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
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…