After a career that began with romantic comedies like “Princess Diaries 2” and “Just My Luck,” roles in Tony Scott’s “Unstoppable” and JJ Abrams’ re-boot of “Star Trek” as Captain Kirk have seen Chris Pine move into more action roles. With McG’s “This Means War,” he gets to combine both comedy and action as FDR, a CIA operative using all of his agency’s resources to fight a fellow agent, Tuck (Tom Hardy), over the love of a woman (Reese Witherspoon).
“This Means War” is about two of the world’s top spies who’ve been partners and best friends for many years. Through a series of circumstances even they couldn’t anticipate, they fall in love with the same woman,” says producer-screenwriter Simon Kinberg. “FDR and Tuck decide they’re both going to date Lauren and see which one she chooses. As each begins to fall for Lauren, they get increasingly competitive and employ their spy tactics and techniques to sabotage each other. Lauren, who just wanted to find the right guy, has no idea that FDR and Tuck are waging war for her love.”
For the character of FDR, the filmmakers were looking for what McG calls a “rogue – somebody who was lovable, even while possessing supreme self-confidence. And when it comes to that kind of energy, someone who embodies that magical mix, Chris Pine is the heavyweight champ.”
“I play a guy named FDR, a spy who, with every ounce of his being, enjoys being a spy. He is living the Connery-Bond version of a spy’s life until he meets Lauren Scott and his world is turned upside down. Everything he thought was important—namely guns, women, fast cars and good times with no strings attached—are maybe not so important after all. What becomes important to him is winning the love of this woman,” Pine shares of his character.
When asked which one is harder – the comedy or the action, Chris admits that doing comedy is a lot harder than the action sequences. “Though a lot of it was learning how to work the guns. We trained with a specialist who told us about close quarters combat. Essentially the basic precept is to inflict the maximum amount of damage using the least amount of movement. Efficiency and expediency. Conversely, in film you want to make it look grander and bigger to make it look sexier, so it was trying to marry those two things.”
Pine has become one of Hollywood’s hottest stars with his critical and box office success portraying the young James T. Kirk in Star Trek, and an inexperienced train conductor in the heart pounding drama Unstoppable. Pine further describes FDR as “a consumer of all things – of fine whiskey, good cigars, nice suits, fast cars, and beautiful ladies. Not necessarily in that order. He enjoys being a spy. He’s the guy who would have watched James Bond movies as a kid and said, ‘I want to do that.’ There’s not a lot of brooding or complication in FDR’s life.”
“What’s so appealing about it is that it resonates with anyone who has a best friend: having a best friend is kind of like having a girlfriend or a wife, you deal with the same stuff. It's relationship politics. Everyone deals with it. And the comedy lies in the fact that we’ve all been there. Probably minus the guns and stuff, but yeah, it’s funny because it’s true,” concludes Pine.
“This Means War” opens nationwide (Phils.) on February 22 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.
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