'The Finest Hours' Star Chris Pine's Transformation Into Coast Guard Hero Role

PHOTO: Chris Pine, left, and Holliday Grainger appear in a scene from, "The Finest Hours."PlayClaire Folger/Disney/AP Photo
WATCH Chris Pine Discusses Taking on 'The Finest Hours' and a Boston Accent

For Chris Pine, the role of captaining a Coast Guard crew in a rescue mission against all odds for Disney’s “The Finest Hours” came with a very real waterlogged feeling.

“I was cold, it was wintertime,” Pine said of filming the adventure disaster film in an interview with ABC News' “Nightline.” “We were in the water, we had dump tanks dumping water on us and wind machines and fake snow and all sorts of movie rollercoaster ride goodies of cold.”

“We had … a very minimal taste of what it may have been,” he added.

The plot of the movie is ripped from the history books. In 1952, a massive winter storm split a tanker in two off the coast of Cape Cod, trapping more than 30 sailors on board. The Coast Guard heard about the ship in distress and set out on a daring rescue attempt.

To play a Massachusetts mariner, Pine said he had to work on his Boston accent.

“It can be very difficult,” he said. “I’m a California boy, so I my A’s can go long, my vowels can stretch out, and there’s a Bostonian O’s.”

Pine’s character, Capt. Bernie Webber, believes in doing everything by the book, until circumstances force him into uncharted territory. He said he wanted to take the role because of the old-fashioned heroism of a four-man Coast Guard crew braving a nor’easter to save the trapped sailors.

“In the sea, [Webber] has to dig deep and it’s that internal compass,” Pine said. “It’s that internal thing saying ‘I know what’s right.’”

Pine is used to playing the alpha-male, but with a lot more bravado as Captain Kirk in the “Star Trek” reboot. In “The Finest Hours,” Pine’s character is more of a shy, reluctant leader, which he thought sounded more like him.

“To tap into feelings of insecurity and vulnerability is not far from me at all,” he said. “I would hope that in people watching a Kirk, who has a lot of swagger and arrogance, anytime you see that in real life, I often think to my junior psychotherapist is saying well there’s obviously covering for something because a big dog doesn’t have to bark so loudly.”

Though Pine also played Prince Charming in “Into the Woods,” he said that one was just a fairy tale.

As a teenager, Pine said he was “gangly”

“I had really, really bad cystic acne. Really tough feeling like an outsider and kind of like not fitting in,” he added. “So, It’s always surprising to me when people view me in a certain way and it’s always very flattering and all of that.”

Now, he’s seen as a rising A-lister, part of a group of Hollywood heartthrobs who all seem to be named “Chris” these days, from Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, Chris Evans and Pine.

“We were lucky enough to get some work,” Pine joked.

“The Finest Hours,” which is released nationwide Friday, is a Walt Disney Pictures film. The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC News.