Chris Pine Talks Being ‘Scared’ To Take On Role Of Kirk + Jealous Of Cumberbatch’s Fans

Chris Pine is gracing the cover of another magazine – Esquire UK – due out tomorrow. Excerpts from his cover story interview are now online, where he talks about his initial resistance to taking on the role of Capt. Kirk. Pine also jokes about how Benedict Cumberbatch having more screaming fans in Japan More details below.


Pine talks taking on Kirk and Cumberbatch’s fans

Pine on taking on the role of Captain Kirk

“I wasn’t a fan of Star Trek. It didn’t excite me. All I wanted at that time was a part that I really connected to and when my agent said, ‘Star Trek’, I said, ‘No! Have you not been hearing anything I’ve said? Star Trek is the furthest thing from what I want to do.’ Star Trek scared me a lot. It terrified me, really. Because of the scale, the responsibility, the fact that it was this iconic character. It was the bigger challenge. So I had to take it.”

Pine on Benedict Cumberbatch’s fans:

“When I went to Japan for Star Trek, the fans were at the airport waiting. But they didn’t scream until Benedict [Cumberbatch] got off the plane. And I was like, f**k man: what about me?”

By the way, here is video of Cumberbatch and Pine arriving at Narita Airport in December (via fukieda221b)

Be sure to check out the full interview in Esquire’s Spring Style Special, also available in digital edition, on sale tomorrow!

Chris Pine on cover of UK Esquire

Esquire UK with Chris Pine cover goes on sale tomorrow, also available in a digital edition. Get yours at

Source: EW


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Well hopefully Ben’s fans in Japan flock to see the movie too.

Oh Chris, honey. Pinenuts don’t scream. We purr…:)

Pine: “When I went to Japan for Star Trek, the fans were at the airport waiting. But they didn’t scream until Benedict [Cumberbatch] got off the plane. And I was like, f**k man: what about me?”

lol, he need to wait couple more years & make some really good movies before he begin to get that kind of reaction from the fans!

Is it too much of a stretch to imagine Shatner saying something similar about not getting the anticipated amount of reaction from a crowd?

And this is exactly why Cumberbatch was such a good get for this movie. He has an international appeal that many of our core company do not have yet (that’s not a knock against the cast, btw, it just so happens to be true at the moment).

Well, well. Somebody’s “Big in Japan”. Hahaha! Some people just have that something that draws people in, no?

But man, they get to see the film in August? Goodness! I would have gone crazy.

LOL @ Pine Nuts!!! I still think that Pine did great and I am looking forward to serious character development in the film.

Whoops!!!! Well let’s hope Chris can suck it up a lot better than William Shatner when Spock seemed more popular than Kirk.

@5 I was thinking the other day what would happen if they got Benicio. I mean, he is an Oscar winner with a name you can put on the poster and I am sure he has fans that will get to see him. But there’s just this frenzy with Cumberbatch at the moment. He’s like the shiny new toy everyone wants a piece of. So yeah, they made a GREAT decision casting him instead of the other guys they were considering. And I am sure they got him cheap. Hahaha!

Mr. Cumberbatch is not only big in Japan but also China and South Korea. He has conquered the East Asia. The man himself was very surprised about this. This must be the reason why the international trailers were Cumberbatch-centric. He’s their only chance to appeal to the international audience and make up for that poor international box office last time. But I don’t think that when Mr. Cumberbatch was hired for the role of the villain, the Trek team knew about this. This might be an accidental discovery for their part. Especially after their visit to Japan.

#5- I’ve read of so many people who are going to see this movie because Benedict is in it and they would have otherwise not shown up. I see them starting to ask questions about Star Trek in general and learning the basics and they’re super excited for the film.That makes ME excited! I bet quite a few of them will stick around in the fandom even after the movie is out of theaters. I think you’re right- Benedict Cumberbatch will really help the box office worldwide simply based on name recognition alone (there’s even Sherlock manga, btw). You can pretty much count on all of his fans to go see the film and probably more than once. That’s a lot of extra movie goers who are in turn bringing friends and family with them.


Yeah, I’m fairly sure too that they got him cheap. But for Mr. Cumberbatch, it looks like a very huge amount according to an interview I read about him last year. LOL! I don’t think he cares about the pay check though. He just cares for the work. I’ve read from a very old interview(from 2005) somewhere that he wanted to play a mutated baddie and looks like he got what he wished for.

#6 Same here with the character development of (Captain) James Kirk. I really think that Chris Pine may surprise even himself as to how good he just might be in this movie. I trust this is so.

