Chris Pine shared that despite signing on to lead a D&D adaptation, his “understanding of Dungeon & Dragons is quite new.” His mentorship in the game came from his nephew — a major D&D player with experience writing his own campaigns — who walked the actor and his family through the tabletop RPG. “My father’s 82, my mom’s 76, I had no knowledge about it, my sister has no knowledge about it,” he explained, yet “within 15 minutes, we were having the time of our lives and we didn’t have to know anything.”
Immediately, the actor drew a parallel to his own career, given the performative and imagination-heavy world of D&D. “It doesn’t matter if [it’s] the Sending Stones or the Mimics or whatever, the world of Dungeons & Dragons and role-playing is acting. It’s improv,” he noted. “It’s, ‘Here’s what’s happening. This is what you have. This is your obstacle. Now go.'”
In enjoying the game with his multi-generational family, he had an epiphany, realizing, “The gospel of Dungeon & Dragons that I think is so important to know, why I think it should be played in schools, is that it immediately teaches cooperation,” a skill that’s often in short supply. There’s an inherent team-building element to it, and beyond that, “It exercises the imagination. It’s joyous, it’s improvisational.” In Pine’s experience, “Within a matter of minutes, everybody’s on the same page.”
Most importantly, he explained, “You’re not arguing about whether or not you’re cool or not. You’re arguing about whether or not you should have gone over the boulder to kill the dragon.” D&D, he summarizes, is “about the coolest thing I’ve encountered in a long time,” and it sounds like we’d all benefit from a round or two.
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” premieres March 31, 2023.
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