Chris Pine: ‘I consider myself someone who has a nice big tool bag’

Presenter Warren Beatty onstage during The 89th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 26, 2017.

I got nervous for a second because I thought the series I Am the Night was going to start airing, like, tomorrow. But we have a few weeks to prepare for it – the first episode airs on January 28th. To promote the series, Chris Pine and Patty Jenkins cover the latest issue of Variety. They collaborated on Wonder Woman – that was their first project together, and they became huge fans of each other. Patty pitched this miniseries to TNT, with the idea that Pine could play the sort-of co-lead, Jay Singletary. Pine not only agreed to go to television, he signed on as an executive producer.

The story of I Am the Night sounds a bit tortured – it’s a period piece and a somewhat true story involving a young woman’s secret identity, and Chris Pine’s seedy journalist trying to help the young woman piece together her background. Chris Pine has quickly become Patty Jenkins’ muse, and this seems like a meaty role for a character actor, as opposed to a showcase role for a leading man. Such is Chris Pine’s career at this point – leading man, supporting actor, action hero, dramatic actor, character actor – he can do anything. You can read Variety’s cover story here. Some highlights:

His relationship with Patty Jenkins: “I found Patty at a time in my life when I was searching for deeper resonance with the material. It’s about witnessing and being witnessed. As a friend, Patty does that, and as a creator she helps me see aspects of myself that I usually don’t notice.”

Pine was only in if Patty was directing: “I can entrust Patty with what should be one of the genetic pieces of directing, which is understanding another human’s psychology. She is keyed in to me in a certain way where she can use the trip wires and pull that switch and throw some spice here, some pepper there, and I can go off and do what I do.”

Pine’s big tool bag: “I’m certainly not the greatest actor in the world, but I consider myself someone who has a nice big tool bag. And I really like to be directed. [On ‘I Am the Night’] I had very little time to prep, and I said, ‘Look, Patty, give me the steel pillars of this guy, and I’ll start throwing paint on.”

He doesn’t mind playing second fiddle to his leading ladies: “As a leading man, it’s the male actor’s job in the pieces that I do to inhabit the role or do the job that Gal did so wonderfully in ‘Wonder Woman.’ Being in the film and supporting a woman doing that job is kind of a dance between ego and soul. I’m not too proud to admit it and say that at times, I’d have 30-minute conversations with Patty; I’d look at her, and she was wonderfully patient. I’d realize it had abso-f—ing-lutely nothing to do with me…. But as a man and an actor and an ego-ful person, you really make peace with that and have a sense of humor about it and say, well, screw it then — let’s just go to this party and do this thing that should be done and fulfill the job as presented to you by your general.”

He’s letting go of his ego: He says he’s letting go of “the 8-year-old in there saying, ‘When’s my turn?!’” and accept work that’s richer than a traditional movie-star part precisely because it’s not the starring role in a big-budget production. Pine says he now feels “more at ease playing someone like Jay than I would otherwise. I’ve never been Thor, never will be. I think any actor would say this — that the complexity and the shadow is as vital and important to —” Jenkins cuts him off. “They don’t all feel like that. They super don’t. That’s why Chris is so great; they super don’t.”

[From Variety]

I appreciate how honest he is about his qualms and his ego getting in the way, especially on Wonder Woman. He signed on to be in a big DC Comics movie, and it turned out that his female costar was the big deal, not him. But that’s just it, isn’t it? He handled that with such grace long-term, giving Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins all the credit they earned, and happily taking a backseat. That won him so many fans, that he was able to put aside his male ego and celebrate the womanity and girl-power of Wonder Woman.

Also: “I consider myself someone who has a nice big tool bag…” *fans self* I bet he does have a very big tool (bag).

Photos courtesy of Variety.

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52 Responses to “Chris Pine: ‘I consider myself someone who has a nice big tool bag’”

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  1. grabbyhands says:

    “I’m certainly not the greatest actor in the world, but I consider myself someone who has a nice big tool bag.”

    *nudge,nudge,wink,wink* If you know what I’m saying……

    In all seriousness, for the most part I can take or leave him, but he’s growing on me a little as an actor and I am looking forward to I Am the Night because I have a weird fascination with the Black Dahlia case.

    • CairinaCat says:

      He’s right, he is a huge tool

      • GreenTurtle says:

        I was beginning to think I was the only one who felt this way. Good actor, but imo he just comes off as unbearably pretentious and full of himself in interviews.

  2. Lemon says:

    I’m sure he does have a nice big tool bag lmao!

  3. Here or there says:

    Sorry, I watched Outlaw King…it wasn’t that impressive. But it was also a ‘blink and you miss it’ shot.

    • Mia4s says:

      Hey now! That was cold water! 😉

      As an aside; is this…

      “Pine not only agreed to go to television..”

