Man on fire

Chris Pine’s ca­reer is def­i­nitely hurtling along since StarTrek.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - By MUMTAJ BEGUM

TONY Scott and Den­zel Washington have made four films to­gether; Un­stop­pable marks their fifth col­lab­o­ra­tion. At this point, it is pal­pa­ble that the two know ex­actly what they want from the other, mak­ing a pretty a good team. It was that chance to work with this seem­ingly in­de­struc­tible duo, on top of a good script by Mark Bom­back, that at­tracted Chris Pine to come on­board Un­stop­pable.

In an in­ter­view tran­script pro­vided by Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox, Pine ad­mit­ted he has been a fan of Scott ever since he saw Top Gun when he was seven years old, plant­ing a de­sire to be­come a fighter pi­lot. Al­though he chose to be an ac­tor once he grew up, Pine is ab­so­lutely en­thused that he got to work with Scott.

Pine said: “He is this lit­tle bun­dle of awe­some en­ergy. I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced en­ergy like it. He would come into the makeup trailer at five in the morn­ing and you can’t un­der­stand any­thing he’s say­ing be­cause he’s talk­ing so fast. He hugs you and he kisses you on the cheek. He says, ‘ Hey man, this is what we got’, while show­ing us the sto­ry­boards that he does ev­ery morn­ing at 3am.

“He sleeps for about four hours, drinks six shots of espresso, does push-ups and then he does the sto­ry­boards. He’s like a cap­tain of a foot­ball team or the Gen­eral. He has such a pas­sion for what he does and he loves mak­ing this kind of movie. And he knows how to make this kind of movie.” Un­stop­pable is an ac­tion­packed fea­ture about a mas­sive run­away train – un­manned and car­ry­ing a toxic cargo – go­ing head­long to­wards a pop­u­lated town.

It is up to vet­eran en­gi­neer Frank Barnes (Washington) and a young con­duc­tor Will Col­son (Pine) to put their dif­fer­ences aside and come up with a work­able plan to pre­vent the im­pend­ing dis­as­ter.

In the pro­duc­tion notes of the film, Scott de­scribed the film as a movie that starts at 80km/h but keeps ac­cel­er­at­ing. Like Scott’s other films – think Man On Fire and The Tak­ing Of Pel­ham 12-3 – Un­stop­pable is not merely about the run­away train, but about hu­man re­la­tion­ship. In this case, specif­i­cally about Barnes re­sent­ing Col­son be­cause he’s train­ing the guy who is go­ing to take over his job and he will ul­ti­mately let go.

How­ever, as the ter­ri­ble day pro­gresses, the two men – who are ob­vi­ously caught in the wrong place at the wrong time – find they have more in com­mon and the strength to deal with the prob­lem.

Pine com­pared Col­son’s dy­namic with Barnes as sim­i­lar to the theme in Train­ing Day, a film for which Washington re­ceived an Os­car.

Pine said: “In the be­gin­ning they’re at log­ger­heads and re­ally go toe-to-toe. It’s re­ally two men from dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions and dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives and dif­fer­ent world­views.

“There’s an in­her­ent ten­sion in that it’s the young guy who has no ex­pe­ri­ence but is go­ing to take the job, and the ex­pe­ri­enced guy who’s on his way out.

“In one of the first meet­ings we had, we talked about how it’s like two bulls bang­ing heads.”

Nonethe­less, things couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent when it comes to the two ac­tors. For one, it was Washington who sug­gested Pine for the role of Col­son to Scott. And upon work­ing to­gether, the two ob­vi­ously have deep ad­mi­ra­tion for the other.

Pine’s ca­reer has been on an up­ward tra­jec­tory ever since di­rec­tor J.J. Abrams cast the 30-year-old as Cap­tain Kirk in the reimag­in­ing of Star Trek last year.

Prior to Star Trek, he has been build­ing quite a re­sume with good work on Smokin’ Aces and Car­ri­ers. But he was per­haps more pop­u­lar for his work in teen ro­man­tic come­dies such as Princess Di­aries 2 and Just My Luck.

“Quite hon­estly, I got into act­ing be­cause I wanted to play Gary Old­man-roles. I wanted to be weird and off­beat. I wanted to put makeup on and be a hunch­back. It so hap­pens that I got a ro­man­tic com­edy and that snow­balled.

“It was never any­thing I ex­pected. Now what I’m get­ting is ac­tion movies, and I’ve de­cided to ride this wave for as long as it takes me be­fore jump­ing onto an­other one.”

While Pine doesn’t know what genre may come up next, he be­lieves an ac­tor is only as good as the peo­ple he works with.

“Did I see a train movie in my fu­ture af­ter Star Trek? Not a chance. I wanted to do a Mer­chant Ivory movie and wear a wig and a cod­piece and have an ac­cent, but this was an op­por­tu­nity to work with Tony Scott and Den­zel Washington.

“I could not turn it down. It was like grad­u­ate school. I was a sponge ev­ery day, just soak­ing up en­ergy and ex­pe­ri­ence. They’re masters of what they do. I mean, it’s Den­zel Washington for Christ­sake!”

Want­ing to make sure that he ar­rived fully pre­pared for the role, Pine did his re­search by talk­ing to the peo­ple who work in the train in­dus­try, hang­ing out at the train yard – pick­ing up the way they talk and work – and get­ting into shape.

“I tried to put on some weight just be­cause I knew I was go­ing up against Den­zel; he’s built like a brick house and I didn’t want to look like the gan­gly, skinny kid next to him. Den­zel, of course, is work­ing out ev­ery morn­ing at 5am, and I’m hav­ing a glass or two of red wine at night.

“But I’m re­ally into ply­o­met­ric ex­er­cises right now, which is ba­si­cally dy­namic, move­ment-ori­ented weight train­ing. I do that and boxing, bas­ket­ball and swim­ming.”

Get­ting into shape turned out to be quite cru­cial as Scott de­cided to use very lit­tle CGI

Weird and off­beat: ‘Quite hon­estly, I got into act­ing be­cause I wanted to play Gary Old­man­roles,’ says Chris Pine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.