Talented young actor, Chris Pine is the very lucky guy who stars opposite Lindsay Lohan in JUST MY LUCK - although, watching his on screen character, Jake Hardin, at the start of this appealing comedy, he does not seem lucky at all. He is clumsy, unappealing and unsuccessful at practically everything he does. He seems like a nice enough guy - but as a prospective boyfriend for Lohan’s Ashley Albright .. Hardly. He is a real loser in a dead end job, with pie in the sky dreams of becoming a music producer. He’s even discovered a talented band and is confident that they have what it takes to make it big. (The band, called McFLY is one of the UK’s popular ‘boy bands’.) But he hasn’t been able to get any attention for them. Suddenly one night everything changes dramatically on the dance floor at an elegant ball which he has gate crashed. One kiss with a stranger, and nothing will be the same again. The two have switched luck. While Pine’s Hardin is on his way to a dazzling career in the record industry and is taken under the wing of a major music tycoon, things are not good for Lohan’s Ashley Albright, who looks like she is in danger of losing everything. Full of physical comedy, Chris Pine handles the role with wit and warmth. The 20th Century Fox film, directed by Donald Petrie is set in New York and was shot in New Orleans.
Currently in demand in Hollywood, Pine starred in the popular, THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT. His next films are SMOKIN’ ACES with Ben Affleck and BLIND GUY DRIVING, directed by James Keach. Pine is no stranger to the movie industry. He grew up in Los Angeles and comes from a family of actors. His father is actor Robert Pine. He has a sister, actress Katie Pine.Chatting in Beverly Hills, the 25 year-old actor, wearing a beige linen shirt and jeans, is bright and interesting. He talks about his upbringing, his film career so far and his dreams for the future. Unlike his JUST MY LUCK character, Chris Pine seems to be experiencing the best of luck.
Talk about your character?"He tries his hardest to succeed and do well, but nothing is going right for him. He works in a bowling alley as a janitor. He is also an aspiring record producer working with this great band (the real live band McFLY) but nothing happens and he never seems to get a break. Then he sneaks his way into a masquerade ball and tries to hand over a CD of McFLY, to an important record industry tycoon. But he meets Ashley, a beautiful girl; he kisses her and suddenly life changes for them. This girl has had all the luck in the world; she loses her good luck and gets all my bad luck. We swap luck and the story goes on from there."
Do you believe in luck?"Yes sure, I believe in luck and fate and I believe in karma, that the energy you put out in the world comes back to meet you. So if you have positive good energy, hopefully good things will come to you from the universe."
Does that come from a spiritual outlook on life?"Yes I definitely have a spiritual outlook. I don’t usually read self-help books, but I read a great book by a guy called Wayne Dyer: The Power of Intention, which I loved. I am not a religious guy, I am probably agnostic but I thought what this writer had to say was really powerful. The more you are positive and say ‘I want to have a good life,’ the more you build that reality for yourself; by creating the life that you want. It is not always the case that things will fall into your lap or that life will be great, but it is all about perspective and having a positive outlook. If something goes wrong you say ‘that happened for a reason, what can I learn from that and how can I grow?'"
Do you have examples of how luck has changed your life?"Yeah my career is a great example. I took part in a theater festival in Massachusetts two summers after I graduated from college. Then I was in Los Angeles thinking ‘I am going to go to New York’. I had decided that I would not have a chance of a film career, so I was about to make the move. I bought a plane ticket and found a place to live in New York, packed my bags and of course the universe ‘told me’ that I was not meant to go. Suddenly a week before I was supposed to leave, I had three job offers and one of them was my first movie. I think that when you let go and ‘throw it all away’ and stop getting attached and say ‘whatever happens, happens’, you don’t invest too much in anything particular, and things work out. As an actor it easy to be so self-critical, saying to yourself, ‘am I good enough? Am I good looking enough? Am I smart enough?’ Yet here I am so I am lucky."
So what was it like starring opposite Lindsay Lohan?"When I got the job I thought about her a lot. Not only was I getting a great job in a really good movie, but it was with Lindsay Lohan. She is so famous and I don’t have any of that, I have never experienced that kind of intense scrutiny that she is under, so of course I wondered what it would be like acting opposite her. I can tell you that it is like being with the Beatles. You cannot fathom the kind of attention she gets. It is mind boogling. We were filming in New Orleans and decided to go to Tulane to a party. But you cannot just ‘show up’ to a party with Lindsay, it becomes an event unto itself. You hear the whispers, then the whispers become gaggles of people, then the gaggles of people becomes masses of people and the masses of people bring the paparazzi and then everything becomes exaggerated. If she was drinking water people would say ‘why is she drinking water? blah blah blah..’ so it was a learning experience for me to be around and to see what that was like and to separate fact from fiction. When I was 18 I was an emotional wreck and I couldn’t imagine having to deal with that kind of fame, so I would say she dealt with it well and has a lot of grace. I think: good for her. She has met with such a lot of criticism and so I’m glad she is outspoken and opinionated and says what she thinks."
What are your own views of Lindsay?"Her talent is undeniable. She has such magnetism, everyone wants to watch her, you cannot teach what she has, no school can give you that, it is just inherent within her."
You have to kiss her during the masquerade ball, what was that like?"Well at the time I was really sick with a fever, in fact my sister came to stay, to take care of me. So I wasn’t feeling well, and we were shooting amongst a huge crowd of extras. It is supposed to be an intimate scene, we are dancing, but of course it was not like that at all. There was no music and I was being yelled at ‘ to the left! I need to see the left side of your face.’ It could not be more artificial, but she was great and we laughed about it. It did feel awkward but we got into the rhythm of it. She was a great kisser, she has great big lips and she is gorgeous."
