'Best Thing That's Ever Happened to Me': Chris Pine Learned ‘Resilience' After Directorial Debut ‘Got F---ing Panned’

Chris Pine is speaking out about the reception to his feature directorial debut

Published Time: 10.05.2024 - 06:31:09 Modified Time: 10.05.2024 - 06:31:09

Chris Pine is speaking out about the reception to his feature directorial debut.

On the Thursday, May 9 episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Pine, 43, opened up to host Josh Horowitz about Poolman (in theaters May 10), which he co-wrote, stars in and directs.

After the film premiered at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival in September and received its share of negative reviews, “I was like, ‘Maybe I did make a pile of s---,' ” the filmmaker admitted.

But, he continued, “I went back and watched it. I f---ing love this film. I love this film so much.”

Poolman follows "a native Los Angeleno who spends his days looking after the pool of the Tahitian Tiki apartment block and fighting to make his hometown a better place to live,” per its official synopsis. 

Sharing a preview of his first time behind the camera for a feature film with PEOPLE, Pine said in April that the process entailed “a flow state for months. There wasn’t time to think or get in my head.” 

The process of making the comedy-mystery with costars Annette Bening, DeWanda Wise, Ariana DeBose, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Danny DeVito and more “was so joyful and the most creative I’ve ever gotten to be on set."

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Pine explained that the entire filmmaking process and the feedback proved "how resilient I am."

“It’s ultimately been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s forced me to double down on joy and really double down on what I love most about my job — which you kind of forget, it’s fundamentally about play.”

Pine also discussed the movie’s reception with his therapist, he said. “In everything that feels like a setback, yes there is the hurt of the cut, but as the scar tissue forms and the healing process happens you do benefit from a growth in resilience.”

He also said that while actors can “hide behind” many aspects of a movie when it comes to criticism, the same is not true for writers and directors.

“The closest thing I would imagine that this is like — co-writing, directing, and starring in — is a stand-up comedian on stage feeling utterly naked,” he told Horowitz.

Poolman, from Vertical Entertainment, is in theaters May 10.

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