      …really at all surprising? I mean yes mostly the movie stars are doing streaming shows but still: Cate Blanchett is doing a TV show, Michelle Williams and Oscar winner Sam Rockwell, DeNiro signed to one, Streep, Cumberbatch does tons of shows, and hell the first thing Chris Evans signed for after “finishing” with Marvel was a streaming Apple series. It seems more that norm now than the exception.

      • Jerusha says:

        Add Julia Roberts, Nicole and Reese and Laura, Keanu Reeves, Matthew McC, Pacino, and on and on and on. So much good stuff I can’t keep up.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        bf and I were watching The Kominsky Method last night, and I was…impressed?…surprised?…to see an A-lister like Douglas (and Alan Arkin!) doing a Netflix series…but then I realized how popular and…yes, normal…it is these days.

        people aren’t going to the movies as much, more and more people are “cutting the cord” of cable etc, so it makes sense.

        PS, the series isn’t GREAT, but it’s definitely entertaining and has some really funny dialogue.

      • Bella Bella says:

        @whatWHAT? I watched the entire first season of The Kominksy Method the other night. It’s okay but such a GUY show. I mean, a running storyline is Michael Douglas’s character’s ability to pee and the condition of his prostate. In every episode. I wish the show weren’t as so oriented toward being a showcase for aging men actors. Don’t get me wrong… I *love* Alan Arkin and think he’s brilliant. If anyone should be getting awards, it’s him. But the parade of old guys, including Elliot Gould is kind of ridiculous… I just want to remember Elliot Gould as the hottie he once was. Where are the women characters besides the love interest, the chunky daughter with no life beyond taking care of her father’s business and the other daughter who is a drug addict?

    • Kelly says:

      I was so mad. It was far enough away and such a short shot that you don’t have time to see anything. My friend and I even tried to go through drama by frame and you just can’t see anything. I don’t understand what the whole deal was about.

    • Stubbylove says:

      Totally agree. I watched that entire damn Outlaw King show (which IMO was not good) and got less of a *blink* of this so-called “nude scene”. Such CRAP! My boyfriend makes fun of me at how pissed I was – it was pure bollocks (or non-bollocks to be literal!).
      I still love Chris Pine though – he’s got the ‘thing’. I’m looking forward to I AM The Night – hope it doesn’t disappoint.

  4. Amelia says:

    Yeah yeah he’s never been Thor….. but he has been Kirk. Apples and oranges in a way. He seems like an ok guy, I hope this goes well for him. But he can’t pretend he hasn’t been a leading man…

  5. Alexandria says:

    I seriously had to read that headline twice! He’s not my favourite Chris but he is aging nicely.

    • diana says:

      He isn’t my favourite Chris either but he’s a good actor. He was the best thing about the WW movie, oddly enough.

  6. Maria TR says:

    Off topic, but this is the kind of picture that makes me think I can pull off bangs. And, I really, really can’t. Her hair looks sensational. And she’s a badass director too. I think I have a crush on her, not Chris!

    • ATLMathMom says:

      It took me until I was in my early 30s to realize that you really need to have a certain head shape/forehead length and texture of hair to be able to pull off bangs. And I don’t have it. Patty Jenkins’ look great though!

      • Ashby says:

        Yes, face shape, bone structure, hair texture are really important when it comes to bangs.
        I’m lucky that I can wear them, I will probably really appreciate them even more over the years when I don’t have to worry about the wrinkles on my forehead.
        I’m pretty sure I would look awful with a middle part.
        I just don’t have a face for it, but I can do side part easily.
        Although I often find ” middle part ” very aging on so many women, almost as much as the dark eye pencil look.

      • Jerusha says:

        A certain French girl coolness helps-Francoise Hardy, Jane Birkin(I know she’s actually English, but still…).

    • Lizzie says:

      ha! i came to say “that picture has a lot of great hair” she is exceedingly pulling off two very difficult hair items – severe ombre and short bangs. i’d like a movie that is just her getting a trim and blowout. his hair, as always, is glorious.

  7. Steff says:

    Pine can be a great actor with the right material. Just watch him in Hell or High Water (he was the stand out imho).

    And I too thought he was talking about his dingaling with the tool bag line. Nice click bait.

    • Dee Kay says:

      Hell or High Water was my favorite movie of that year (2016). I think that movie is genius and says so much about white masculinity in America right now. Pine and Bridges were fan-f–king-tastic.

  8. Maya says:

    Handsome man who can act – by far my fav Chris.

  9. Hannah Maguire says:

    I wasn’t sure where this was going when I read the headline!

    As someone who watched Wonder Woman late I was so surprised to see him in that role and I can’t think of many lead male actors who would have taken it. He is awesome.

