CATEGORIES Movie NewsThis week, DreamWorks Animation unfurls "Rise of the Guardians," a wonderfully charming and ingeniously designed tale that sees a number of key figures from mythology and folklore (among them Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman and the Tooth Fairy) band together to stop an evil boogeyman from destroying childhood innocence. The studio has also assembled just as powerful a group behind the scenes, with Alec Baldwin providing the voice of Santa, Hugh Jackman as the Easter Bunny, Isla Fisher as the Tooth Fairy and Jude Law as boogeyman Pitch. Chris Pine is there too, playing Jack Frost, a nimbly ice-elf with a mysterious past.
We got to talk to Pine from the set of his forthcoming Tom Clancy reboot "Jack Ryan," about what it is like assuming so many iconic roles, what's next for the Guardians, what it was like being one of the last actors who worked with the late, great Tony Scott, and if he can tell us anything about "Star Trek Into Darkness."
How's "Jack Ryan" going? It's going well. We've only been at it for a week so far.
What makes you tackle these super iconic characters, whether it's Captain Kirk or Jack Ryan or Jack Frost? I don't know. I don't know why it is that I've been cast, at least with Jack Ryan and Captain Kirk, to do things that have been done before, but I like a good challenge. And with Jack Frost it was the matter of doing voice-over, which I had never really done before in an extended form. It's a whole different art using your voice. All you're doing is capturing your voice and you're not using your full -- well, instrument is a funny word -- but your whole body.
What made you excited to be a part of "Rise of the Guardians?" DreamWorks has made some incredible animated films. I'd be lying if I said a lot of it didn't have to do with Alec Baldwin. I'm a huge Alec Baldwin fan. And I love Hugh Jackman as well. It was an incredible cast. But it was really the challenge of voice-over itself. And I really liked the story. Before you begin it, you have no idea of what the animation will finally look like, and I had never dreamed it would look as cool and interesting and unique as it does.
Was there anything that surprised you about the final version? I haven't seen the final version because the score hadn't been put in when I saw it, and I didn't see it on the big screen, but the final animated scenes that I saw, what struck me was that the visuals were so striking. I had never really seen anything like it before. It's just different. There's a unique quality to the images and how they animated these characters.
What was it like working with William Joyce and Guillermo del Toro? The weird thing about doing voice-overs is you live in this little vacuum bubble and I never met Guillermo or Mr. Joyce. I only worked with Peter [Ramsay, the director of "Rise of the Guardians"] and had one little scene with Alec but that was it. Animation takes such a long time. I think they had been working on it for four years and I had been on it for two, and you go in every once in awhile and saddle up to the booth.
It seems to be that animated movies are really the key to immortality for actors because these movies will be watched forever. [Laughs] Huh. Yeah.
Did you think about that at all? No, but it's a very, very good point. It's the only version of what we do where we don't age, which is kind of nice. I think that the theme isn't new but the story is, in that it unites all of these different characters and brings them together for the first time and shows you a side of them that you never really knew. But beyond all that, the story is timeless about belief and the power of imagination. In our film, Pitch is essential -- the incarnate version of fear and disbelief -- and our film really talks about how beautiful it is to have an open mind and to believe.
Who do you think the Guardians should go up against next? I just say we throw them up against the Avengers. Just have a hardcore one. Just have it be rated-R.
Versus Freddy versus Jason maybe? Why not! Throw the predator in for good measure.
What can you tell us about "Star Trek Into Darkness?" What does that title mean? I mean... Clearly I can't tell you anything, I really can't. I don't know anything about the title beyond what I read online. I haven't talked to JJ about it.
You talked about actors -- what was it like going up against Benedict Cumberbatch? He is awesome. He is, I'm trying to figure out what I can tell you. I guess the thing that struck me is that he did this really wonderful version of "Frankenstein" on stage [directed by Danny Boyle], where he incorporated a lot of control over his physicality and how he moved. He does a lot of interesting things in this film that... What can I say? The art of saying something and saying nothing. It's like a bottom's-up performance. He fully created a character. The most puzzling actor of all time.
Did you feel more comfortable in the Kirk character this time? It was a different experience this time. All I can say is Kirk goes on a big journey this time and learns a great deal about himself.
You were one of the last actors to work with Tony Scott. Can you say anything about that experience? I loved Tony a great deal. I can't tell you how shocked I was when I heard what happened. He always seemed like a man who was incredibly full of life and energy and joy and love and that is always how I'll choose to remember him.