Wonder Woman: Interview with Star Chris Pine

Shooting the movie

Chris Pine: It was great fun.  I loved this character, he reminds me of every hero that I enjoy watching when I was growing up.  He’s fallible and jaded and a little rough around the edges.  But he’s funny and he doesn’t take himself so seriously and he is trying his best to be a hero and those are the kind of guys that I like to play.  And there was a great relief of that there was no superhero burden of having to wear a cape or anything and I could let the beautiful Gal do that.  And it was also the idea that I really like the themes of it.

I am not a huge sci-fi or a superhero guy, but I really loved Patty Jenkins and I really loved the story that she wanted to tell.  And these films are usually about, kind of seen through this masculine perspective of like an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a bad guy gets killed and he should die and etc, etc, etc.  I felt how fascinating and what a wonderful opportunity that Patty took this genre and the idea of a superhero and flipped it on its head and said what if her greatest weapon is love and compassion?  I thought God, that’s so neat.  And to have a end set piece where that is the battle and to show love and compassion in the world today, that’s such a necessary theme.  If we can use these huge tentpoles to say something important like that, then it was really neat.

 

Philosophy: Something or Nothing Character

CP: I vacillate.  We tell each other stories about the person that does something, but most of us do nothing.  And I don’t make any judgment on that, I think we tell each other these stories in order to engender in the youth in our population the idea that you can be these unique birds that are brave.  But for myself, I think maybe vacillating between the two, being fearful and scared but sometimes being heroic, but always striving for and I guess knowing that the goal is to try to do something with whatever means you have I guess.

 

Career phase

CP: I am in a pretty small percentile of actors who are working and in that percentile I am working on a really high level and some of that is hard work and some of that is different things, and I know that some of that is luck and I am super blessed.  And yeah, it is a good time.

Lucky to be Cast?

CP: I do feel lucky cause there was another director attached to it before and I had a meeting with her about it, and I met her and I really wasn’t into it.  I said, well that’s an interesting story and she’s a nice woman, but I wasn’t particularly interested.  And then that fell through and Patty then came on board, and I said God, do I really want to meet, it’s like what happened with Star Trek too, it was like well fuck it, I guess. I met Patty at this bar, and she is like this ball of caffeinated energy, and I remember sitting with her in this bar in Silverlake, and she was just like telling me this story.  And I was like ten minutes later, yeah whatever man, let’s rock and let’s do this.  she can touch a story.  So I feel lucky that for whatever cosmic reason I was like thrown back into this position of meeting on the film and I would not have sought it out, I wouldn’t have taken it if I read it probably, but I said yes before they even had a script because she referenced all these things that I liked.  She was kind of like it’s like “Romancing the Stone” and that energy and all that stuff like that I like.  The relationship is the classic, they can’t be together, they won’t be together, God, please be together, they are together!

Working with Female Director

CP: It sounds like a stock answer, but it just depends on the human being.  I think if you are speaking in generics or stereotypes or whatever you would say that men come from, that cerebral place and they are a little bit colder and they are practical and harder, and women come from a more warm, that’s not always the case with human beings.  Some directors paint in major or minor notes, that’s two metaphors in one, some directors make music with major and minor notes, and Patty makes music with ninths and sevenths, by which I mean her emotional nuance is very keen, and she will not let you get away with, I think the more you act, if you are intelligent, because human beings are lazy by nature, that you can get away more often with mimicry than authenticity, and the mimicry will serve the purpose and be fine, but she really hungers for and searching for authentic.  And I guess I define authentic by saying raw, present emotion on the day and not something that you cooked up at home.  And there are really not that many people that care, and she really does.  And I have rarely met someone who is as invested in, whose craft is as well honed cinematically and visually as it is on the emotional level.

Patty Jenkins Style

CP: I am not in the film that much.  Maybe two weeks out of the five-and-a-half months we shot. My experience on it tells me that for a tentpole thing of this size, she shot it in a furious guerilla way that I loved.  There was less desire to make it perfect.  She set up her cameras in a way that just allowed for, there was a speed and dexterity to it, less than someone who honed and said this is the shot that I want.  Bringing that energy to something of this scope and size, could be really interesting.

Duet with Streisand 

CP: I was shooting at the time “Wonder Woman.” So my head was just in a different space which was nice.  And it’s like when you are really tired and you have to work, so you don’t have the room or the time or the energy or the brain power to be anxious. So it was really helpful and I didn’t really think about it quite honestly. And then it came time to come out and it came out and I listened to it once, which was about as much as I could listen to it without getting into my self-critic place.  But it was so cool that it happened.  And then I got to go on SNL and so all that singing. And any opportunity, and when I was on “Angie Tribeca” and I got to play Hannibal Lecter, and I think the acting world I am in can sometimes be very confining, so I like opportunities and I get to do stuff that I always did as I grew up and I was in College.  And that is how I kind of defined and saw myself and then you get into this business and it’s you are blonde and blue eyed and you do one thing.  But I have got more tricks up my sleeve that I would love to do and it gives me a lot of joy, like the comedy stuff and all that.  So whether people like it or not is great because it doesn’t really matter, because I make my living doing this stuff and God willing this will continue to work out.  So anyway, long story long, it was great.

