Chris Pine, off to a daring sea rescue in ‘The Finest Hours’

When Chris Pine is considering upcoming projects with which to become involved, a clear indication for the actor is a screenplay he can read in one sitting. With Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Finest Hours,” he couldn’t put it down.

“The Finest Hours” is based on the extraordinary true story of the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history in the U.S. Presented in Digital 3D, the film transports audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.

Pine, who has starred in the “Star Trek” films, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” and “Into the Woods,” among numerous others, appreciated the story’s simplicity and was drawn to the character of Petty Officer First Class Bernie Webber, the amiable captain of the CG36500 lifeboat, who becomes an unlikely hero.

“Bernie is sweet and quite gentle and is a man who hasn’t really found his voice yet. He grew up in a family of very strong men who went into battle and got their badges, and Bernie, having been too young to go to war, feels that he should have been there,” says Pine. “I like Bernie because he’s not encumbered by any cynicism or irony and he’s not slick and sharp…he’s not ‘big city.’ He’s a man from a different time.”

Webber led a similar rescue mission one year before the SS Pendleton disaster that was unsuccessful and haunted him. The William J. Landry, a fishing boat from New Bedford, Massachusetts, had been trapped at sea by a major squall and after three failed attempts to rescue the fishermen on board, the boat was destroyed, their crew never found. Webber’s confidence was shaken as a result.

“Bernie has so much heart; he’s such an interesting, lovable character,” says director Craig Gillespie. “He’s the guy who you feel is not going to amount to much and then he surprises everybody. And Chris used everything from his mannerisms to his accent, and the evolution of such a fully fleshed character surprised me at every turn, especially because the audience views him as the underdog. We set him up that way, and Chris just makes Bernie shine on screen.”

Station Chief Warren Cluff assigns his more-experienced men to assist with the SS Fort Mercer rescue efforts taking place off the coast of Nantucket, but the crew believes it is impossible to cross the Chatham Bar due to the storm and even though it will take longer, leaves from Stage Harbor instead. Webber, on the other hand, does not object and departs with his crew from the station as ordered, heading directly into one of the deadliest spots in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Bernie did what he was told, even though everyone knew the rescue mission was close to impossible,” explains Gillespie. “At the beginning of the story the fact that he always does what he is told is almost a detriment, but as he goes through this journey we see that he comes into his own and becomes a thinking man: someone who makes his own choices and becomes a true leader, and that was something that Chris was able to beautifully portray through the nuances in his performance.”

“Because this is a true story you want to do justice to these men and what they accomplished…you want to pay tribute to them and hopefully capture the essence of who they actually were,” says Pine. “There’s this really great audio recording of Bernie telling the story many years after what happened that night, and just listening to his cadence and how he responded to the gentleman asking the questions you could tell that he had told the story many times and I got the feeling that he didn’t want to talk about it much anymore. In talking with people who knew Bernie I found that this was a great part of who he was—a quiet guy who took very seriously a job that he was very good at.”

Started playing across the Philippines on March 2, 2016, “The Finest Hours” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph and use the hashtag #FinestHoursPH.

Eric Bana makes toughest choices in rescue tale ‘The Finest Hours’

Australian actor Eric Bana (“Hulk,” “Lone Survivor”) plays Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff, the commanding officer of the Coast Guard station when the storm hit, in Walt Disney Pictures’ gripping sea rescue tale, “The Finest Hours.”

The film is based on the extraordinary true story of the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history in the U.S. Presented in Digital 3D, the film transports audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.

“Cluff is new to this particular region of Amercia, and while being an outsider in a small town is always a struggle, it’s even more difficult when you are in a position of power and have to command people who are local and have been there much longer than my character has,” Bana says.

He continues, “Cluff is from the South and everything about him is different, from the way he commands to how he sounds, and he anticipated having a level of respect from his men which is just not there. He’s uncomfortable and unsure of himself, and definitely has his work cut out for him in terms of short-circuiting the disconnection.”

This difficult situation is the backdrop in which Cluff must make the tough, potentially fatal decision to order Chris Pine’s character, Bernie, to choose a crew and take the lifeboat out into the storm. After making the decision he is confronted by Bernie’s fiancee, Miriam, and has the opportunity to rescind it before it’s too late, but doesn’t.

