Reese Witherspoon & McG Interview For ‘This Means War’
Two of the world’s top secret agents (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) are best friends who never let anything come between them – until they inadvertently fall for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). It’s all-out war, as the two spies battle each other with high-tech surveillance, advanced tactics, and an arsenal capable of bringing down a small country. Directed by McG (Charlie’s Angels, Terminator Salvation), ‘This Means War’ co-stars Chelsea Handler, Til Schweiger, Laura Vandervoort, Leela Savasta, Angela Bassett, and Abigail Spencer. The film is set for release Febuary 17th in the US, and March 2nd in the UK.
‘This Means War’ plays with the special agent/spy archetypes. What do you think is so appealing about that world?
McG: In the film we were going for the archetype of the classic British special agent, naturally James Bond comes to mind. Then the classic American agent, the Ethan Hunt archetype comes to mind with what Tom Cruise has done in the Mission Impossible movies. We were having fun with that, with what Tom Hardy brings, with what Chris Pine brings. We wanted them to be very proficient in the world of agenting and their skill sets – the use of firearms, fighting, and everything they do. But then when it becomes to affairs of the heart, they’re just like everybody else.
What I think is sexy about that world is that it’s life or death, it’s international, and it’s the antithesis of what most people experience day to day in “cubicle” life. I think we all want to travel around the world, go to exotic locations, cheat death, play around with fancy toys, fire guns, chase women, and be reminded of our mortality on a regular basis. It’s a fun aspirational life that we all sort of aspire and dream about.
What was it like working with Tom Hardy and Chris Pine in this love triangle?
Reese Witherspoon: Both guys were so much fun. Tom Hardy, who plays Tuck, he is just this amazing actor who has just exploded onto the movie scene. Everybody’s so excited about Tom because he has such incredible energy, he has a mind that just goes a 100mph. He’s also just the most sweetest, loving guy in real life. He was perfect casting for Tuck because Tuck is obviously very physically strong, like Tom is. But he also has such a soft heart.
Chris Pane, playing FDR, he’s just fantastic for that character because he’s very composed and put together, very fast talking and quick witted….and so is his character. FDR is always talking himself and Tuck out of situations, he’s sort of the brains behind their operation. He really is just a perfect match for that character They’re both so funny too, they’re very different people, and very different characters. It was nice to see them have such a great friendship on screen and off screen.
The chemistry between the three leads is great, with the back on forth between Tuck and FDR. Chris Pine goes full-on rogue mode….
McG: Oh yeah. When it came to Chris Pine’s character, you needed a rogue, and I wanted someone who was lovable even in the face of supreme self-confidence. To me the greatest example of that is Han Solo. That sort of thing where you think he’s so self-confident he’s borderline cocky, but you absolutely love him. He’s such a swashbuckling charismatic guy that I love his self-assuredness. I want to hate him for it, but I’d be damned if I’m not attracted to him. I think Chris Pine really has a way of doing that, where you can’t help but love what he’s bringing. Even though, by his own admission, he does everything in a sort of decidedly self-assured way. The ability to do it with such self-assuredness, but still be charming, that’s a real gift, most people can’t do it. Chris Pine, he’s a young actor who has that rare skill set.
Then you have Tom Hardy as Tuck….
McG: Tom Hardy is incredible, he’s extraordinarily good looking, he’s very very tough – he’s a phenomenal fighter, an MMA fighter. He has that rough and tumble Paul Newman/Steve McQueen thing that he brings. Also, his style of speaking, his accent, his command of language, the way he views the world. Where else are you going to find someone who’s that funny, that talented of an actor, that intense, that tough. He just hits all those beats that are required of the character. He was the only choice for Tuck.
What was it about Reese Witherspoon that you thought would be a great fit for Lauren?
McG: Reese is perfect for this role. She’s unbelievably talented, she’s smart, she’s engaging, she’s funny, she’s appealing to the Reese Witherspoon army of female fans (laughs). And hopefully in this movie we’ve expanded her fan base into the male audience, who can think, “Wow, she’s really a sexy, powerful, capable woman, that’s appealable to men and to women.”
Chelsea Handler plays your best friend in ‘This Means War.’ How was she to work with?
Reese Witherspoon: There’s very few women who are as funny as Chelsea, we’re so lucky to have her in the film. She’s just one of those woman that all girls I know, who have read her book and watched her television show, they completely relate to her and think she’s so funny. She talks the way girls talk (laughs).
How was it for you getting involved in all the action? I read that your first scene filming with Tom Hardy involved you shooting him with a paintball?
Reese Witherspoon: (Laughs) It was, it was a good ice breaker! It was really a first for me with ‘This Means War,’ I’ve never really been in an action film. They’ve got all kinds of crazy sequences; car chases, shoot outs, people jumping off of buildings. It was really fun making it, the boys had a great time shooting it, shooting guns, getting to do all kinds of crazy action – and they were good at it too! McG is so great, we had a lot of fun. He has endless enthusiasm, which rubs off on us all.