Chris Pine is boldly going where Capt. Kirk has never gone before. In his sibling drama “People Like Us,” he gets slapped around by his mom and pummeled by his sister.
The earthbound sibling drama is light-years from Pine’s role as forceful ladies man Kirk in “Star Trek. And it’s a departure for “People Like Us” director Alex Kurtzman and producer Roberto Orci, who moonlighted on the intimate screenplay for nearly eight years as they co-wrote such action epics as “Star Trek” and its upcoming sequel, the first two “Transformers” flicks, “Mission: Impossible III” and “Cowboys & Aliens.”
In very un-Kirk-man-like fashion, Pine gets a sharp slap to the face in his first scene with Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays his mother, angry that it took his father’s death for her self-absorbed son to finally come home for a visit.
After discovering his dad had a daughter with another woman, Pine’s Sam ends up getting the stuffing beaten out of him by his newfound half-sister, Frankie (Elizabeth Banks).
Pfeiffer and Banks put their all into it, recalls Pine, who unlike action man Kirk, had to stand there and take his lumps.
“Liz is a tornado when you unleash her,” Pine said in an interview alongside Kurtzman and Orci to promote “People Like Us,” which opens Friday.
As for taking a palm to the cheek from Pfeiffer, Pine remembers it coming in the first scene the two shot together.
“I recall very, like, method-y, whispering conversations between Alex and Michelle before the first take, and then she slapped the (crap) out of me,” Pine said. “There’s something to be said for it, because there really is no way to duplicate the shock of that.
“And similarly, the scene with Banks, there’s just no way. The way that they shot it, it was very kind of handheld, super-present, really in the room, fly-on-the-wall kind of stuff. There’s no way to mime that to make that real. It wasn’t going to be really violent, she never hit me in the face or anything. So you could let her go rip-riot with a certain amount of safety involved. That was important to capture, because Liz, Frankie, in that moment is rightfully, righteously angry at Sam.”