Jan 16, 2014

    Meet the younger, greener Jack Ryan

    YOU loved him as Captain Kirk in the reimagined Star Trek movies. Now, Chris Pine will have you addicted to Tom Clancy's books with his latest action flick, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

    The movie is a reboot of the spy franchise based on the popular character created by the best-selling author.

    Pine has the big responsibility of redefining the iconic United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst-turned-spy, one who was immortalised on the silver screen by Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck.

    Director Kenneth Branagh said: "We both like how Ford's portrayal was this ordinary guy out of his depth, and liked Baldwin's sharp cheekiness as well as Affleck's sensitivity.

    "Chris provided all of those traits and translated them in a fresh way. He's a fearless actor and is unafraid to be bold with parts."

    Besides being at the helm, Branagh also plays the movie's antagonist, Viktor Cherevin.

    Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which opens here today, also stars Kevin Costner as Ryan's mentor, William Harper, and Keira Knightley as his love interest, Cathy.

    Pine saw a chance to create a more down-to-earth view of Ryan. He loved the idea of allowing viewers the chance to see the character's uncertainty, fear and disbelief as he underwent his initiation into the hazards of working as a CIA agent.

    "I really enjoyed how Jack Ryan is this reluctant and selfless hero," the dashing actor admitted to international journalists at the swanky Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills last week.

    Despite being a fan of the series, Pine didn't go back to the previous flicks to pick apart other actors' portrayals of Ryan. Instead, he focused his research on getting to know war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder in England at a rehabilitation centre.

    "Even though it's a minor theme in the film, for me, it was big developmentally for Jack. I wish it was a bigger part of the film," said Pine.

    "Being in war and surviving a violent crash really did something to him mentally and affected his character."

    Pine prepared for his character by touring the London School of Economics and diving into the mechanics of banking, trading and derivatives. He even got to know a real-life compliance officer, which is Ryan's cover-up job.

    Although Pine seems a natural at action flicks, he confessed he "is not that brave in real life".

    "I get to make these films and pretend I'm super badass, and that's great. But I also think diving into the human psyche and behaviour is fun.

    "You can really learn a lot about yourself with these different parts.

    "You kind of create a story of your life with the parts you choose, which can be interesting."