Directed by Chris McKay, The Tomorrow War is a sci-fi action flick that releases on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, July 2. The film features a star-studded cast featuring Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Edwin Hodge, Sam Richardson, Jasmine Matthews, and Keith Powers.
“The world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: Thirty years in the future mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species,” says the official synopsis. “The only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight. Among those recruited is high school teacher and family man Dan Forester (Chris Pratt). Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant scientist and his estranged father in a desperate quest to rewrite the fate of the planet.”
Ahead of its release, ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with The Tomorrow War star Sam Richardson about working with Chris Pratt, his everyman character, and his upward trajectory as an actor.
Tyler Treese: Sam, you really steal some of the movie here. Your chemistry with Chris Pratt’s character is so great throughout the film. Can you talk a little bit about working on set with him and how much was improv for your lines?
Sam Richardson: It was so much fun working with Chris. He’s such a dynamic, brilliant action star, but also a really intelligently funny guy. So getting to play with him and like play off of him, it kind of felt very natural. As unnatural surrounding was as what surroundings were in the film being in this future war, and also in the filming of the film, you have like a bunch of cameras and sets around you. It still felt very easy to do because I think it was just really easy to work with him. He’s so great.
Your character is such a great everyman in the film. You get thrown into these just beyond belief action scenarios, fighting the wickedest-looking aliens. How did you turn down your natural, like bad-ass self to try to act like you didn’t know what you were doing.?
That was the hard part. What I did was I kind of like went and carbo-loaded to get rid of my six-pack. Then I had to make sure everybody [had] no nunchucks on set. Cause if I see them, I’m going to use them. No butterfly knives. Had to just kind of just imagine that I was like a schlubby, mid-thirties comedy actor. Then the rest did itself.
There’s so much heart in The Tomorrow War, which really surprised me, and your character has a really great story to tell. How satisfying was it that you had a character with such depth and how did you relate to your character in the film?
It was really great. Charlie is a great part to play because he is such an everyman, you know what I mean? Like he is sort of what the average person would kind of be like if they get put in this scenario. Maybe he’s a little bit quicker-witted than most people are, but there’s so much emotion with him because you see he’s scared and like he’s emotional about like his wife and like all these things. There’s so much emotion in him. I think it’s a fun character to navigate. Cause when you put a regular Joe in an extraordinary circumstance, there’s so much going on that it’s a really fun sort of dynamic to play with.
Both in this and Werewolves Within you play such a likable character that’s just like out to do good. How refreshing is it to just be a good guy and not have like some gritty backstory or anything like that?
It’s fun. I mean, I’ll tell you, I do pine to play like a really nasty person. I played a pretty gross guy in Promising Young Woman that just came out, but I really want to be somebody who’s terrible. That’s what I hope to do that soon in the future. But you know, it’s nice to be able to play characters who are buoyant and nice and kind, and well-intentioned cause you can’t help but absorb some of that. You know what I mean? So that’s the problem. If you play nice people, you feel nice, but also if you play dumb people, you start to get a little dumb, it feels like sometimes,.
You’re in a really interesting point in your career. It seems like you’re kind of starting to blow up, Sam. How exciting is it to see all that hard work, pay off?
It’s great. You know, I have a bad sort of macro view of myself. I’m always surprised when somebody recognizes me on the street or something. I’m like, “Oh. Hey. Yeah, this.” So I love being in these movies and I love doing these things, but the idea of like, blowing up. Me, I’m like, “Oh, I don’t know. We’ll see, we’ll see.” I’ll I’ll know I’ve blown up when I’m like looking back on my life and I’m doing my Hollywood star and I’m like, “Oh, maybe I’ve made it,” but until then, I don’t know. I mean, thank you.