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Just My Luck - Chris Pine interview

Chris Pine in Just My Luck

Compiled by Jack Foley

RISING star Chris Pine talks about his role in Lindsay Lohan’s latest comedy, Just My Luck, and shares his views about coping with fame and McFly.

Q: Talk us about your character in Just My Luck...
A: 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 but he’s also an aspiring record producer working with this great band [played by McFly]. 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.

Q: Do you believe in luck?
A: Yes 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.

Q: Does that come from a spiritual outlook on life?
A: 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’m not a religious guy, in fact I’m 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’s not always the case that things will fall into your lap or that life will be great, but it’s 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?”

Q: Do you have examples of how luck has changed your life?
A: Yeah, my career is a great example. I took part in a theatre festival in Massachusetts two summers after I graduated from college. Then I was in Los Angeles thinking: “I’m going to go to New York.” I’d 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’s 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’m lucky.

Q: What was it like starring opposite Lindsay Lohan?
A: 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’s so famous and I don’t have any of that, I have never experienced that kind of intense scrutiny that she’s under, so of course I wondered what it would be like acting opposite her. I can tell you that it’s like being with The Beatles. You cannot fathom the kind of attention she gets. It’s 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 thought: “Good for her.”

Q: Can you imagine being as famous as her?
A: 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’s true and I give her a lot of credit for admitting that, but I cannot imagine that kind of fame.

Q: You became pretty well known in The Princess Diaries 2. How are you enjoying success on your level?
A: 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. I still have anonymity, which is great. I can go out anywhere I want and no one ever recognizes me.

Q: There’s a lot of physical comedy in Just My Luck, how difficult was it falling over and doing quite a bit of slapstick?
A: When I got the role, I was reading what I had to do at the start of the film when I’m in Central Park in New York. I thought it was just a little montage of amusing shots. But when you read the script, you don’t realise just how challenging it will be. For instance, there’s 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.

Q: What was it like working with McFly; they are a real pop group, not actors of course?
A: 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. They were having the time of their lives doing what they love to do, they’re 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.

Q: What’s next for you?
A: 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’s 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’s a great drama. Then I have another film, Smokin’ Aces. I’m very proud of that. What a great cast. Ben Affleck is in it, so is Ray Liotta and Alicia Keys. I play a southern neo Nazi assassin, so completely different. I’m evil with a shaved head and a Mohawk and tattoos everywhere.

Read our review of Just My Luck
Read our interview with Lindsay Lohan