The director and a few of the stars of "The Finest Hours" were in attendance at AMC Boston Common Thursday for a Disney-hosted special screening of the big-budget, made-in-Massachusetts movie.
Clad in attire decidedly drier than the togs they wear in the high-seas adventure, Chris Pine and Casey Affleck joined director Craig Gillespie, screenwriter Scott Silver, and producers Dorothy Aufiero and Jim Whitaker to promote the film about the Coast Guard's dramatic, real-life rescue off the Cape Cod coast in 1952.
Pine pointed to "the endurance of going through it, dealing with the cold, and the discomfort" as the toughest part of making the film. "Obviously, what those guys went through was so real and so difficult, and to have a little taste of it was a small price to pay to be able to tell this story."
Shot around Quincy, Chatham, and elsewhere on the South Shore, the movie stars Pine as Coast Guardsman Bernie Webber, whose crew helped save the lives of more than 30 men on board an oil tanker torn in half by the ferocity of a winter nor'easter.
For Pine, "the sheer facts of the story" set it apart from other potential projects. "It was four men on a 36-foot boat in the dead of winter, going against extreme cold, rain, sleet, snow, and they went out in dangerous waters in a terrible storm, to rescue these people and got back to shore with only one fatality."
Affleck, who stars as the tanker's first assistant engineer, believes it's crucial to keep bringing tales of true heroism to the big screen.
"I don't have anything against superhero movies," Affleck said, smiling. "It's important that these kinds of movies are made, and that we don't give ourselves over entirely to explosions and violence."
"Perhaps the most surprising thing about [the shoot] was that a nor'easter came while we were making it," Whitaker said, laughing. "Most times when you're making a movie like this, a storm comes and you're upset, because you have to take time off, but we welcomed the storm. We took full advantage."
Real-life heroes from the Coast Guard attended Thursday's screening, including Rear Admiral Linda Fagan, Commander, First Coast Guard District; Air Station Cape Cod's Petty Officer 3d Class Evan Staph, Distinguished Flying Cross recipient; and Petty Officer 2d Class Derrick Suba, Air Medal recipient. Also there were Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias, whose nonfiction book is the basis for the movie, which opens Friday.