Chris Pine in dark

Chris Pine in 'The Contractor.' Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Opening in theaters and On-Demand beginning April 1st is the new action movie ‘The Contractor,’ from director Tarik Saleh (‘Westworld’).

The movie stars Chris Pine ('Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit') as James Harper, a discharged U.S. Special Forces sergeant who joins a private contracting organization. While overseas on a covert mission, he must evade those trying to kill him and make his way back home safely to his family.

The film reunites Pine with his 'Hell or High Water' co-star Ben Foster, and also features Gillian Jacobs ('Hot Tub Time Machine 2'), Eddie Marsan ('The World's End'), and Kiefer Sutherland ('24').

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Pine about his work on ‘The Contractor.’

You can read our full interview with Chris Pine below or watch a video of our interviews with Pine and director Tarik Saleh about ‘The Contractor’ by clicking on the player above.

Moviefone: To begin with, what was your first reaction when you read the script for ‘The Contractor?’

Chris Pine: I was really moved by it. I thought it was a really poetic and sensitive take on a genre piece. It’s really a character study that's masquerading as an action thriller film. I thought it was a great opportunity to have something that was highly commercial and accessible, but also required people to really think and that intrigued me.

MF: Can you talk about the research you did to play this role?

CP: I spent about three months with a guy, Chris Dunn, out in the desert here in Los Angeles, working, doing close quarters combat and weapons training. I met with Bert Kuntz, who was our technical advisor, who's a green beret and medic. I read a ton of books and investigated the script with Bert to make sure that things seemed real. That was what I did.

MF: What do you think your character would say is the most important aspect of his life?

CP: That's a difficult question. I think at first it would be family, God, and country. But by the end of the film it's just family.

MF: There is a lot of action in the film. Do you do your own stunts and how do you prepare for those scenes?

CP: I generally do everything that I can, that the insurance company will allow me to do. I had an incredible stunt double with whom I've worked for many years. But everything is different. It depends on how they want to shoot it. It depends on the time we have. It depends on so many things, but this one was a particularly brutal shoot.

Chris Pine and Ben Foster playing catch

(L to R) Chris Pine and Ben Foster in 'The Contractor.' Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

MF: You reunite with your ‘Hell or High Water’ co-star Ben Foster for this movie. What do you like about working with him, and what is the relationship like between your two characters?

CP: It's always great working with Ben. I wish I could work with Ben on most things I do. It's nice to go to work with someone whom you have great respect, who you like and who gets the work the same way you do and wants to achieve the same things. We have a shorthand. Obviously, we didn't have much time on this film. We didn't have much money. We didn't have an incredible amount of rehearsal time. So, to get to go to work, get to set, and hit the ground running was really important.

MF: Were you involved with choosing Tarik Saleh to direct this movie?

CP: Yes. 100%. I'd seen ‘The Nile Hilton Incident’ and I absolutely loved it. It's an Egyptian police noir, starring Fares Fares, who shows up in our film. I think he's incredibly talented. I heard that he was interested in the script. We met in New York very briefly and then we were off to the races.

MF: What was he like to work with on set?

CP: Tarik is wonderful. He's incredibly collaborative. He trusted me a great deal. We really just picked this thing apart as my much as we could to figure out the emotional arc and through line of it. It was tricky work and it wouldn't have worked unless we had open minds. It took me, Tarik, Ben and everyone involved trying to say, "Well, how does this work? Does it, does this make sense?"

Director Tarik Saleh

Director Tarik Saleh on set of 'The Contractor.' Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

MF: Finally, what do you hope audiences take away from seeing the film?

CP: Really this is a story about one man dealing with the effects of his world being turned upside down. We would never see this man losing his job, losing his pension, losing his healthcare and going to do anything else but being a military contractor. That's the hard thing. Here's a guy that is, in terms of the amount of money they spend on one of these highly trained warriors, it's millions of dollars. They are a weapon.

After a twenty some odd years of service as a highly trained weapon, you then get out into the real world and if you're facing financial troubles, you don't have enough time to get yourself out of the muck by working a normal job. Whereas you can go and make really incredible money doing something you're passionate about that you're highly trained and qualified for. It seemed to make a lot of logical sense, making that move for James.

The Contractor

"The mission is not what it seems."
R1 hr 43 minApr 1st, 2022