Movies In Focus didn’t conduct this interview with Chris Pine – but it was sent my way and I thought readers would enjoy Pine’s musings on Wonder Woman. The Gal Gadot starrer looks great – and it’s currently riding high on Rotten Tomatoes (97% fresh!). This could be an important movie in the pantheon of superhero flicks, a really changer in how these films are made (a female director!) – and who they are marketed to (a female audience!). This times they are a changing.
Check out what Pine has to say…
What previous exposure did you have to the world of Wonder Woman?
None, really. I often find the best thing you can do is to treat the script as your bible. The architect of that bible is essentially your director saying, “This is the story I want to get across.” My job is to fall in love with Diana / Wonder Woman, and that’s what I tried to do on screen. Which wasn’t all that hard.
What drew you to the project and character?
What drew me to Wonder Woman was our director, Patty Jenkins. When I first met with Patty, we had a two-hour conversation about everything, from film to ‘80s pop culture, and I just fell in love with her. I thought her take on the material and her energy was exactly what I wanted to be involved with, and I signed up because of her.
What did Patty tell you about your character, Steve Trevor?
She told me what she wanted the character to be, and how she wanted me to play off of Gal, both of which I enjoyed and aligned with my strengths. I thought I could bring something to the table.
Once you started filming, how did you find Patty to work with?
Patty is highly, highly facile at reading and communicating human psychology, which is to say she’s a great actor’s director. For me at least, that’s the hunt you have to go on, because film is a director’s medium. So you have to find someone you can trust in a deep way, above and beyond how they’re going to put an image together. They must also clue in to how you work to get the best out of you. That’s a very rare quality but Patty has it.
What can you tell us about Steve Trevor?
Steve Trevor is an American pilot and spy working on behalf of the English forces to penetrate the German high command. He comes across a very dangerous weapon, which he smuggles out of enemy territory. In the midst of all this he meets Diana from this island called Themyscira. She’s never seen a man before and doesn’t know anything about the real world and the war that’s going on.
Steve, who is a hyper, morally hollowed-out realist, meets the hyper-idealist, wide-eyed, bushy-tailed neophyte, Diana, and he learns a little bit about hope, and she learns a little bit about being a human being.
What was it like when you first saw Gal Gadot in that Wonder Woman costume.
I don’t mean to sound chauvinistic, but Gal is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. She also has a great sense of humor, intelligence, professionalism and the ability to not take herself so seriously. It’s a pretty incredible combination.
All of that is crucial in creating the character Wonder Woman and bring the Diana-Steve love story to life. That is at the heart of the film, and it’s fantastic.
You don’t shy away from physical roles. Did you do any kind of special training for Steve Trevor?
I started doing a workout that was really more about keeping me as limber and mobile as possible, because that helps me deal with a 15-hour shoot day, during which you’re sometimes repeating an action over and over again. That was my special prep.
Gal gets all the fun, fancy action stuff, so I would try to come up with ways to fight and take a beating. My favorite movie heroes are played by guys like Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford, who are old school brawlers. So I like to make my action scenes look as non-choreographed as possible.
What was it like filming on Italy’s Amalfi Coast?
I worked a week and then went traveling throughout Italy and had a blast. I toured the Amalfi Coast and went to Naples, Herculaneum and Capri, and toured Vatican City.
When Steve Trevor has to ditch his plane near Themyscira, he has his first encounter with a world populated solely by women. What was your experience working opposite dozens of women portraying the Amazons?
It was like nothing I’d experienced before. On set there were over 70 women from all over the world—many of them highly trained MMA fighters or CrossFit trainers, as well as a boxing champion, Ann Wolfe—plus, of course, Gal, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright and all the other actresses portraying the Amazons. It was a wonderful and unexpected environment, with husbands coming to set to watch their wives work, while the guys held the babies.
What was your most memorable moment on the set?
I call it the “Casablanca Moment,” where Steve confesses his undying love to Diana before they part ways. Filming the scene was just stunning. We were shooting on an airfield, with huge spotlights, wet cement and the setting of a World War. It was just insanely cool. Poor Gal was freezing, but it was just magical.
What do you hope audiences take away from the film when they see it in the cinema?
Wonder Woman marries a great romance with a huge action adventure. There’s some really great character work done by incredibly talented actors. And if you’re there for the spectacle, you won’t be disappointed.
Wonder Woman hits screens on 1 June 2017.