Interview: Scott Eastwood on Pacific Rim Uprising, drifting with John Boyega, and Hollywood action sequences

In 2013 a sci-fi fantasy action film called Pacific Rim took us all by surprise, combining classic monster movie giant creatures called Kaijus fighting against Japanese anime giant robots called Jaegers. Guillermo Del Toro brought his unique style and aesthetic to the feature, so when a sequel to the film was announced fans were suitably excited for more. Helming the follow up, Pacific Rim Uprising, is director/co-writer Steven S. De Knight, and starring as the two main leads are John Boyega (Star Wars, Attack The Block) and Scott Eastwood (Fast and Furious 8, The Longest Ride). Recently the stars and the director dropped by Sydney to kick off the film’s press tour.

Eastwood stars as Nate Lambert, the co-pilot to Boyega’s Jake Pentecost. Where Lambert is the straight-edged by the book ranger for the Pan Pacific Defence Corps (PPDC) he tends to butt heads with the young Pentecost and they don’t always see eye to eye. But in the end the two of them have to work together in order to save the day. Actors of course have to work pretty closely with their co-stars, so we quizzed Eastwood on how well he would cope with drifting with Boyega.

Eastwood has been rapidly increasing his filmography credits, from romantic dramas like The Longest Ride to adventure dramas The Perfect Wave and more recently action heist thrillers like Fast And Furious 8 and Overdrive. Though coming to the world of Pacific Rim Uprising brought a whole new set of action challenges and comparatively speaking there’s big differences but all of it is fun and exciting. And despite the green screen challenges the director also helped with providing some pre-visualisations of the Jaegers before jumping into the imaginary robot suits.

The Jaegers in these films are enormous robots designed to basically lay the smackdown on just as enormous monsters. And with a new movie comes new upgrades for each of the Jaegers, all of which have their own signature look and weaponry. From the trailer we’ve seen Eastwood and Boyega take the lead with Gipsy Avenger, who has received some enhancements to not only her physical look but also her arsenal. Eastwood has his own thoughts on what creative weapon he’d like to add to her array.

Pacific Rim Uprising will be out in Australian cinemas from 22 March 2018 through Universal Pictures Australia