On a mild winter Monday night in Hollywood, the freezing cold was very much front and center at the TCL Chinese for the world premiere of Disney’s “The Finest Hours.”
Chris Pine, who plays the heroic Bernie Webber in a 1952 winter rescue, said the shoot was more taxing than most.
“Days blurred into the next — it was just very cold and very wet for a long time, and you just kind of got through it,” he mused. “I don’t know of anyone who likes being cold, but you get used to it for awhile.”
Pine admitted that being in “The Finest Hours” did give him a small sense of what the Coast Guard rescuers endured in saving the lives of 32 men from an oil tanker that had split in two during a massive storm off the coast of Cape Cod.
“If there’s a ligamental connection between us and the guys that went through it, it’s that we’re kind of overwhelmed by so much going on at once,” Pine said.
Casey Affleck allowed that his part — an assistant engineer who spends much of the film trying to save a ship that’s breaking apart in Gale force winds — wasn’t as tough as it looked.
“There was a lot of waiting around for them to get the ship right so it could break apart again, and getting the rain machine to work right, and sit there and shivering. I like the rain,” he decreed.
Eric Bana, who plays a tough-as-nails chief warrant officer, admitted that his part was less physically challenging: “I had the easy part, staying on dry land.”
The festivities began with the presentation of colors by the U.S. Honor Guard and a performance by the U.S. Coast Guard Band. Seventy heroes from the Armed Forces, veterans, Wounded Warriors and First Responders were in attendance, along with Coast Guard Engineer Andy Fitzgerald — the lone living survivor of the rescue.
Fitzgerald, who was the junior engineer at the Coast Guard station, is portrayed in the movie by Kyle Gallner.
“We were drenched 12 hours a day,” Gallner said of the cast, which endured it. “There were no prima donnas.”
Coast Guard Admiral and Commandant Paul Zukunft said on the red carpet that he was completely on board with “The Finest Hours.” “It really captures the DNA of the Coast Guard, going out in the most dangerous conditions.”