In Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi epic Pacific Rim, everything is big. The monsters. The soundstage. Even the Jaegers have to be operated by two people. But apparently, the epic feats of the cast and crew extended beyond the set, according to Robert Kazinsky, who plays Chuck Hansen in the film.
EW caught up with the English actor at Spike TV’s Guys Choice Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, where he told us about his most taxing day on the Toronto set.
“We were on the way to work one day at 5 a.m. in the morning and we got into a crash. A taxi ran a red light and T-boned me, [co-star] Max Martini and our driver. Both cars got completely destroyed,” Kazinsky said. He was quick to note that they were “absolutely OK” though. “Bit of whiplash, whatever,” he explained, adding that the driver was actually slightly injured, but was ultimately fine. For many people, a car crash of this scale might mean a day off at the very least, but Kazinsky and Martini headed right to set. “We had to get into the rigs and get rained on for 14 hours doing these big action sequences, ” he said, adding: “Max was sitting there and trying to nurse his neck and hold his head up. That was a tough day.”
Kazinsky, who can also be seen this season on HBO’s True Blood as Sookie Stackhouse’s love interest Ben Flynn, didn’t seem too fazed by the discomfort, though. In fact, audiences may have already seen Kazinsky powering through. “We were on the shoulder of our Jaegers. You can see the shots in the trailer … you see me climbing out and standing there and the giant monster is in front of me,” he said. “It was that day.”
On a production as big as Pacific Rim, an accident like this is a big deal and, also, something to move on from as quickly as possible. Kazinsky was just excited to be part of the film, and gushed about del Toro’s ego-free work ethic. “I know this isn’t going to sound like anything special, but when you’re in charge of a $200 or $300 million movie and there’s so much riding on every scene, to, between setups, go and talk to the background artists, exchange books with them, and, like, take a general interest in all 300 people who are there? That is an incredibly generous and giving man,” he said. “I would do anything for that man. I’ve never met a better human being.”
Having a good experience on set and with the director is one thing, though, and of course doesn’t guarantee the quality of the end product. But Kazinsky assured us that “Pacific Rim will be genre-changing. It will change the landscape of what movies will be for the next 20 years.”
When asked if he was able to take a little bit of a break eventually as a result of a the big car crash, Kazinsky said, “They offered us free massages.” But, he added with a smile, “We didn’t have time to get them.”
Pacific Rim hits theaters July 12.
Follow Lindsey on Twitter: @ldbahr.