Can you imagine being as famous as her?"I can’t. You know everyone is on their own path, I don’t know what will happen to me, I just wish her all the best of luck. She said something interesting to me: ‘Anyone in my position has asked for the attention’. I think that is true and I give her a lot of credit for admitting that, but I cannot imagine that kind of fame."
You became pretty well known in THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2. How are you enjoying success on your level?"I really don’t get recognized much. But there was one experience in an airport with two kids, when the little girl said ‘Princes Diaries ‘ and freaked out, but I still have anonymity, its great, I go out anywhere I want, no one ever recognizes me."Are you prepared for things to change? "No I don’t think about it. I know the JUST MY LUCK posters are around town and if it happens, I hope I deal with it well with certain relativity, because this is not brain science we are dealing with, this is make believe. I hope I can just enjoy it."
Is it strange getting used to seeing yourself on film?"I look at myself and say ‘I can’t believe my head’s that big. Thank god my hair doesn’t look like a bird’s nest.’ I am critical of myself like everyone else. You go to a movie theater and you are forty feet high. I had bad skin as a teenager and I am a shy person, but I think I am in the perfect business to fight my insecurities. You have to learn love yourself and say ‘I am pretty cool’ instead of being so critical. You can easily fall into the trap of doing that."
There is a lot of physical comedy in the film, how difficult was it, falling over and doing quite a bit of slapstick?" When I got the role, I was reading what I have to do at the start of the film when I am in Central Park in New York. I thought it was just a little montage of amusing shots. But when you read the script, you do not realize just how challenging it will be. For instance there is one shot of me running into a jogger. Five seconds of film took a day to shoot. I had to fall over again and again and again to get it right. And it was hard to maintain the spontaneity as well as getting it right for the ninth time, falling correctly. It was a big learning experience."
What was it like working with McFLY; they are a real pop group, not actors of course?"Honestly they were great. I got their album when I first heard they were going to be in the movie and I said ‘this isn’t my cup of tea’, just not my kind of music. Then when I met them I couldn’t help but love them, they are so much fun and I started to enjoy their music much more too. They were having the time of their lives doing what they love to do, they are not jaded and they don’t have a care in the world. They enjoy every second of what they are doing. I am so jealous of them, I told them I would be their tambourine player."
What is next for you?"I have two films coming out, ‘BLIND GUY DRIVING later this year, directed by James Keach who produced WALK THE LINE and his wife Jane Seymour is also in it. It is a wonderful story and I play a blind guy who has had to fight all his life to succeed and he falls in love. It is a great drama. Then I have another film, SMOKIN’ ACES. I am very proud of that. What a great cast. Ben Affleck is in it, so is Ray Liotta and Alicia Keys is in it too, it is her first starring role. I play a southern neo Nazi assassin, so completely different. I am evil with a shaved head and a Mohawk and tattoos everywhere. It is so great to go from a romantic film; where you go into the trailer at 5 am and you are supposed to look great, red eyes are a problem, to this one. For SMOKIN ACES, it was great to wake up and the worst you looked in the morning, the better."
What are your goals?"I am really open to all kinds of different roles and I would love to do action, that would be great. I am just starting out in my career. I have a wide range of interests; I would love to do more theater, musicals, everything. I just want to work with passionate, creative people who are excited about their work."
How did the acting start for you?"I grew up in Los Angeles, (in the San Fernando valley) and went to a small private school here called Oakwood. I grew up in the business because my father is an actor and has been an actor for over 40 years. His first TV part was in GUNSMOKE. My grandmother was an actress in the 30s and 40s; my mom was an actress and my sister. Because I was around acting so much, I didn’t even think about, I suppose it was natural. I performed and sang at school but as a child it was never anything I was interesting in doing professionally. But it all struck home when I was at college, Berkeley in San Francisco. I was still very shy and I decided to go to the theater to audition and I started doing plays and loved it. So it’s all gone on from there. I studied English and actually went to England for a year, to Leeds in the north of the country to study. It was a year abroad and that was wonderful. I had the time of my life."
How much of a passion is acting?"Everybody always talks about a dying passion for acting, but it never really happened for me that way, it happened so organically. Right now I cannot see myself doing anything else because it is so fascinating and a lot of it is really about human psychology. But I do have other interests like writing and playing music."
What other jobs have you done?"I worked in a restaurant and in a bakery and I once worked for my landlord as a construction guy, who would repair things in the house. But I was not very good because I do not know a hammer from a screwdriver, so that did not last long."
Do you have a girlfriend?"I am dating, I have been seeing an actress for the past five months, her name is Sorel, she said she was named after a courtesan in Louis X1V’s court. I met her at a party. It was funny because I had just been filming SMOKIN’ ACES and during the last week of shooting they had sprayed me with fake blood. So my skin was terrible and I had rashes and did not feel good at the party, I was miserable. But I had a great conversation with a beautiful girl and it went on from there. It must be difficult to meet someone if you are famous like Lindsay, but not for me at the moment. I wonder what that would be like and how you would know why people like you. I think it might be awful, but I am sure you would be able to tell if the connection was real or not. I understand why actors date each other because you have so much in common."
If you were a girl would you be attracted by Chris Pine?Are you a great prospect for a girl? "Of course, I was always so humble and shy and self critical as a kid, now I am more confident and yeah I am a great guy, I have a lot going for me and I think anybody would be lucky to have me."
What do you do on a first date?"I am pretty conventional, I was raised by a strict mother who said ‘be sure to open doors and say please thank you and pull up the chair.’ So I would take her for a great dinner with good ambience, low lighting, great food and a good bottle of wine. I like to be inquisitive and ask a lot of questions. I am not an ironic dating guy; I don’t say ‘let’s go bowling’.
Just My Luck Opens 26th June 2006
tagged in Chris Pine