Chris Pine, dear – being scared of being in Star Trek, of playing Captain Kirk? Kirk is a good guy and should still be. Am I not correct here, Bob Orci? It is a good opportunity for Chris Pine to become a person with quick intelligence and intuition, impulsiveness, occasionally promiscuous, and someone who is fundamentally good at the core of his being – ie be Jim Kirk!


A lot of old trekkies though don’t appreciate that there are a lot of people going to watch this solely for Cumberbatch. They have began scolding them in various forums. Not like it’s going to stop those fangirls from watching but I just think it’s sad.

I know how Pine feels. I’ve never gotten that reaction arriving at Narita airport either. :-)

#13- I know and I wish they’d quit with the scolding. :( I consider myself an old Trekkie and I don’t mind that they’re excited to see their favorite actor in the film. However, I’m also in Cumberbatch/Sherlock fandom so I’m probably more understanding than some.

Basically, I think everyone should be welcome to enjoy being a fan in his/her own way and I personally don’t care why people are going to see the movie as long as they show up and enjoy it with us! They might even become converts. I hate telling people, “No you can’t enjoy this for your own reasons,” simply because they’re not enjoying it for MY reasons. It’s not my place to judge that, IMO.

I mean, I only watched the BBC’s “The Hollow Crown” because I like Tom Hiddleston and he was in it. I actually hated Shakespeare prior to that. Well, I watched it and ended up really learning to appreciate Shakespeare and genuinely enjoyed the plays in their own right and not simply because I liked an actor performing the works. I would never have given Shakespeare another chance if I hadn’t initially checked out the plays solely because an actor I liked was in them.

I bet some of the folks coming out only to see Benedict will end up having a similar experience and I think that can only benefit the Star Trek franchise.

ugh sorry. that was a bit tl;dr wasn’t it?

Sometimes there is a feeling that Chris Pine appears to pay little or no attention to the fans that he does have. Whether they are few or large in number, some acknowledgment from the actor/celebrity via media (like this site even) can help maintain an interested, healthy, even at times, a forgiving fanbase. However, it does seem that he is nice to the people (fans?) he meets in person – no photos though.

I suspect he wants to be taken seriously for the work he does and would like to do. I don’t know if he may feel that some fans just see him as some sexy pretty boy and not much more (a bit of sexual objectification). Perhaps there might be some truth to this, but it is likely not true of all.

While I may write “drooly, fangirl” type comments sometimes, that does not mean I cannot be an objective critique of his work. I have made suggestions in the past, here on this site, in fact. He has proven to be a good actor with lots of talent and potential and he can be very nice to look at as well. My husband commented that he seems to have a chameleon way about him, which is why he seems to fit so well everywhere, anywhere, with anyone…

4 and 5

dead on! am I in the minority that feels proud when you hear newcomers like Pine talk about “responsibility” taking on this role? Maybe he’s just coached well to speak like that but props either way.

“When I went to Japan for Star Trek, the fans were at the airport waiting. But they didn’t scream until Benedict [Cumberbatch] got off the plane. And I was like, f**k man: what about me?”


Old trekkies are going to be jealous when new trekkies say Cumby was the better Khan.

#18 – No, it is called being human. Obviously, everyone expected there to be more Pine fans and fewer Cumberbatch fans. The reverse turned out to be true. I guess Pine could not hide his surprise and disappointment. People want to be liked. It can be hard, initially, when you do not get the kind of positive attention that others have told you to expect. He just needs to acknowledge the fans he does have…

Hopefully, he does not develop some kind of silly grudge against fandom in general and/or Benedict Cumberbatch.

First, due the secret agenda of JJ Abrams nobody knew for sure about their visit to Tokyo to present the 9 minutes in IMAX, the significant sites specializing in Star Trek decided to ignore or deny the rumors on this subject.

So for all what was happening is that only Benedict Cumberbatch was going to Tokyo because of Sherlock!

There was such a “naritapaparazzi” he was saying, Chris Pine arrive in Tokyo only in January 2013 … that annoying pap!!!

So what was happening that day, fans were mostly only waiting for Benedict Cumberbatch…
… and a few knew about Chris Pine arriving in Tokyo that day, fortunately because his girlfriend at the time made ​​a comment on twitter, otherwise no fan of Chris Pine would be at Narita airport … some reports say there were at least a few fans waiting for him …

I just talked about this in another place!!!

