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Chris Pine on Star Trek

Published May 6, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Paramount
Star Trek Star Trek

It’s easy for the new James Bond to look cool in a tux, or the new Batman to look badass, but reinventing Star Trek is tougher on the actors. They’re doing a modern version of a ‘60s TV show. Chris Pine has a lot to handle as young Kirk, but his biggest concern might have been wardrobe.

Chris Pine is Captain Kirk

“I hope I don’t look like a jackass,” Pine joked. “The first thing I asked J.J. before I got out, I was like please don’t make me put on a stupid costume. It wasn’t really the outfit as much as being on set with everybody else and your imagination is going. I remember the scene when I sat down in the captain’s chair. I wasn’t a fan and I’m not a diehard fan, so it’s not as sacrosanct for me as it is for someone else. But you can’t help but smile. It’s pretty big. It’s fun. You’re not curing cancer but its fun. It’s really fun.”

Pine did study the original series and make Kirk his own. “There are certain things that are just very inherent to the character. Going back and watching the series, what I was able to take away from it, or what appealed to me about Mr. Shatner’s performance and things that I felt that I could use without hitting people over the head with a bad impersonation, were little physical characteristics. What really appealed to me was the way that he moved about the deck of the ship. He’s got a very theatrical quality, just with his physicality, that just made my smile every time I watched it. There were things about how he sits in the chair that are very small. I felt less is more, in my case, at least.”

At no point in the job did Pine ever think he would replace Shatner as the definitive Kirk. “In terms of feeling that the part was mine, in my mind, Captain Kirk will always be William Shatner, and William Shatner will always be Captain Kirk. It’s just an inextricable connection and the relationship between those two men. This was a great role and, as an actor, you search for great roles. This one just happened to be named James Kirk. And so, for the time being, in this movie, I’m playing James Kirk. But, I look at it from part to part and from story to story, so as for the part being mine, I think people will always and forever connect Mr. Shatner to that role.”

Perhaps Pine was more concerned with the life or death situations he found himself in shooting the film’s action scenes. “One of the major difficulties was that it’s a very scary thing, doing a fight scene with Eric Bana, when he’s running at you at full speed and promises you beforehand that nothing bad will happen, but fight-or-flight kicks in, quite quickly. I was not prepared for it, at all. It’s one thing to read the script and skim through the pages and say, ‘Oh, I’ll get back to that later. Oh, that’s a fight sequence stunt. Okay, let’s get back to the scenes,’ failing to realize that those four or five pages take about a month and a half to actually shoot. But, we had a great stunt team behind us. I guess the only anecdote worth mentioning is that, on my first day of shooting, it was the bar scene, in the beginning of the movie, and I ended up breaking a stunt guy’s nose on the second take. A word of caution to any young actor out there, do not hurt stuntmen because they will pay you back in kind. The next take after that, this big stunt guy kicked me in the stomach. He said it wasn’t on purpose, but I don’t know. But, it was a lot of fun, and way harder than I ever expected it would be.”

Star Trek will open to theaters on May 8th.

For the posters, trailers, stills, reviews and additional info, go to the Star Trek Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Paramount

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