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Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - Chris Pine interview

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Interview by Rob Carnevale

CHRIS Pine talks about the appeal of playing Jack Ryan in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and why he feels the character differs and offers more of an everyman appeal than Bourne or James Bond.

He also discusses what he likes about his co-star and mentor in the film, Kevin Costner. He was speaking at a UK press conference.

Q. What was it that marked this script out as special for you?
Chris Pine: I was curious about playing a guy who I felt whose experience really pivoted on 9/11 and a man who went and served in the war, was affected by the war, had been damaged physically and psychologically and emotionally but was still compelled to serve and had to serve. It felt very contemporary and it just felt very of the now. I liked the idea of that kind of reluctant hero feeling compelled to serve from something deep inside himself – a deep sense of a personal moral curve.

Q. Jack Ryan is the big franchise character that no movie star seems willing to commit to for more than one or two movies in the past. Do you have a theory as to why that’s been? And is the time right now for him to compete with Bourne and Bond?
Chris Pine: Well, I like the fact that he seems a bit more real and grounded than the other action heroes. There’s no Q and no fancy gadgets, he’s not a man of fancy suits or Russian supermodels or whatever. I have Keira Knightley of course. But he’s monogamous and simple… for all of his complexity and intelligence there’s a man – and I fought this for a long time with Ken… I wanted him to have some kind of crutch or something to make him brooding and angst-full and all of that. But really he’s a simple guy that wants to serve and he feels compelled to serve and I think in that simplicity and that everyman quality he could be a professor, or he could be the guy that you get coffee next to and wouldn’t think twice about seeing him in the street. There’s something about that normalcy that sets him apart from all these guys that are trained assassins and drive fast, fancy cars.

Hopefully, that relateability of the audience will be the thing that encourages them to come back for more. In particular, the fight scene that my character has with Nonso Anozie, above and beyond what I think is a really attractive, fun stunt and action sequence, is the moment after where the character actually has to deal with the consequences of taking a life. Ken and I talked about that and I don’t think we’ve really seen that in an action movie of this size. So, I think moments like that of a moral Jack, or a moral human being, of a man that feels, that isn’t closed off… which reminds me of another moment when I say “I killed this guy” and he just says “you’re operational now” and throws me a gun and then walks off. You see the effects of living in that world for so long and then the young man that’s just getting into it and still feels. I think especially with having an anchor like Keira with Cathy it warms Jack and reminds Jack to feel and that sets him apart from other heroes in this genre.

Q. Did you do your own stunts?
Chris Pine: Yeah, I tried to do most of my stunts and had a great time doing it. We had a great stunt team behind us and a great second unit directed by Nick Armstrong, who is a master of the craft. But I tried to do as much as I could.

Q. What was the experience of working with Kevin Costner?
Chris Pine: Kevin Costner is sexy, that’s for damn sure! What I love is that when we were doing the press in LA, he rolled up in cowboy boots, a vest and sunglasses and I thought: “Yeah, he’s an American movie star!”

Read our review of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Read our interview with Keira Knightley