;-) :-)

#21- Hey I just saw you on Tumblr! lol

#16. Keachick

Actors like Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg and Zoe Saldana just to mention the Trek actors are able to maintain communication with his fans, mostly talking about their projects … while CP seems to be distant from the fans in this aspect … the perception is that he is far …

But being in social networks is a difficult thing for an artist, he must really be able to handle the whole thing … CP does not seem to be interested in this … then maybe who manages his career needs to find another means of bringing Chris to his fans and I’m talking about his career, projects and not about his personal life!


so Hi! ;-) :-)

True. And Mr. Cumberbatch’s PR is very good at promoting him because he seems to be not on social networks either(this is according to his interview in MTV). Or this is just the works of his fans?

Chris actually seems to be channeling Shatner here. I could see how in writing it might come off as sour grapes, though I’m sure it was said with a smile. Shatner would have said it straight faced, and a bunch of people would have attacked him for it.

#25. redrevan

Well .. what can I say about it? Sometimes I think the publicists of CP have no idea … to say the least … lol

@25 Benedict’s popularity is much to do with his work and initiated by his fans, especially on the internet. He doesn’t do much press and he has no presence on any social network (no twitter/ facebook account); he has done many charity works but refused his publicists’ suggestions to make them known to the public; fans only got such info because occasionally the organizations or persons on the receiving-end posted photos on their sites or shared the experience with their friends on their blogs afterwards. To be honest, I think the UK press (and of course largely due to the rather voracious fan base) is obsessed with him, and his every word or move could easily makes headline for no good reasons; sometimes I wonder whether his PR might even want the heat to be tamed a bit.

Chris Pine is not on Twitter or Facebook either. He has been seen on occasions at functions which were raising funds for a charity. He supports Toys for Tots and other children’s charities, as well as charities that raise funds for research into Alzheimers disease and a charity that researches conditions like Epilepsy. He has been at those as a spokesperson to help raise awareness etc.

The other thing that I have noted is that Chris Pine appears more likely to say what he really thinks outside of the USA, like the UK or Netherlands, whether he is doing video interview or one for a website/magazine. It is just an impression I have.

For example, there is a video interview he did in England with Reese Witherspoon re This Means War and somehow the topic came round to discussion of puberty…LOL

Before that, he confirmed in Sydney, how he did NOT like social networks like Twitter and Facebook and would NEVER join.

In NZ, he mentioned about how much cameramen love doing early morning/dusk shots, as in it was like a “wet dream” – totally unexpected. Kate Roger, the kiwi interviewer, gasped, as she valiantly stifled an outright laugh. I didn’t have to stifle anything…LOL

It was in a UK magazine that he mentioned owning/sharing a dog, which his ex-girlfriend took with her when they split up and how he balled his eyes out. Also, he mentioned buying a house.

On another website, a Dutch one, Chris talked about his three year old NEPHEW loving the Winnie the Pooh stories – In 2009, I read a link to an article where his Dad, Robert Pine, was interviewed and in it, Robert Pine mentioned that his daughter was expecting their first grandchild. It took me three years (that Dutch blog) to confirm that she had a boy.

I realize this is personal and of course, in these websites, he talked about his work as well, but I have wondered sometimes…Just hope Chris keeps that (wicked) sense of humour, acknowledges people in ways that we can understand and not allow the poisons of jealousy and envy get the better of him.


I agree that Chris Pine may have the concern that he is ‘not’ taken seriously, but I think this may stem from his own perception of the franchise. As cool as it appeared in the 60’s, it was still a bit geeky on the surface, and still appears that way today.
I perceive Star Trek as a cross between the best cop show- the best forensic drama, the best mystery, the best science, the most ultimate action in a futuristic premise. Not to mention the lesson in morality- an element that seems to have been forgotten in today’s live-action dramas- but you could always find it any of Star Trek’s incarnations. Once a viewer sit’s down long enough to watch the show a bit they would inevitably catch an episode that ‘clicks’ for them then it all starts to make sense, and they want more. Chris Pine was also a great choice because he wasn’t a fan, and he was able to approach the role without having Shatners mannerisms, and vocal inflections in his brain. I suspect that his performance will seem more kirk-like in this movie, especially if he’s had that moment everyone has when Star Trek has that impact on your soul. I’m anxious to see how he portrays Kirk’s colorful command style, and if it will sink in, and be well received by the fan base. I know J.J. is not making this movie for the fans but I do hope Pine’s/Kirk’s command performance will honor what Shatner created in 1966.

