Chris Pine comes from solid Hollywood stock (both his parents were successful actors), but surely would have broken through all on his own. His leading-man looks have been undeniable since well before his star-making turn as Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek reboot in 2009, while his talent as an actor has become just as apparent of late, with his simmering, intense turns in 2015’s post-apocalyptic drama Z for Zachariah, and in 2016’s Hell or High Water. The film is a contemporary Western that follows two brothers (played by Pine and Ben Foster) who attempt to elude the long arm of the law (Jeff Bridges) while looting a series of small banks in Texas. A surprise hit critically and commercially when it was released last summer, the film was nominated for three Golden Globes. Here, Pine recalls his first audition, the acting advice he got at the kitchen table, and that time he dueted with Barbra Streisand.
What was the first thing you auditioned for? My first audition, professionally speaking, was for Gilmore Girls. My father [the actor Robert Pine] had gone in for an audition. I’d just graduated college and he told the casting directors that I was an actor: “My son’s coming back into town. Will you have him in for a reading?” So nepotism at its best.
You’re in Hell or High Water, which I have to admit is my favorite movie of the year. You’re not necessarily the first person people would think of for a western. How did that come to you? I think I asked my agents to send me a bunch of scripts, just so I could read something that was hopefully good. Or maybe they just sent it to me like agents do, I’m not really sure. We have so many possible distractions in this life between Google and the interwebs and petting your dog and collaging and daydreaming and whatever. So if anything grabs me from start-to-finish, if it’s that engaging and completely absorbing, I immediately pay attention. It was concise, it was dark like Cormac McCarthy, but it had a sense of humor like a Coen brothers film. It had all these elements in this kind of stoic silence that Westerns of a certain time had, and a vision of masculinity that I don’t think you often see now, which I appreciated. So I had a meeting with [the screenwriter] Taylor Sheridan, and I told him I really liked it. I said, “Who are you thinking about playing Tanner?” And he said, “Ben Foster.” And I just worked with Ben so I thought that was some sort of kismet, some divine intervention. Ben and I get along like gangbusters and share a common language about life and work.
And similar Windex blue eyes. [Laughs] Yes, indeed. Windex blue eyes, I like that. I just bought Windex the other day.
Not to free associate too much, but it’s just that your eyes are an unusual color of blue. And when you’re robbing a bank you don’t really actually look like brothers until you have the hoods on, which is the first time we see that your eyes match. Yeah. You know, Ben does a tricky thing that is very hard to do, which is to fall madly in love and do an incredible job inhabiting the outlying sensibilities of someone who’s not all together there. But also having a deep, deep reservoir of emotion, a childlike emotional core, which is probably why I love him so much.
So you didn’t have to do much rehearsal to be brothers. We really didn’t. We took a road trip up to Santa Fe from Albuquerque, we hung out a little bit at the house which stood in for the Howard brothers’ home, and kind of sucked up all the magic and juice that the house had to give.
I want to see the sequel with you and Jeff Bridges’s character. Yeah, it’s one of my favorite scenes. A Western on a porch, a very kind of classic moment. This man’s house in the middle of a savage, brutal wilderness, and he’s being hunted by the lawman who wants to take it from him. And it’s written so beautifully. The last moment is that great couplet: “Maybe I’ll give you peace,” and then Bridges responds, “Maybe, or maybe I’ll give it to you.” That’s the code of the film. It says a lot about revenge culture, eye-for-an-eye, this kind of Old Testament idea of if you’re wronged you must wrong someone else. And Jeff being the kind of wise, Zen yogi that he is, said, “What does that say about us? That everybody is rooting for this last moment of someone dying?” [Laughs]
People want to see a wrong righted, and it’s not that simple. Yes, that’s a great point and speaks exactly to the lifeblood of this film: What is wrong and what is right and who is justified and who is not?
What Westerns do you love? I mean, I love Clint [Eastwood]. But again, for me, I’d rather talk about the visions of Westerns. Like, I read this story and the image that came to me repeated was men on porches. It might sound trite and banal and super oversimplified, but this idea of men on porches squinting through the harsh sun into the distance not saying anything, but sharing space… That is resonant to me in many, many ways. A lot of the memories I have of my father are sitting next to one another and sharing space, not saying much. Men communicate in different ways than women, I think.