“It’s an interesting predicament,” explains Bana. “He could be responding to his authority being questioned by Miriam, but I think deep down he’s sending the men out because it’s the right thing to do—it’s their job. They didn’t have the checks and balances system in place back then like they do now, so he’s making a judgment call, but I don’t think there was ever any doubt that he was going to send them out.”

“Cluff is a guy whose back is against the wall and he has to make some very difficult decisions,” says director Craig Whitaker. “There is some uncertainty in those decisions that he has to make which reveals his character’s true humanity, and it’s really incredible to witness on screen. It was great to see Eric make him a more insecure and unsettled person.”

Bana starred in Ridley Scott’s “Black Hawk Down” as Delta Sgt. First Class “Hoot” Gibson, one of a group of elite U.S. soldiers, opposite Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor and Tom Sizemore. The war epic, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer for Sony, is based on journalist Mark Bowden’s best-selling account of the 1993 U.S. mission in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Shortly thereafter, Bana starred as Bruce Banner in “Hulk,” based on the Marvel Comics character, for director Ang Lee and Universal Pictures. He was also featured as Hector the Prince of Troy in Warner Bros.’ “Troy” for director Wolfgang Peterson. The film was based on Homer’s “The Iliad,” and co-starred Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom. The following year he starred in Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed “Munich” about the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics.

He played the title role in Warner Bros.’ “Lucky You,” opposite Drew Barrymore. Following “Lucky You,” he starred as Henry Tudor opposite Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson in “The Other Boleyn Girl.”

Bana co-starred in J.J. Abrams’ blockbuster hit “Star Trek” as the villain Nero. He was also featured in: “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” opposite Rachel McAdams, based on the best-selling novel by Audry Niffenegger; and the action-thriller “Hanna,” opposite Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett.

Bana’s recent film credits include: “Lone Survivor” opposite Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster; and “Deliver Us from Evil” from producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Opening across the Philippines on March 2, 2016, “The Finest Hours” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph and use the hashtag #FinestHoursPH.

‘Cinderella’s’ Holliday Grainger weathers ‘The Finest Hours’

She most recently delighted audiences as one of the cruel stepsisters in director Kenneth Branagh’s “Cinderella” opposite Lily James and Cate Blanchett.

Now, British actress Holliday Grainger stars in Disney’s sea rescue tale “The Finest Hours” as the headstrong fiancée of Chris Pine’s character, who has no problem speaking her mind, especially when it comes to her fiancé’s safety.

“The Finest Hours” is based on the extraordinary true story of the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history in the U.S. Presented in Digital 3D, the film transports audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale. The film also stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster and Eric Bana.

“Miriam is an interesting character,” says Grainger. “She is so strong and determined to get what she wants, and even though she’s an educated woman, all she really wants is to get married. I loved the idea and the style of the 1950s and that kind of small town regional American mindset, which was a headspace I’d never really played before.”

Says director Craig Gillespie, “Miriam is this very independent woman, which feels a little unusual for that time period, but she actually ends up challenging Chris Pine’s Bernie to think for himself. Portraying a powerful woman is such a great opportunity for an actress, and Holliday does a superb job of maintaining that fine line between being strong but not too intimidating. The chemistry between her and Chris is just beautiful, and you really are yearning for them to end up together.”

Miriam’s journey throughout the film is to be able to comprehend the world that Bernie comes from and to learn to be secure in the fact that marrying him means marrying into that world. She explains, “Bernie cares about her so much and doesn’t want to introduce her into his world of danger because he’s saving people’s lives every day and doesn’t know when—or if—he’s ever coming back.”

“The movie is as much about the rescue mission as it is about the challenges of a relationship and how one makes the decision to fully commit to be with someone,” says producer Jim Whitaker, “and so in a way, what’s happening at sea is like a metaphor to what’s happening on shore, and Miriam is the anchor of that emotional journey, both for Bernie and herself.”

The way Bernie and Miriam met is a story in and of itself: she was a telephone operator and listened in on one of his calls where he politely cancelled a date due to a flat tire, and was smitten. “She heard his voice and said ‘that’s the man I’m going to marry,’” she says. “They dated on the phone for several weeks and got to know everything about each other before agreeing to meet, and the rest is history.” Bernie and Miriam Webber were married on April 16, 1952, as planned, and remained married for 58 years until Bernie passed away in 2009 at the age of 81.

