Chris Pine started out like many promising actors on the small screen in TV programs like ER, The Guardian, and CSI: Miami. He has made his way to the silver screen in mainly romantic comedies like The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and Just My Luck.
Now the 28 year-old actor’s latest role is one that what will undoubtedly make or break the actor, as Captain James T. Kirk in J.J. Abrams new film version of the classic science-fiction TV series Star Trek. He first explained to us what it took for him to ultimately manage to play a role as dauntingly iconic in pop culture as Captain Kirk.
“Well, doing my due diligence, I started watching the first season of the original series pretty feverishly, just to acquaint myself with the dynamic between the characters and the aesthetic and all of that,” Pine recalls, “But I found myself, midway through doing that, that I was, if anything, trying to create the perfect William Shatner impression of doing Captain Kirk and I felt that that was not the best move for me.”
“And it was against the mandate that J.J. put forth in the beginning of the process, which was really to reimagine these characters and to bring as a unique and specific take on them as our predecessors had done,” he adds, “So, then, it really became a matter of having a conversation with J.J. about what little nuances I could take from Mr. Shatner’s performance to use in my own to give it kind of a sense of continuity between the characters. But it was really a matter of trying to strike a balance the two.”
Pine says he knew William Shatner had made Captain Kirk one of a kind on the TV series and was determined to make his similarities to Shatner’s portrayal as subtle as possible.
“You watch the show, you know what Kirk does,” he explains, “What resonated for me were certain physical things. There’s a way that he holds his body and moves about the deck of the ship that’s very, it’s almost theatrical, you see his kind of theatrical training in his gait and in the way he carries his body, in the way he sits in the chair.”
“If I could sit here and talk about very little things, I’d probably sound like a moron,” Chris continues, “But I just picked up on certain things that I talked to J.J. about, then he agreed with me and said how can we chart the growth of my character into what Mr. Shatner had done throughout the course of our movie and that led to certain inclusions, you know.”