Definitely. I don’t say that as a judgment, but rather as a something I perceive to be true. That idea of going out into the wilderness staking a claim, trying to get the land to work. It’s harsh and it’s real and the sun’s beating down, but here’s some sort of salvation in the shade provided by the porch. Anyway, that was kind of going through my head over and over again. Even that picture of an Eastwood squinting, chomping on that cigar, the wide brim hat shading him…
Some people think Star Trek is a Western, too, in a way. I guess. We’d have to really get super specific into fine terms about what it means to be a Western. I mean, in that case the Western doesn’t have anything to do with the West.
[Laughs] It would be a Western in space. Yeah, I don’t know.
__I think that’s the way [Star Trek creator] Gene Roddenberry sold it.__ Is that true?
Yeah, a Western in space. That was his pitch. Who knew?
Was your father ever in a Western? F—k yeah. I have a feeling [the casting director] Lynn Stalmaster cast my dad in Gunsmoke, because my dad was under contract at Universal in 1964, and you know being under contract in the studio system you get paid to take voice lessons and horseback riding and marksmanship and all sorts of stuff like dance classes.
Golden Globes 2017: Ryan Gosling, Donald Glover, Tom Ford, and More of the Best Dressed Men of the Night
Ryan Gosling wears a Gucci tuxedo at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Donald Glover wears a suit by Gucci at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Tom Ford wears Tom Ford at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Pharrell Williams wears archival Chanel at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Eddie Redmayne wears Prada at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Chris Pine wears Armani at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Justin Timberlake wears a suit from Tom Ford at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Tom Hiddleston wears a Gucci suit at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Casey Affleck wears Dolce & Gabbana at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Rami Malek wears a Dior Homme suit at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Singing. Singing, yeah. And, you know, [my father] did Gunsmoke, The Virginian. Suffice to say, yeah he did a bunch of them.
Did he give you any tips? No, my parents aren’t one for encouragement in that regard. They’re supportive and curious, so they ask questions. And by asking questions that engages you in conversation, just like a good shrink because my mom’s a shrink now.
[Laughs] She went from being an actress to a shrink. Makes sense, though, doesn’t it?
Not really. [Laughs] No, come on, think about it. As someone who is asked to think about why people do what they do and then exhibit emotion based on the psychology behind it, I think it makes kind of all the sense in the world.
That’s true. And she loves it. She’s been doing it for some 20-odd years now.
Is she a good audience for you? Oh, they’re the best. Growing up in my house, you know you’d sit around a dinner table and just talk shop. Dad would talk about his day doing a guest spot on [the TV show] Quantum Leap. And the last thing my mom did was she played Courtney Cox’s mother in Masters of the Universe with Dolph Lundgren.
Oh my gosh. So just by osmosis you take in a lot. When they come in see me we talk about stuff, the nitty gritty. Or I can call them up from set and complain about things. They’re great ears.
Up Close & Personal: Barbra Streisand Photographed by Steven Meisel
Anne Fontaine jacket; Michael Kors Collection blouse; Giorgio Armani tie; Falke tights; Barbra Streisand’s own Jimmy Choo pumps. Beauty: Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Cream Foundation SPF 24 in BF20, Eyebrow Pencil in 203, Perfect Lash Mascara in 1, Bronzing Powder Duo in 1, Luminizing Face Enhancer in 16, Extra Rich Silk Lipstick in 202.
Barbra Streisand wears an Escada dress.
Escada trenchcoat; Preston & Olivia hat; Falke tights; Jimmy Choo boots; Streisand’s own camisole and jewelry.
Marc Jacobs shirt with tie; Streisand’s own cap.
There was a fantastic moment in the video about the record [Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, for which Streisand dueted with actors like Jamie Foxx, Melissa McCarthy, and Pine]. I loved when you said, “At first I thought she wanted me to do the whole—” [Laughs] I really did. They didn’t explain it well enough. My agent was like, “She wants to sing with you. The album comes out next year.” I was like, “F—k, that’s not a lot of time.” [Laughter] “I got at least five or six songs to write still.” [Laughter] Oh man. The ego is strong within you, young grasshopper. [Laughter] I had one song, it was spliced together. I loved that song.
Did she make you do a lot of takes? She’s a perfectionist. Truth be told, I was in London shooting a film, and she was in Los Angeles and had already recorded her bit. I mean, I know the joy of singing with Barbra would have been great… This is not trying to be cute, but my anxiety probably would have been so great that I’m not sure I would have been able to, you know, give my best. But it worked out great.
Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams and More Are the Best Performances of the Year
Stone wears Chloé tunic; Wolford leggings; her own rings. Beauty: Covergirl. Affleck wears Louis Vuitton jacket and shirt.
Portman wears Dior dress; Mish New York earrings. Beauty: Dior. Negga wears Carolina Herrera dress; Lalaounis earrings. Beauty: Laura Mercier.