In addition to the historical facts and details which the filmmakers wanted to be sure were believable and technically accurate, it was also important that the characters’ relationships were authentic as well. “We wanted to be very specific and very clear with how things happened, and the scene in the film where Bernie and Miriam go on their first date is verbatim from the story,” says Whitaker. “Being able to get those nuances and truths makes it all the more interesting and allows us to present such unique individuals, and both actors were great at being able to run with it.”

Opening across the Philippines on March 2, 2016, “The Finest Hours” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph and use the hashtag #FinestHoursPH.

‘The Finest Hours’ depicts greatest boat rescue in US history

A heroic action-thriller, Disney’s “The Finest Hours” is based on the extraordinary true story of the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history in the U.S. Presented in Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D, the film transports audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.

Directed by Craig Gillespie, “The Finest Hours” stars Chris Pine (the “Star Trek” films); Academy Award®-nominee Casey Affleck (“Interstellar”); Ben Foster (“3:10 to Yuma”); Holliday Grainger (“Cinderella”); John Ortiz (“Silver Linings Playbook”); and Eric Bana (“Lone Survivor”).

Produced by Jim Whitaker (“Cinderella Man”) and Dorothy Aufiero (“The Fighter”), the screenplay is by Oscar® nominee Scott Silver (“8 Mile”) and Oscar nominees Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson (“The Fighter”) based on the acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman. Doug Merrifield (the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) serves as executive producer.

Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) and Tchuda Southerland (Josh Stewart) struggle to keep their ship, the SS Pendleton, from sinking in Disney's THE FINEST HOURS.
Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) and Tchuda Southerland (Josh Stewart) struggle to keep their ship, the SS Pendleton, from sinking in Disney’s THE FINEST HOURS.

On February 18, 1952, a massive nor’easter struck New England, pummeling towns along the Eastern seaboard and wreaking havoc on anything caught in its destructive path, including two 500-foot oil tankers. The SS Pendleton and SS Fort Mercer, bound for Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine, respectively, were both ripped in half, trapping their crews inside. For the senior officer aboard the stern of the Pendleton, first assistant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck), he quickly realizes that it is up to him to take charge of the frightened crew and encourage them to work together to keep the ship afloat for as long as possible.

The U.S. Coast Guard Station in Chatham, Massachusetts was busy helping local fishermen protect their boats from the storm when they received word that the damaged ships were adrift in nearby waters. Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana), the recently-appointed station chief, immediately dispatches the CG 36500 lifeboat under the command of Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) to search for survivors.

The Finest Hours-01

Webber and his crew of three men on board the 36-foot motorized, wooden lifeboat, set off on the perilous mission with bleak prospects at best, and before they even clear the harbor, the boat’s windshield and compass are destroyed. Yet the men persevere, and despite hurricane-force winds, 70-foot waves, frigid temperatures and zero visibility, miraculously locate the Pendleton and rescue 32 of its 33 men in the midst of the turbulent storm.
Facing the worst of Mother Nature, they head back into the belly of the beast, returning a total of 36 men home on their battered 12-seat lifeboat.

Opening across the Philippines on January 27, 2016, “The Finest Hours” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph.

WATCH: New trailer of ‘The Finest Hours’ comes to the rescue

The new trailer of Walt Disney Pictures’ The Finest Hours starring Chris Pine has just been released and may viewed below.

A heroic action-thriller, “The Finest Hours” is based on the extraordinary true story of the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history. Presented in Digital 3D™, the film transports audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.

Directed by Craig Gillespie, “The Finest Hours” stars Chris Pine (the “Star Trek” films); Academy Award® nominee Casey Affleck (“Interstellar”); Ben Foster (“3:10 to Yuma”); Holliday Grainger (“Cinderella”); John Ortiz (“Silver Linings Playbook”); and Eric Bana (“Lone Survivor”).

27

Produced by Jim Whitaker (“Cinderella Man”) and Dorothy Aufiero (“The Fighter”), the screenplay is by Oscar® nominee Scott Silver (“8 Mile”) and Oscar nominees Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson (“The Fighter”) based on the acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman. Doug Merrifield (the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) serves as executive producer.

Opening across the Philippines on January 27, 2016, The Finest Hours is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES