Opening in theaters on May 10th is the new comedy/mystery ‘Poolman,’ which was written, directed, and stars Chris Pine (‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’). The cast also includes Annette Bening (‘Nyad’), Danny DeVito (‘Dumbo’), and Jennifer Jason Leigh (‘The Hateful Eight’).

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Chris Pine and Danny DeVito talk 'Poolman'.

(L to R) Chris Pine and Danny DeVito talk 'Poolman'.

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with actor and director Chris Pine and Danny DeVito about their work on ‘Poolman,’ why Pine wanted to direct it, how it’s a lover letter to Los Angeles, and DeVito’s experience being directed by Pine.

You can read the full interview below or click on the video player above to watch our interviews with Pine, DeVito, Jennifer Jason Leigh and DeWanda Wise.

Chris Pine in 'Poolman'.

Chris Pine in 'Poolman'. Photo: Vertical Entertainment.

Moviefone: To begin with, Chris, how long have you been interested in directing and how did things come together for you to direct ‘Poolman’?

Chris Pine: I've never thought about directing, and the stars aligned because of COVID, really. I had an idea for a pool man named Darren Barrenman that shot around in my brain for two years. Then COVID hit and I was bored and going through a lot of stuff personally. I decided to make it happen, and I tried to hire a writer, but he didn't really work out, so I decided to write it with my writing partner. Then as I was writing it, I was thinking about it visually, so then it just felt like what I had to do.

MF: Chris, you’ve called this movie a love letter to Los Angeles. What did you want to say the City of Angels with this film?

CP: They say write about what you know, so I wrote about Los Angeles and about actors and failed actors and directors and failed directors. It was just the world that I grew up in in Los Angeles, which was kind of one foot on the “Boulevard of Dreams” and one foot in the “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” So, I know this adjacent Hollywood that people know that's the deep Valley, that's actors trying to make a buck, who aren't getting hired. This is my ode less to Los Angeles in many ways, and my ode to them, the people that come to this city and want to be famous and to have their stories heard, and don't. I'm also a big preservation buff and a lover of Los Angeles architecture of old and not of what we're doing now. I'm a lover of what we call the red trolley car system back in the day, which if you've seen ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ you know how that story went. This is my ode to a time in Los Angeles that I love and to a version of Los Angeles that I'm familiar with.

Chris Pine and Danny DeVito in 'Poolman'.

(L to R) Chris Pine and Danny DeVito in 'Poolman'. Photo: Vertical Entertainment.

MF: Danny, you are originally from New Jersey, but you’ve lived in Los Angeles for a long time. Did you get the vibe of what Chris was going for when you first read the screenplay?

Danny DeVito: Yeah, big time. There was a vibe with the Biltmore Hotel and the whole idea of the little place that Annette Bening and I, where we live, where he is working as the pool man. So, all of that, the little motels that you find popped up around Los Angeles and the restaurants, and the architecture also really got me. But I think the big thing about coming here and trying to get things going, because it's the “Boulevard of Dreams”, and broken dreams as well. In that element in the story, from (my character) Jack's point of view, I tried over and over to make the film that I really wanted. He gives me the opportunity to do it because he is like a dog after a bone about this city thing. Pulling back the onion on that mystery winds up giving me my movie because he finds himself, which is really what basically the inside of this movie is about. The outside is all the architecture and the characters and the fun, but the inside is deeply embedded in what he must find, and that's himself.

MF: Finally, Danny, as an actor who has also directed, what was it like for you to work with Chris as a filmmaker and do you like working with directors who are also actors?

Danny DeVito: Yes. It's always good. I think that every director, no matter whether you are an actor or not, should take an acting class. You should figure out what it's like to be on the other side, on this side of the camera and that side. If you want to direct, you should know what this side's going through. So, if you know that, a lot of actors become directors. Most actors know what an actor goes through, and that makes it a better experience.

Poolman

"Los Angeles has a new hero."
R1 hr 40 minMay 10th, 2024
Showtimes & Tickets

What is the plot of ‘Poolman’?

A pool cleaner (Chris Pine) in Los Angeles uncovers a sizeable water heist, one in the same vein as ‘Chinatown’.

Who is in the cast of ‘Poolman’?

  • Chris Pine as Darren Barrenman
  • Annette Bening as Diane
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh as Susan
  • Danny DeVito as Jack
  • DeWanda Wise as June Del Rey
  • John Ortiz as Wayne
  • Ray Wise as Mr. Van Patterson
  • Juliet Mills as Mrs. Van Patterson

Chris Pine in 'Poolman'.

Chris Pine in 'Poolman'. Photo: Vertical Entertainment.

Other Chris Pine Movies:

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