Blond, blue eyes, masculine jawline, and dressed like an old-fashioned gentleman. At the press conference at Palazzo del Cinema, Chris Pine looks more like the prototype of Prince Charming than the sexy messiah in Don’t Worry Darling, out of Competition in Venice 79. The definition, though, seems to amuse him and fits him perfectly. Nothing furthest from what embodies him, a handsome one that proved to adapt well both in front (Star Trek, Dungeons & Dragons) and behind the camera (Poolman). Not bad for someone whose passion for cinema was not like love at first sight.

Chris Pine Venice Film Festival

How did you feel about getting into the parallel reality in Victory?

Surprisingly, between dystopic reality and the actuality we live in, there is not much distance. Oftentimes, during the process, we did not feel like actors on a set; instead, we had the impression of having to do with the world around us. Like in Victory, all the most beautiful and suggestive things may hide a dark side.

The character you interpret is a sort of sexy messiah…

The basic element is language. All con men use language as a weapon even though Frank, the guru, does not imitate anybody; he’s a hologram who joins beauty with dullness. 

How do you work specifically?

With the director and the scenographer, we tried to reconstruct the deceptive plot that Frank creates and uses through language. His effectiveness lies in the verbal artifices he uses and the logical sense he gives to them. 

Such as?

The theme of chaos. Every day we struggle to keep it at bay and under control; my character offers his followers a solution, but the trait to highlight is the reason he does that. He wants to control them and feel stronger.

One scene highlights Frank’s obsession with control very effectively.

During a party in the style of the thirties, typical of Victory, this sort of prophet stirs up the guests with a messianic fervor which reminds Hitler’s speeches. As usual, he is well-groomed, but the emphasis of his speech causes a curl to fall on his face. That annoys him because it disturbs his fanatical order.

You are an actor, director, and producer and yet cinema was not your longstanding love.

Drama and acting were not my childhood dream even though, at a certain point, they drew my thoughts and interest, taking control. The same happened with film direction. The idea of making Poolman was not planned; it came out suddenly and unexpectedly.