Jack Ryan: Real Agent

One of the main talking points that Chris Pine and his fellow actors zeroed in on was that Jack Ryan was different from other Hollywood spies like James Bond. As Pine said, “The great thing about the Jack Ryan plot is that the story takes center stage. As an actor, you make an impact, but the story shines. It's different entirely.”

Costner added, “Hopefully our movies are a bit realer and not like James Bond...Spies are trying to be covert and not get caught.”

2. Pine Did Many of His Own Stunts

One of the most asked questions in a thriller like this is if the actors did their own stunts. You couldn’t wipe the grin off Pine’s face as he talked about some of the stunts he had to do while filming this project. “I did plenty of my own stunts,” Pine said. “Most actors get to live out boyhood fantasies in movies like this. I was on a very large motorcycle in New York and I probably wouldn't do that again without a helmet, but it sure was alot of fun.”

Pine continued, “The most fun, and one of the best moments of film, was the scene with the security guy. That was great, it was hand-to-hand combat, and though Jack had training in the Marines, he isn't a trained killer. So, I had a few MacGuyver moments in that,” he chuckled.

3. Costner Tired of the Mini Van

When asked about the longevity of his acting career, Costner talked about how fortunate he was to have a long-term acting career that has now spanned over three decades. Costner had a lighter schedule recently after the birth of his kids, but he was ready to get back to work.

“Me and my wife had three little kids in the last five years, and I had enough of the mini van. I had to go back to action movies because the minivan was too tough,” Costner joked. “It's not a check for me, it's love. I love making movies. I like working with specific, new people like those up here with me.”

4. Honest Exchange Between Actors

Piggybacking off that point, Costner and Branagh were open about the honest and respectful exchanges over scenes. Costner, who has directed a few films himself, would talk daily with Branagh on how to make specific scenes better.

Costner: “Honest exchange is never out of vogue. Its a business that's pretty interesting if you put three minutes of film in a can, that’s a whole day of exchanges. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” Branagh added, “I think if there's openness of communication, timing doesn't matter. It's quite marvelous when we trust each other, and our egos are at the surface and we are just looking for the better idea. It’s thrilling to be a part of this as it cuts across age. I’ve learned from people younger and older than me.”

5. Pine Loves Working with Keira Knightley

One of the lead actors who wasn’t able to join us was Pine’s on-screen better half: Keira Knightley. When asked about working with her, Pine lit up and had nothing but praise for the Pirates of the Caribbean star.

Said Pine, “I don't know if I’ve ever had more fun with someone. She's so professional; she'd show up smart, fun, in the moment, and we’d wrap and there was zero drama. It was such a lovely experience she took her job very seriously. She asked the right questions and she was sharp as a tack.”

6. Costner’s Mentor

In the film, Costner acts as a mentor for Pine, and the concept of mentors for each actor was discussed at length. For Costner, his mentor is a world famous star who is still paramount on the film screen today.

“Sean Connery was the biggest star I worked with in my life,” Costner admitted. “What happens is he knows how to hold onto the screen. Sean carries himself as a man and he told me practical stuff. 'It's going to be a long day, so sit down and when it's our turn it'll be ready.'”

7. Kenneth’s Theater Teacher

Speaking of mentors, Branagh shared a hilarious story about his mentor, the principal of his drama school.

“We were making Hamlet, and I had the 'to be or not to be' speech, and for me, this was the acting Olympics. After one take, he says nothing. Same for the second and third take. By take six, I say, 'I think we might have it.' Hugh said, 'The rhythm, extraordinary. Pacing, timing, it’s all brilliant. I simply don't believe a word you are saying. It's phony; it's fake,'” he said with a laugh.

8. Pine wanted Ryan to be Grounded

The last question of the conference provided one of the funniest lines from Pine. When asked about his character dressing down and being more like a normal man, Pine quipped, “Are you saying I'm not sexy?” He later elaborated, “I remember in the beginning there was a big discussion about suits wardrobe costume designer. We had Ralph Lauren suits that looked awesome, but the image I went back to was Harrison Ford in a tweed jacket. To me, that was the character. I didn't care about suits or watches. That's the kind of guy he is, so they gave him a Men’s Wearhouse look. He was much more simple and down to earth.”

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit opens on January 17.

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