The snow-covered streets of Park City, Utah, would hardly give a radioactive postapocalyptic landscape a run for its money. But when the stars of the hit Sundance film Z for Zachariah — Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine and Margot Robbie — show up to Off the Cuff’s outdoor set to talk to Peter Travers about adapting the 1974 cult sci-fi novel, none of them can handle the cold. A toxic environment? No problem. A temperature below 30 degrees? It’s time to move things inside.
Like the book, the film takes place in a ruined future in which exposure to the outside world without a hazmat suit results in a slow, painful death. Robbie’s character, however, lives on a farm located in an area that’s blissfully unaffected by the fallout. After nursing Ejiofor’s sick engineer back to health, the couple start to form a romantic attachment. Everything is blissful until Pine’s mysterious stranger shows up — causing a love triangle that disrupts everything.
After teasing Robbie for being a “Sundance virgin,” Travers grills the trio on how filming in a remote part of New Zealand affected the dynamic among the actors and why festival audiences have responded to the film. “I think when you’re looking at a situation [like this] and you see a character deliberating, you start to ask yourself, you kind of think, what would I do?” The Rolling Stone film critic also finds out that Ejiofor and Pine hang out a bunch with each other — which doesn’t sit well with their “left-out” co-star.
Check out our Sundance page for complete coverage of the 2015 festival.