Despite conquering Stephen Sondheim in the 2014 movie musical, the actor says he was 'definitely a nervous singer' coming into 'Wish.'
The complex, often atonal works of Stephen Sondheim are difficult to master, even for the most seasoned of Broadway artists. Yet actor Chris Pine was able to hold his own alongside the likes of Christine Baranski, James Corden, and Donna Murphy in 2014's Into the Woods. One would think that would give him a vote of confidence as he returns to another musical, this year's Disney animated film Wish.
"Absolutely not," Pine tells EW in an interview with his Wish costar, Ariana DeBose. "Every time you're like, 'They f---ing hired me?! Oh my God, no.'"
The Wonder Woman and Dungeons & Dragons star voices the role of King Magnifico, a sorcerer and the ruler of Rosas. The citizens of this island kingdom offer up their innermost wishes to him for safekeeping, but as soon as they do, they instantly forget what they are. Magnifico considers this a courtesy to prevent anyone from suffering the grief of a wish unfulfilled, as he sings through musical numbers like, "This Is the Thanks I Get?!" and "At All Costs."
"It's not my forte, it's not my background," Pine says of his singing responsibilities.
Referencing his experience working on Into the Woods, in which he played Cinderella's Prince Charming, he recalls, "Stephen Sondheim came into the recording session with the full orchestra. As I was coming out, he said, 'What was that note in the second stanza?' I said, 'Oh! B.' He's like, 'It's an A-flat.' The point being is that he heard me screw up. So, that's a long way of saying, yes, I was terrified."
He describes the style of the songs written by Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice for Wish as "sometimes offbeat to the musical element," explaining, "There's a dominant melody line and [Michaels] deliberately plays against it. I think that's how you really hear the story of the lyric. It is Sondheim-esque, because his work is very similarly atonal. It's always plot-driven and emotionally driven as opposed to just something in a pretty song."
"I loved the challenge of it," Pine adds, "but I was definitely a nervous singer, for sure."
Is it also a coincidence that Pine's Magnifico kind of looks like a grown-up version of his Prince Charming from Into the Woods? "Oh yeah! A little," he says, acknowledging the similarities. "I think it's giving silver fox," DeBose comments, "which is excellent at any point in the journey."
Wish will play in theaters starting this Wednesday.
Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.