JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT
Recruiting Chris Pine
The Jack Ryan of "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" stays true to the essential Tom
Clancy lore - that of a very human man pushed to his edges by the most critical
global situations -- while bringing the character hurtling into the CIA of our
current world. To fuse the character's classic and modern qualities into one
performance, the filmmakers looked for an actor who had plenty of both. They
found exactly that mix in Chris Pine.
"Chris is a real thinking actor who has that analytical quality," comments
Branagh. "He's someone who you can feel moment to moment questioning what's real
and truthful and accurate. It was crucial to the film to have someone like Chris
-- who is so comfortable in his own skin, who is effortlessly smart but equally
sexy and charismatic -- take the role. Chris also has a wonderful
self-deprecatory side; he has the ability to laugh at himself and he brings that
ability to the character, and to the sometimes humorously confusing situation
Jack finds himself in, which makes him even more engaging."
Adds Lorenzo Di Bonaventura: "Chris, as a person, is already very analytical,
very inquisitive, always poking at what is right, what is wrong, what is true? I
think he's naturally that way and Jack Ryan is also naturally that kind of guy
so they are a great match. Chris was also incredibly brave in terms of doing his
own stunts and really putting himself out there. He showed 100% commitment to
For Pine, the draw that sparked that kind of commitment was the chance to create
a more down-to-earth view of a real-life "secret agent." He loved the idea of
letting the audience see Ryan's uncertainty, fear and even his disbelief as he
undergoes his first initiation into the extreme hazards of the job.
"In the landscape of action heroes, Jack is different," the actor notes. "He's
someone you might know in your regular life. He's a very smart guy, but now,
he's put in this situation where he doesn't really know what he should do, where
he has to really think on his feet in a way he never has had to before."
Pine also came to the role with a lot of respect for all the positive qualities
Tom Clancy had imbued into the character. "One of the things that I think has
made him such an interesting and lasting character is that Jack Ryan is a really
decent man," says Pine. "There's a kind of goodness to his soul - so he's the
kind of man you want to see learn to take the lead."
In a way, says Pine, Ryan is a mirror image to the other famous character he
plays on screen: the out-sized Captain Kirk. "Kirk is brash and arrogant and
it's because of those faults that he learns about selflessness. Jack, on the
other hand, comes into this mission as a very
grounded, centered man," he observes. "But the one thing Jack doesn't know --
like all of us -- is when it comes down to this urgent situation...does he
really have what it takes or not?"
To prepare to play Ryan, Pine explored all the threads that make up his history.
He spent time talking in depth with military veterans, he toured the London
School of Economics, he dove into the mechanics of banking, trading and
derivatives, and he even got to know a real-life Compliance Officer, the job
which serves as Ryan's cover.
Equally key to his performance was honing in on Jack's thorny relationship with
the woman he wants to marry yet can't tell the truth, his fiancee Cathy. "Jack
is kind of a loner, yet the one strong connection he has is with this woman," he
observes. "I think he sees in Cathy a kindred spirit, and in the course of the
story, she proves to have as much backbone and courage as he does."
Throughout, Pine had the confidence that Branagh would bring all of these
elements to the fore. "Ken is a director who does such incredible preparation
that when he walks onto the set there is just no doubt about what he wants to
achieve," he comments. "I've never done a film that moved as fast as this one,
yet Ken always had it going on. And then he would jump with the greatest ease
from behind the camera to in front of it."
Branagh felt equally excited about working with Pine. "Chris came in and really
created the sense of Jack Ryan as someone who would rather be sitting reading a
book on history than in Moscow on the run for his life - and then he showed him
finding his depth," summarizes the director.
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