Adams wears Prada shirt; Djula earrings. Beauty: Giorgio Armani. McConaughey wears Burberry shirt.
Driver wears AG T-shirt. Mortensen wears Alternative Apparel henley.
Williams wears Louis Vuitton dress and bodysuit. Beauty: Nars. Edgerton wears Burberry T-shirt; Rolex watch.
Kidman wears Chanel dress; Tiffany & Co. earrings. Beauty: Chanel. Ali wears Simon Miller T-shirt.
La La Land
“My real name is Emily Stone, but when I started acting, that name was already taken by another actress, so I had to come up with a different one. For a 16-year-old, picking a new name is an interesting prospect, and back then I said, ‘I’m now going to be Riley Stone!’ So, for about six months I was called Riley. I landed a guest spot on Malcolm in the Middle, and one day they were calling, ‘Riley! Riley! Riley! We need you on set, Riley!’ and I had no idea who they were talking to. At that moment, I realized that I just couldn’t be Riley. So I became Emma. But I miss Emily. I would love to get her back.”
Sonia Rykiel sweater; Commando briefs.
“I was attracted to Gold because it reminded me of my dad. He loved shady deals. He’d much rather do a shady deal with fun people than a good deal with a bunch of straight-asses. He invested in diamond mines in Ecuador, and there were no fucking diamonds there. It was a scam, but he loved that. That’s the spirit of my character, Kenny Wells. There’s a little poem we have in the movie—‘Bird With No Feet Sleeps in the Wind.’ And that’s it: If Kenny, or my dad, gets the money or not, does it really matter? Would he change? No. Not that guy. These are people who are going to con, finagle, and boot-scoot their way in the side door. They never had the front-door entrance to the American Dream.”
AG jacket; Current/Elliott T-shirt; Levi’s jeans; John Hardy bracelet (right); Ann Demeulemeester boots.
Arrival and Nocturnal Animals
“Tom Ford became my muse on Nocturnal Animals. My character, Susan, was very personal to Tom, and so I based my interpretation on him. Tom would ask on set, ‘Why is Amy using her hands like that?’ And I said, ‘I’m copying you, Tom!’ I used him. I used him up.”
Gucci shirt; Djula earrings.
“Playing Jackie Kennedy is scary. I was nervous at first, and I started by doing a lot of research. The biographies on her are all a little bit trashy, but the transcripts of her interviews with the historian Arthur Schlesinger were really helpful. He taped everything, and you can hear Jackie’s voice. Her intellect and her wit and what she’s bitter about are immediately apparent. At the same time, I was going to costume fittings and makeup tests. When I put on the Jackie wig, the physical and emotional sides came together. The hair itself is so iconic that once you have it right, you can start to see Jackie. I don’t really look like her, but I felt like I was in her skin.”
Paterson and Silence
“Silence is the story of two Jesuit priests on a journey from Macao to Japan in search of their mentor, a priest who may have renounced his faith. When Martin Scorsese asked me to come to his house to talk about the movie, I already knew that for 28 years it had been his passion project. We talked about Silence, but when Scorsese starts a sentence, ‘When we were shooting Raging Bull…’ you can’t help but say, ‘Yeah, okay, tell me everything.’ So we talked for a long time, and finally he asked me if I would be willing to lose weight for the role. It made sense: How can you play a 17th-century persecuted priest while eating great meals? So I lost around 51 pounds. The weight loss was only bad in that, you know, I’d try to figure out how to play a scene and I had no ideas, because I was so damn hungry. Then I’d have a scoop of peanut butter and suddenly everything turned on!”
Dior Homme jacket; Rag & Bone Standard Issue T-shirt and jeans; Rolex watch. On model: Wolford stockings.
Hell or High Water
What was your first audition? My parents were both actors. I had just graduated from college, and my father had gone in for an audition for Gilmore Girls. He told the casting directors, “My son is back in town. Will you have him in for a reading?” So it was nepotism at its best. I can’t remember the role—maybe a boyfriend to someone? I got my start playing boyfriends, husbands-to-be, and princes.
In Hell or High Water you play a kind of modern Western antihero. You don’t speak much. When I read the script, the image that came to mind was of a man on a porch squinting through harsh sunlight into the distance, but not talking. I have a lot of similar memories of my father, where we are sitting next to each other and not saying much. Westerns have a stoic silence I’ve always appreciated. These days, we have so many distractions. I have minor ADD, so if anything grabs me and keeps me from petting my dog or collaging or just daydreaming, I immediately pay attention.
