Crowds at the DGA theater in Los Angeles were buzzing on Monday night when Chris Pine made a surprise appearance on the red carpet. Pine came out to the “Five Days at Memorial” premiere to support his dad, Robert Pine, in his newest acting endeavor.
The father-son duo posed together before Chris made his way into the theater, letting his father walk the line to talk to the press.
For Robert, his decision to get involved with this project came down to the script. “John Ridley and Carlton Cuse wrote [the script], and you just don’t get good writing like that all the time,” Pine told Variety. “I mean, any actor here can tell you that. So when something like that comes up — whether it’s even a small role or whatever — you leap on it because you want to be part of something like that.”
“Five Days at Memorial” follows the true story of Memorial Hospital during and after Hurricane Katrina tragically ravaged the city of New Orleans in 2005. Adapted from Sheri Fink’s book, the series chronicles the staff at the hospital as floodwaters rise, power fails and heat soars. The limited series, produced by Academy Award winner John Ridley and Emmy Award winner Carlton Cuse, stars Vera Farmiga, Cornelius Smith Jr., Cherry Jones, Julie Ann Emery, Adepero Oduye, Molly Hager and Michael Gaston.
Pine plays Horace Baltz, a bowtie-sporting doctor at Memorial that attempts to keep everyone calm amidst the chaos. According to Pine, the bowtie was actually a personal choice he made to pay tribute to a friend.
“A friend of mine is an orthopedic surgeon,” Pine explained. “And anytime I play a doctor, I like to wear a bowtie for him. Yeah, he’s been my best friend since the fourth grade.”
Jones, who is known for her performances in “Succession,” “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” and “Signs,” recalls how the story of Katrina resonated deeply with her while working on set.
“For me, it was a sacred duty to do the best we could and use our imagination as actors,” Jones said. “Because we’re not going through this, we’re just imagining it. And it’s impossible to imagine! I won’t kid you. It’s impossible. We can’t even get close to it. But we did the best we can.”
The series is helmed by renowned producer Cuse, who has been behind television hits such as “Lost” and “Bates Motel.” For Cuse, working on “Five Days at Memorial” during the COVID-19 pandemic made him realize that the story of Hurricane Katrina mirrors much of what people have experienced throughout the past few years.
“The dilemmas felt like they were very much the same,” Cuse said. “Everybody’s got a really intense, personal experience with this pandemic. And I hope that they will bring that experience to their watching of this show and see the resonance of their pandemic experience in this story. And hopefully, I think we can all find a way to learn some lessons from what happened and do better when it comes to the next natural disaster or calamity — which is certain to be coming.”
“Five Days at Memorial” will premiere on Apple TV+ with the first three episodes on Aug. 12. One new episode will then follow every Friday through Sept. 16.