Chris Pine is focused on his work—and everything else is just noise.
With Outlaw premiering Nov. 9 on Netflix, E! News recently sat down to interview the actor and one of his co-stars, Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Set in the 1300s, the historical drama stars Pine as King of Scots, Robert the Bruce, who waged a war over England's occupation of Scotland.
Directed and co-written by David Mackenzie, the gritty period piece was filmed on location Scotland. "I love the geography of it," Pine said of the country. "It's a beautiful, beautiful culture full of exactly what you'd expect: rolling green fields, huge cliffs overlooking the ocean, falling waterfalls." Because the film was made by Netflix and not by a traditional studio, producers were given "incredible creative freedom," Pine said. There was "almost nonexistent meddling" in Mackenzie's vision, he added, "which, for me, has been a singular experience and quite cool."
However, much of the buzz surrounding Outlaw King has centered on his full-frontal nudity. While he understands the fascination, Pine also wonders what it says about society as a whole.
"There's certainly a double standard, because nobody would talk about it if it were a woman," the 38-year-old told E! News. "I would say, 'Why? Because women are expected to do it and men aren't? Why aren't men expected to do it? Why haven't men done it before? Does it show vulnerability? Does it exhibit this vestigial, puritanical shame over the human body and human intimacy? Yet violence, self-flagellation and hurting one another we can do—because that's what we've been taught culturally is OK?' I don't know. It certainly seems to be an odd thing."
Pine has seen some of the headlines, admitting one was "pithy and kind of fun and cute." But otherwise, he's not paying attention to any articles about his penis. "I don't really give a s--t, quite honestly," Pine said. "I'm kind of embarrassed it actually has to be a thing to talk about."
Instead, he'd rather talk about what drew him to the project.
"What was resonant for me was the fact that for millennia, humans being have killed one another for clans or communities—for nations or states, for ideologies, for religion. Animals do it in the animal kingdom. Death and killing, murder and slaughter have happened forever. It seemingly will probably happen until we go away. It's not a good thing or a bad thing; it just seems to be how we deal with certain things," Pine said. "I think the most interesting thing for me in this—in the depiction of this violence, but also in this intimacy and vulnerability of family and family ties—is we do many things in the name of freedom, religion, country, patriotism. There are certain prices one has to pay for that, and this meditates on those prices: the loss of family, of brothers, of fathers, of clans, of communities, of many things that make life worth living. And we do it with the tip of the sword. Those are things we've been doing. I don't think it's ever a bad thing to re-show the human race what we've been doing—what we've done before—so we hopefully can make better decisions, or more informed decisions, in the future."