 

How Women Surprise?

CP: They do ll the time.  I was talking with this woman who I was interested in and I sent her a text and saying nice to meet you or whatever it was, and she said nice to meet you, you challenge me.  And I was like God that’s so cool, the fact that this person wanted, and this is not a comment on women, just how cool it was to meet a woman who wanted to be challenged and something that turned her on to be challenged was kind of neat.  It wasn’t that it was like, that the conversation was taken to someplace that was different.  It’s all that the conversation of this was like what is it like to be her boyfriend, which is cute, glib, it’s like an easy question.  And this not me being defensive, and it’s my saying that it’s not a binary thing and this movie is about a lot more than that, that misses the forest for the trees.  This is about heroism and about parity and about honor.  So just similarly, I liked that, that she was kind of getting below the surface a little bit, I enjoyed that, that was fun.

 

Working with Gal Gadot

CP: These films are obviously very difficult and there’s a lot of pressure riding on them and Gal, I have never met someone as frustratingly optimistic and positive as she is.  She is always like the glass is always full, and it’s not even empty, it’s overflowing.  And she had a lot of, she had trained on “Batman V Superman”  to this and she trained and was going on to “Justice League” and she was working out like twice a day and she a kid and a family and she had to uproot her family and move to London.  And never complained, never once complained.  And I love to complain, (laughter) and one scene in particular, at the end on the airbase, it’s fucking freezing.  It’s like the middle of Winter, and she is wearing nothing and we have got to be in love and it’s the big denouement and it’s the whole thing.  And she could barely talk and I mean they had to put those blankets to prevent hypothermia, and she not once complained.  She really had her eyes on the prize.  I don’t know if that is the military training or upbringing in Israel or something, but incredible work ethic.  And just a lovely person to be around.  So I had a great time, easy falling in love with her.

 

Doing Own Stunts

CP: Anyone who tells you they do all of their stunts is just simply not telling the truth. I have never met anyone in the world who does all of their own stunts.  And they shouldn’t because there are a group of professionals that are wickedly talented at doing it.  So I had an incredible stunt double and tried to do as much as I could and I had two stunt guys on this one, one that did a lot of the trick bike riding and the really jumping and that kind of stuff, and I did a lot of bike riding, but I didn’t jump over a goddamned thing.  (laughter) But all the running and jumping and gun stuff I like to do.

 

Wonder Woman

I was familiar with Wonder Woman as far as she was a cultural icon but not in a detailed kind of way. I didn’t do any research for my part.

Directed by Woman

Yes,  I was directed by Ava DuVernay for “Wrinkle in Time” which I just did.  And in theater twice. It’s not a pat answer, it just depends on the human being. It’s just simply whether or not they are cool or talented. And I haven’t found, like I said about Patty which is true, her sense of emotional nuances are really refined.  I have met men that are like that, but hers is pretty powerful.  So that’s the biggest difference.

 

More Women Filmmakers

I hope it happens, the fact that we having a conversation is ridiculous.  And business is business and money rules the world and so long as these films make money, they will start hiring women.   I wish it were kind for more ethical human reasons.  But you met her, Patty is a force of F’ing nature and she is not to be trifled with. She does not suffer fools and I have seen her in rooms with a lot of powerful people, Chuck Rogan especially, who certainly has a pedigree that is second to none, and she can own it.

 

Wanting to Become Actor?

No.  I wanted to play sports growing up and my dad played baseball.  I would come home from school and we would throw around the ball for hours.  And all I wanted to do was play baseball for years.  And then it quickly became apparent that that wasn’t going to happen and then I went to College and just wasn’t doing it and found it, acting that is, and then I just found it.

Kissing Wonder Woman

 It was great.  She is a beautiful, beautiful woman.  It’s a perk of the job I guess.

Learning from Colleagues and Women

It always kind of trickles down from the top and that is your director and then your lead, because it is all about them.  And it can’t help but infect, I have seen it go the opposite way and then it be an absolute nightmare, just a real ugly taste around the set.  And Gal, I am telling you, you see her smile and she is gorgeous to look at, and you can feel that positive energy.  And as I said and this is not hyperbole to make a joke, I complain, I am the first to bitch and moan, so I certainly clamped my mouth down, and you try to get on the same page, and it’s a great energy to be around.  And like I said, my main job in this film, is that I get to fall in love with Gal, crack some jokes, I took my shirt off in one scene, and that is my job.  So if you can make that job, and literally I don’t have to act anything, I just have to go to set and make this beautiful woman laugh and it was a dream.  It was like you couldn’t ask for more. I got paid well, traveled, made a movie with people I loved, that’s like a dream, an absolute dream.