Brunello Cucinelli sweater; Sandro trousers; Loewe shoes.
Michael Kors henley. Model wears Araks robe; Stella McCartney Lingerie bra; Fifi Chachnil briefs; Falke stockings; Gianvito Rossi shoes.
“When I auditioned for the part of Mildred Loving, I had to sort of disappear into her character. Usually, I don’t create a costume for an audition, but this time I wore a summer dress. I knew that coming in the door looking like this woman would have an impact. A year later, I learned I got the part. At the premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, I walked up the steps of the Palais in full makeup, and I walked down the steps with mascara dripping. It was such an emotional experience. All I could think was that I needed to blow my nose before it dripped all over my frock.”
Prada top and skirt; Fabiana Filippi top (underneath).
“I’m a pretty good actress. You could say that, right? Well, to play Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who figured out a way to get NASA astronauts into space, I had to be believable as a math expert—and I failed math in college. Precalculus looked like Chinese to me. Even with two tutors, I still failed. So God has an incredible sense of humor, because now I am playing a mathematician! Even on set, they would have a professor there to try and teach me. I said, ‘Show me what I have to write and I’ll memorize it, because I’m not gonna get it.’ Take that, math! I won: I became an actress.”
Monse shirt; La Perla bra; Forevermark by Natalie K earrings; Jimmy Choo shoes.
Rules Don’t Apply
“I never knew Howard Hughes, so I’m able to take liberties, to allow my imagination to go to work. I like to quote Henry Ford, who said, ‘History is bunk.’ I like to quote Winston Churchill, who said, ‘History will be kind to me, because I intend to write it myself.’ And, in Rules Don’t Apply, I quote Mr. Hughes himself. He said, ‘Never check an interesting fact.’ ”
Jeffrey Rüdes sweater.
Manchester by the Sea
“I used to love movies that made me cry, and now all movies seem to make me cry. I don’t like that so much. I have my own things to cry about. I remember being young and sitting on the floor in my father’s apartment watching The Elephant Man on his black and white TV. When the Elephant Man did his speech—‘I am not an animal’—I started sobbing. That’s a tearjerker. That film made a superstrong impression on me. It set a certain standard in my mind of what was possible.”
Louis Vuitton pants; Falke socks. On model: Alexander Wang sweater.
A Monster Calls and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
“Recently, I seem to be doing a lot of dying onscreen. Lizzie, my character in A Monster Calls, has cancer, and I became obsessed with the way someone’s voice changes as their body deteriorates, and how they change the way they hold their body. Cancer patients would tell me things like, ‘You become obsessed with painting your nails, because your body is out of control.’ It became harder and harder to play Lizzie. I don’t think I’m going to die anymore.”
Giorgio Armani dress; Djula earrings; Tacori ring.
Allied, It’s Only the End of the World, and Assassin’s Creed
“It might sound weird, but I always cry at the end of Step Brothers. I’ve seen the movie 10 times, and it still touches me at the end, when Will Ferrell sings. You don’t expect to cry watching that type of comedy, but I always do.”
Burberry trenchcoat; Loro Piana sweater; Chopard earrings.
Hell or High Water
“I remember doing an interview years ago and being asked if I was one of those actors who takes the part home with me. I answered, ‘No. Not really.’ My wife happened to be in the room, and she started to laugh. Apparently, I had been playing a terrible person—a killer or someone who buries people alive or something—and she definitely noticed. I wasn’t fun to live with.”
Boss coat; A.P.C. jeans; the Frye Company boots.
“When I was cast in Slumdog Millionaire I was 17. At our first major screening, I walked the red carpet in my school shoes and a terrible suit I found on the high street, in London, with my mum. My costar, Freida Pinto, was very beautiful, very glamorous, and they said, ‘We can’t have this kid walking the red carpet with her! He’s spoiling the whole picture!’ So they gave me a new suit and fixed me up. It was a bit like Pretty Woman.”
Hermès sweater; Frame Denim jeans.
The Edge of Seventeen
Where was your first kiss? My first kiss was actually onscreen. I was in a graduate-thesis film called She’s a Fox, and I had to kiss two guys in it. I think I was 12. I was very nervous. One of the guys was shorter than me, and he had to stand on an apple box… Awkward! He told me, “I’m going to pretend I’m kissing my mom!” I was pretty sure that’s not the thing you say before you kiss a girl, so I looked at him and said, “Okay, I’m going to pretend I’m kissing my dog!”
