Michelle Pfeiffer gets feisty in ‘People Like Us’

Chris Pine has the kind of face that Michelle Pfeiffer dreads hitting.

Despite the fact that actor Chris Pine has grown accustomed to taking a beating on film — with roles in “Star Trek” and this year’s “This Means War” — Michelle Pfeiffer wasn’t particularly enthused about joining the party. “Oh, I hated that,” Pfeiffer says of her first scene with Pine in “People Like Us,” in which she slaps him across the face. “I didn’t like having to do that. I didn’t even like watching it. It’s so brutal, really, to slap somebody. I think it’s probably hard for audiences to see that.”

In “People Like Us,” Pfeiffer plays Lillian, the mother to Pine’s Sam, who is dealing with the aftershocks of discovering his recently deceased father secretly had another child (Elizabeth Banks). Given the tension in the mother-son relationship onscreen, Pfeiffer’s main concern was conveying some warmth in Lillian. “One of the things [director] Alex [Kurtzman] and I talked about from the beginning was that she just didn’t become one-dimensional and really arch and really cold and icy,” Pfeiffer says. “We wanted to find the humanity of this person who was just really limited and damaged and who had made certain choices in her life that she may regret, that she’s not proud of. What I love about her is that she ultimately owns up and takes responsibility for those choices. I think she’s unapologetic about it.”

Another thing she decided to be unapologetic about was Lillian’s look, presenting her natural beauty with a fair dose of weary reality. “It’s not easy to see yourself at your worst,” she says of watching the finished product. “None of us want people to see us when we’ve just rolled out of bed and your hair is dirty and you don’t have any makeup on and you’re puffy from whatever you’ve been doing. And that’s who she is. I wanted to do that. I wanted to go there, I felt it would be liberating.”

While Pfeiffer has become much choosier about what roles she takes, that’s only partly due to the quality of the work being offered. “I’m always looking for something well-written, something interesting, a place I haven’t ventured before,” she says. “And then there are other variables like when is it shooting, where is it shooting, how long is it shooting — because I still have family commitments and I’m always weighing that. If you look at the last three movies I’ve done, they have been sort of smaller parts or part of an ensemble where I can come in and come out and still be a mom and go off and get my work fix.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

What New Yorkers need to know about the…

A measles outbreak in New York City has spread further, the health department said Wednesday.

Local

Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.

Local

East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

The Word

Paul Walker's brothers will replace him in 'Fast…

Ever since a car crash took Paul Walker's life, fans have wondered what the "Fast & Furious" franchise would do without one of its most beloved stars.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.