Chris Pine Makes Jack Ryan His Own on the 'Shadow Recruit' Set
What is it like to balance Jack Ryan and Captain Kirk?, 6 January 2014
By Daniel Fienberg

Other highlights from Chris Pine's chat with reporters...

Question: Can you tell us what's going on today? What's happening?

Chris Pine: What's fun about this movie is that it's very "Three Days of the Condor," very kinda "All the President's Men." Again, it's a puzzle. There are little tendon pieces to create the plot, so it's a ostensibly very small scene... I don't want to give too much away. What can say about this? S***'s gone awry. S***'s hit the fan. Jack's trying to cover that that s***'s hit the fan and he's working very fast to figure things out. But anyway... A more interesting answer, maybe, is that it's just these fun little pieces. Our movie may not have the biggest set-pieces in the world. It's not "Star Trek," in that there's an incredible amount of visuals, although Harris is shooting this incredibly well -- visually, it's very very stunning, even some of the shots in there, just the geometry of the building itself I think... it's really beautiful -- it's a thriller, it's a plot thriller. It's kinda building up tension piece-by-piece, moment-by-moment and I look forward to seeing what it turns out to be, because I know a lot of it will happen afterwards in the editing process.

Question: We know kinda the man that Jack Ryan becomes from the previous films and all the books. Can you use that as a reference for playing the young version? Or because he doesn't know exactly what kind of man he'll become, do you really have to start from Square One?

Chris Pine: I love the stories that have come before that we know of. I think, for me it's always more interesting to kinda start from square one and you take the kinda fundamental pillars of the character and, around that, try to create something new and different. Just like with Kirk, for instance, I can't do what came before and who these other guys are as Jack Ryan and kinda only do my version of it, but there are certain things that are kinda fundamental to Jack. Like I remember in "Clear and Present Danger," I always love the fact that it was... Anne Archer who's driving the Porsche and he's driving the VW Bug. He's kinda frumpy and she's kinda the wunderkind doctor. I like that about Jack, that he's more comfortable in his study. He's comfortable with his books. He's more comfortable putting a puzzle together. He'd rather spend a Sunday at home than go out. He's a homebody. There's a comfort in isolation, but there's a really intense confidence in his own abilities to figure stuff out and to work through things in his own mind. So it's balancing that kind of Everyman with the thoughtfulness and the ability to be by himself and the comfort in isolation and then also that kind of intense confidence in his own abilities. And above and beyond that, you kinda wrap it around and create something [new].

Question: Kevin's a fascinating guy and he really knows a lot about the business, inside and out, and he really had some interesting things to say about being a lead actor. Have you had a chance to talk to him and get a lot of stories?

Chris Pine: Yeah. Kevin and I, I think, really hit it off. I love any chance to talk... Here's a guy who the top movie star in the world for a long time and he's got great advice. I love watching him in a close-up. For someone who's done it for so long, there's just such a comfort in the knowledge of what he's able to do and how to do it and how to sell a moment and just a comfort in front of the camera. Look, with a close-up and the camera's right there and it's a 15-hour-day and it's all about you, sometimes it's not the best feeling to have in the world, that kind of responsibility. But man, he's a cool cat. He's just a really knowledgeable guy and he's got his hands in so many different things. He's writing all the time and the way he talks to Ken about a shot or how that's going to move into the next sequence, I love listening to it, because watching my director, who's, you know, Kenneth Branagh, and then I'm watching my fellow actor, who's Kevin Costner, and I'm learning an incredible amount just by kinda being there.

Question: What's it like working with Ken when he's both acting and directing.

Chris Pine: I have yet to do it. We've yet to work together. I've worked Keira quite a bit and Kevin. What I would say about Ken is that he's incredibly, incredibly focused. I was talking to Lorenzo about this earlier, but Tony [Scott] was very much like this, I guess, but Ken, I guess even more-so, is very specific about what he wants. We don't spend much time... There's maybe three takes and then we're moving on. Oftentimes there's one. He knows what he wants, how he wants it and that's not say that he's not open to collaboration, but he's not shy from, if we get it in one, we'll move on. And in those scenes where it demands some colors and really getting to the core of it, he'll stay with it. And what I love about his set too, and it's probably because he's an actor directing actors, is that there's actor-focus and a lot of times with big films, I think because there's so much responsibility elsewhere in the film, what with CG or effects or the visuals of it, he's very happy to kinda sit in a scene and talk with the actors. He'll oftentimes stand right next to the camera and watch us work, which is great. He's not hidden in video village all the time, which sometimes can happen. So I appreciate that.

Back to the Jack Ryan page | Back to Articles Listing | Back to the Compendium