  10. Thea says:

    I am so watching that show if he takes his big tool out of the bag. Just saying.

  11. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    He’s entertaining to watch. I mean his body of work is entertaining. He’s good. His work.

  12. Samigirl says:

    I have loved him since Smokin Aces. He comes off as very honest, and I appreciate that.

  13. Digital Unicorn says:

    Love him and yeah he gets hotter with age. He is a good actor and will probably get better as his career progresses – he is open to learning and growing with is essential to have longevity in the industry.

    Am looking forward to that series – love Jenkins.

  14. Lizzie says:

    i’m really looking forward to this. I watched the alienist on TNT last year and i thought it was really well done. I had read the book and knew the story was going to be kind of a dud (i hoped they would improve some bits in the show but they stayed very faithful to the source material) – but – the production value was **incredible** and the actors brought all they had with what was ultimately a weak story. the sets and costumes were incredible. if this is half as well done – it will be a great show.

    • Dee Kay says:

      The Alienist was so, so, so beautiful. The costume design alone made my jaw hang open. They used super luxurious fabrics and it was obvious that the three main leads had every single piece made to measure for them, with lots and lots of hand detailing. Perfect cast, excellent art direction, the best costuming I’ve ever seen on TV. I didn’t even care what the plot was and thought it was total nonsense about 1/2 the way through. It was a moody, atmospheric, exciting visual art presentation, I loved every minute of it without caring one bit how the “mystery” would be solved.

    • Deering says:

      It’s a shame TNT didn’t do ANGEL OF DARKNESS first. Much stronger story—and a lot to say about how that “woman as domestic angel” crap screwed up Victorian women.

  15. Jerusha says:

    One of my favorite Chrises. He’s making smart career choices, imo.

  16. Bailie says:

    I find him to be an interesting actor, mostly because he seems to be open to more than just
    ” the leading men ” roles.
    Luckily he doesn’t seem to be anything like Chris Hemsworth, so much fuss over a below average actor at best.
    Variety is a key to longevity in a very finicky business.
    Patty looks great in bangs, not at all like a 5 year old.

  17. Lala11_7 says:

    My Scorpion intuition never leads me wrong…

    A darn good actor is one that rises to the material…and often…above it…and to the Director…a darn good person…doesn’t act like a tool…even when the power structure is setup for him to do so….

    THIS is what I’ve seen him do consistently….and THIS is why he is my FAVORITE CHRIS!

  18. NYCTYPE says:

    Good actor, I enjoy watching him. Much better than Chris Hemsworth.

  19. Slowsnow says:

    Hmmmm, I am so sick of these actor/film director love letters in form of interviews. This seems super scripted as “the-man-who-was-just-a-little-entitled-who-learned-from-the-nice-patient-woman”. So silly.

  20. Parigo says:

    I am super interested in this. I used to be a big James Ellroy fan and this is the true story about the daughter of the man who was most likely the Black Delilah killer and even possibly the Zodiac killer! He was a super evil twisted dude and everyone around him suffered much horrors.

  21. Skipper says:

    Oh. I thought he was referring to something privately about his body. 🥴

  22. Dee Kay says:

    There are two women film directors who have given $100M+ budgets: Ava DuVernay and Patty Jenkins. They both cast Chris Pine. To me, that pretty much definitively proves that Pine is not an a–hole to women. Pine is well-educated and well-spoken on gender issues and understands what patriarchy is and how it can manifest both in representation (like in media productions) and in the workplace. On top of that, he’s a good actor and sometimes a great one (Hell or High Water). The fact that women in power choose to hire him makes me feel good about being a fan.

  23. Ferdinand says:

    Well of I remember correctly, he does have a big tool bag. At least according to messages leaked sent to him by Olivia Munn.

  24. Jenn says:

    A good friend of mine inexplicably ended up at Chris Pine’s extremely mellow birthday party a few years ago, a surprise party at his house (his eyes fell on her and he was like “wh–who is this?” and she was mortified. I guess she tagged along thinking it would be a larger gathering, which was a HUGE miscalculation, because it was… not). But it was all OK! I got the impression from her retelling that he is a private, guarded person with just a small group of intimate friends, many of whom are industry but not necessarily quote-unquote famous, which I really like. His friends, in turn, absolutely adore him. (Yeesh, I hope it’s actually okay to share all that. That should be fine, right?)

    Anyway, I like that he takes his work so seriously, doesn’t half-ass or ever phone it in. I’ve personally really liked him ever since he OPENLY WEPT AT THE OSCARS, and I rewatch clips from his most recent appearance on SNL — in which he SANG in almost every sketch they’d written for him!! — anytime I am feeling blue. He is definitely my favorite Chris.