#30 – You could be right there as well. Chris Pine was born in 1980, so he was not even old enough to watch and appreciate the Star Trek movies of the time, like the Wrath of Khan. He says he was into playing with Star Wars toys like most boys growing in the 80’s and saw the movies. Star Trek and its fandom were seen as geeky and he was just too young to know better.

Also I read that he has never been much of a science-fiction watcher/reader anyway, preferring literature and movies dramatizing historical events – I think I read that’s what he said once – anyway, NOT sci-fi.

Hollywood, his home town, has never taken Star Trek that seriously. I always feel it manages to survive in spite of Hollywood – Paramount…, not necessarily because of it. It is the weirdest of situations here. Star Trek has never really been taken seriously, unlike other movies and television series (even though they may not be as good, in terms of interesting stories, acting or production values). It has always been the Golden Goose which keeps laying golden eggs that Hollywood would rather not have, except…well, a solid and loyal numbers of people seem to want it. Therefore, those who are involved in it, like many of the actors, have either been ignored and/or typecast. Yet somehow, I was always convinced that such people like Kirk and Spock might just exist in the future, such was the great acting by the two original actors. Chris and Zachary aren’t doing so badly either…

There is no reason why these latest Trek actors should not be taken seriously, as much as other actors. Time will tell if they are. It is interesting that science-fiction movies and/or any of the actors rarely, if ever, get nominated for any Oscars, yet they often have the most difficult role of all – convincing an audience that what is now totally impossible and even ridiculous is actually a *reality*. Ships really do go at warp speed, people do get transported through great distances by sparkling at one end and thousands of kilometres away, sparkle back into existence in another place. Yet Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley, Doohan et al all made it look so natural and commonplace…and that is what Pine, Quinto, Urban, Pegg, Saldana et al will be doing as well, just to name one thing.

This has to be acting at its best and Chris Pine and others should be taken seriously as the really good actors that they are!

@ Christopher Pine

“When I went to Japan for Star Trek, the fans were at the airport waiting. But they didn’t scream until Benedict [Cumberbatch] got off the plane. And I was like, f**k man: what about me?”

What about you?

F*ck, man : what about ME?!
I don’t live in Japan, but, I’m a fan of yours since the last Star Trek !


I was not familiar with your work before that.

However, when I found out that your last name was Pine, I wondered if, by any chance, you were not related to actor Robert Pine (a long time ago, I used to watch many American television shows). I had my answer to that question, some time later.

…..On the other hand, I had never heard of Mr. Cumberbatch before he was cast as the villain in the next Star Trek.

It is not that people did not know him in my country, it’s just that I don’t watch much television, nowadays…

Trekkies tend to be literal-minded with poor senses of humor. Pine’s obviously joking.

I’m glad Pine doesn’t do social media and leads a somewhat private life. It hads an air of mystery to him that he is not so open to the world.

Even though he is not a Star Trek fan, I think Pine has grown to have respect the icon status of the character he plays. He enjoys the people he works with and takes it well in stride. I like how he went to visit the scoring session which showed that he cared enough about the movie that he wanted to see the music performed. He also enjoys his castmates as they went out to Hooters together (for the wings!).

We have a gorgeous, talented cast! Pine’s comments seem to be in good spirit and are reciprocated when Cumberbatch said int the first Empire about the two covers “he’s better looking” So, they have a broner for each other, cool. And I’m an “old” fan and I think it’s awesome to have newbies because of Cumberbatch. If you’ve watched Sherlock, you know the appeal! Hes incredibly charismatic and will most likely steal this movie. But I swear, if the fan girls start screaming at the premier, it’s going to get ugly.

“Trekkies tend to be literal-minded with poor senses of humor. Pine’s obviously joking.”


Of course he was…

So was I (in case your nice post was directed at me.).

I know Mr. Pine admires Mr. Cumberbatch …..


….And, it seems to be reciprocal….

…There are two things I wasn’t joking about, though.

Before Star Trek (2009), I wasn’t familiar with Mr. Pine’s work.

And, until 2012, I did not know who Mr. Cumberbatch was.


37. Aurore – April 4, 2013
…There are two things I wasn’t joking about, though.

Before Star Trek (2009), I wasn’t familiar with Mr. Pine’s work.

And, until 2012, I did not know who Mr. Cumberbatch was.



Ditto here.