Where was your first real-life kiss, then? At my house, by my front door. Which kind of sucks, because every time I walk through my front door I think about it. The kiss was a little messy, and I looked at the guy and said, “No, no, you can do better.” That’s not what you’re supposed to say, but I said it anyway.
Max Mara bralette; DKNY pants; Cartier earrings; Jimmy Choo shoes.
Max Mara bralette; DKNY pants; Cartier earrings.
The Witch and Split
You say you don’t like watching horror films—so what’s it like for you to act in them? I’m a real scaredy-cat. I’m not good at being frightened. But I do like acting in a horror movie, because I get to feel so intensely. You put yourself in these extreme emotional situations, and it wears you out in a great way. Afterward, I go home and get a good night’s sleep. The work chills me out: I’m a lot more stable since I’ve been in scary movies.
What frightens you? Revolving doors. I worry they’ll cut me in half. Strangers will see me tense up and hold my hand as I’m going through them. I’m constantly worried that I’m not going to make it through the door alive.
Gucci jacket, shirt, and pants.
Midnight Special, Elvis & Nixon, and Nocturnal Animals
“Doing a sex scene is just like having sex, except without any of the pleasure. The horror, fear, anxiety, sadness, and loneliness of sex is all there to enjoy—but none of the happiness.”
Saint Laurent jacket, shirt, and tie; Tiffany & Co. watch.
Hacksaw Ridge and Silence
“The majority of my process in playing a priest in Silence was praying. I’d never really prayed before, and I developed a relationship with a power greater than myself—call it God, call it love, call it what you will. It became very natural to me, and I realized that we’re all praying all the time. There’s that human impulse to worship and to long for a connection to the divine. Unfortunately, in our culture we are driven to worship things that are false and empty. I had a year of exploring this idea of what we are truly longing for and how we actually go to the places that can feed that longing. We all get glimpses of eternity every day. It’s just a question of whether we’re looking up from our iPhones long enough to notice.”
Alexander McQueen jacket and pants; A.P.C. shirt.
Maggie’s Plan and 20th Century Women
What is your karaoke song? It’s the nerdiest one ever: “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” by Billy Joel. It’s one of those songs that if you were a certain kind of teenage girl—me!—you thought knowing all the words would help you get a boyfriend. And then, about 30 seconds too late, you realize that it won’t. But it remains my song. I had the same thought about “Modern Major General,” by Gilbert and Sullivan. I thought guys were looking for a girl who could memorize a lot of names, but they didn’t care about that. They just cared about getting a hand job or something.
Do you have a cinematic crush? I would have to say Melanie Griffith in Working Girl—the first time she meets Harrison Ford at the bar. She’s all done up and she tells him, “I’ve got a head for business and a bod for sin.”And young Harrison Ford…what a dreamboat! But it’s her I truly love. She’s so compelling and funny. She’s sexy without being plastic. I think a lot of people miss seeing women that way.
Proenza Schouler dress; Guidi boots.
Were you a dramatic child? Yes, I used to stand in front of the mirror and try to make myself cry. I would also try different accents. I was living in an imaginary world, usually with Michael Jackson. He was going to rescue me! I used to draw pictures of me and Michael getting married, and I would send them to his fan club. I would imagine Michael waiting for me at the gate of my school, eager to whisk me away to a happier world.
Why Michael Jackson? I imagined myself as a Peter Pan kind of character, and Michael represented that existence. He was my guy.
Miu Miu coat, sweater, shorts, and shoes.
Manchester by the Sea
“As a little kid, my first love was IMDB [the data bank for movies and television]. I would memorize the birthdays of child actors. I really wanted to be an actor, and I related to the kids in the industry. But now that I think about it, memorizing their birthdays is not cute at all—it’s a little serial killer–ish.”
Prada sweater; Brooks Brothers boxers.
What was your favorite birthday? When I turned 40, my husband, Keith [Urban], drove me up to the top of this small hill in Australia and sat me down. He had put together this huge fireworks display. It was just for the two of us! It was sexy.
What is your pet peeve? When people say they will do something and they don’t. And I know it’s terribly demanding, but I don’t like it when my husband doesn’t answer his phone. I have to keep calling and calling, and I get anxious. Does that make me high-maintenance?
What movie has made you cry? Last year I saw Room, and I was absolutely devastated by it. I’m raw as I get older. I have to be careful what I let in.
Where was your first kiss? This is crazy: We were playing hooky from school. I had my first kiss while watching The Shining. Is that not weird? And we did a few things other than kiss too! I didn’t see a lot of the movie.
Chanel sweater, dress, shorts, and shoes; Bulgari earrings.