With its monsters-versus-robots concept and the promise of awesomely catastrophic property damage, “Pacific Rim” feels like the fulfillment of every 12-year-old boy’s ultimate fantasy. For actors Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba, who play two of the film’s robot pilots, the chance to strap into the suits to control so much gigantic machinery was both an amazing opportunity and an excruciating challenge.
“As soon as I start speaking about the suit, my voice goes [high] because, well, you can imagine,” Elba told MTV News’ Josh Horowitz. “But it’s form-fitting, man. It takes 45 minutes to get in and you need two people to help you, and another 30 minutes to get out. But I’ll tell you, when you’re walking through 600 extras, they move out of the way.”
Elba plays Stacker Pentecost, the leader of the “Jaeger” program, named after the giant robots that humankind has built to battle equally huge monsters — dubbed “Kaiju” — that have emerged from the bottom of the sea. His character enlists Raleigh Becket (Hunnam), who retired after a disastrous showdown with a creature that resulted in the death of his brother, to re-enter the fray and fight on the front lines one more time.
Hunnam shared Elba’s views on the suit, both in terms of its discomfort and the amazing feeling he got from the idea that he looked so cool after enduring that pain. “I mean, they were horrible to wear, but they looked so bad-ass,” Hunnam admitted. “It was one of those things where there were a couple of weeks of uncomfortable days wearing that suit, and then a lifetime of that movie looking totally bad-ass. It’s a sacrifice worth making.”