PEOPLE LIKE US star Chris Pine and co-writer/director Alex Kurtzman had collaborated before on the STAR TREK reboot, a project that dazzled with special effects. When I spoke with them on June 6,2012, and the first thing I wanted know was if it was the lack of special effects in PEOPLE that attracted the pair to the project, which marked Kurtzman’s directorial debut. Based on an incident in his own life that involved meeting a half-sister he never knew he had, Kurtzman discussed being emotionally true while not sticking to the facts, and why trusted Pine to play his alter-ego on screen. As for Pine, he was full of praise for Kurtzman’s style, both writing and directing, before going on to explain why doing live theater is just as important to him as taking quality time off.
PEOPLE LIKE US is a romance about families, secrets, and hitting bottom. Pine plays Sam, a smooth-talking barter specialist desperately seeking a bright future until physics, in the form of tomato soup and a hot railroad car, put the kaybosh on that. Worse, on the day he discovers the u-turn his career has taken, he learns that his estranged father has died. The trip from New York to Los Angeles for the funeral is about more than distance as Sam revisits long-simmering resentments with is mother, as well as meeting a half-sister he never knew he had, and a nephew that steals his heart. The film co-stars Michelle Pfieffer, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Philip Baker Hall, Mark Duplass, Michael Hall D’Addario and Jon Favreau as the cut-throat boss. Pine is an alum of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater, and his previous work includes working the vineyards of Napa in BOTTLE SHOCK, battling an explosive speeding train in UNSTOPPABLE, and revisiting Captain Kirk in the STAR TREK reboot. Kurtzman directed from a script co-written Roberto Orci and Jody Lambert. His previous work includes scripts for TRANSFORMERS, COWBOYS & ALIENS, and the ci-mentioned STAR TREK reboot. He is also the co-creator with Orci and and J. J. Abrams of televisions’ FRINGE. This is his feature film directorial debut.