You know, I’m kind of hoping I’m not hyping myself up too much to see this movie based on the excellent “Sherlock” writing and not the writing from the Trek Brain Trust. And that’s not a knock against the Trek Brain Trust, I thought ST09 was excellent, and I actually showed it to a non-Trek interested friend because of the excellent themes in it. But Sherlock…now that’s a great show. I’m still wondering how the cliffhanger (well, maybe not “hanger”) ends.

I’ve been a Star Trek fan since the original series first aired, and of Benedict Cumberbatch since Hawking (2004). For me, his appearance in ‘Into Darkness’ is a heaven-made match and I couldn’t be happier about it if I were a puppy with two tails.

My ideal would be for Benedict fans to fall in love with Star Trek and for trekkies to fall in love with Benedict. Initially I thought that might actually happen (yes, I am old enough to know better), and despite the occasional snottiness on both sides, there has been some genuine appreciation too. I’ve seen any number of tweets and comments from people who say, ‘I’m only going to see this film for Benedict… but I checked out the first film / original series and loved it.’ Likewise there have been trekkies who have checked out some of Benedict’s past catalogue and been impressed too. Some of those people post on this board.

We don’t all have to love each other – how sweet that would be! – but we can, at least, show each other respect.

Both fan bases can gain enormously by Benedict’s casting in this film… as long as we don’t embarrass ourselves.

Thus endeth the lesson.

So, Pine has a little Cumberbatch envy. The more this man talks the more I’m reminded of Michael Keaton in the Batman movies. Not that they were ever high art, but bigger names kept getting cast opposite of him because there was a sneaking suspiscion that Keaton was not quite capable of carrying the movie. I suspect that JJ knows Pine isn’t up to the job of being a headliner, hence the casting of Cumberbatch.

So, what name gets cast for the third installment that will carry the foreign market? Tom’s Cruise or Hanks, anyone?

Yep, pretty much mirrors the original series. Sorry, but nerd girls (and guys) tend to prefer the brainy types. It’s no secret why Spock is so popular. :)

Lol I’d scream for Chris. ;) BC just has a LOT of Sherlock fans in Japan. It is just HUGE over there apparently. Besides, I thought Chris didn’t like all the attention in 2009. This time the paparazzi might follow Benedict and leave Chris be. Really he should be THANKING Cumberbatch! Good joke, good joke.

#42 Papz have followed Benedict for quite a while and even his neighbors did a bit of live-tweeting when he’s in his own house, and all these are not from Trek and quit sad for someone who is really private and chooses not to involving in social networks. I think Pine was being wickedly humorous, surely he wouldn’t want papz to follow his co-stars either, but it’s some his fans immature remarks as you so precisely presented that shames him.

#29. Keachick
You know I love Chris, unfortunately I have noticed that the other actors are handling better their career, everything you said actually happened but had very little impact among fans.
What happened in Tokyo was a tremendous failure of his team … there was more embarrassing moments for him, there were reports about the contact with fans after leaving the 9 min presentation in IMAX in Tokyo … obviously he may have realized the weird vibe that was there!

#40. Phil

My fear is that this perception about CP spreads increasingly … so I think he and his team need react and do something to reverse this feeling!

As the years pass us all by, I am eager to see the development of the character of the new J T Kirk combined with the increasing skills of Mr. Pine. As far as his personal-life and feelings go, I’m pleased to let his performances speak for him.

Not so excited by the bad-ass, reckless Kirk which has been advanced in the first JJ-feature. But I recognize that dramatic experiences (as seen in the upcoming TREKfilms) and maturity will shape the Captain over time.

In conclusion, I continue to marvel at JJ’s outstanding casting-instincts! One of the many benefits of having a top-line producer/director at the helm of the franchise is this man’s skill at expanding the audience for TREK by hiring terrific actors. And picking Cumberbatch was yet another stroke of genius. Since TREK’s international appeal has always been weak, the choice of such an esteemed actor, known around the globe, can only bring TREK the increased acclaim it deserves.

@44. Well, Jack Ryan needs to be a runaway hit. CP has been so-so at the box office so far, and Jack Ryan will either make him or break him as an A-lister….

Oh, and I shared Message #31’s sentiments.

Especially his recap of TREK’s mistreatment by the film-industry (most specifically Paramount). Roddenberry’s historically detailed his frustrations dealing the uninspired studio-heads and the senseless censors. Rick Berman vented his frustrations during his interview on the new ENTERPRISE blu-ray release – publicly ridiculing the know-nothing exec’s who oversaw TREK’s final year on television.

That said, I think that this struggle is an integral part of TREK’s identity while ensuring it’s being the poor-orphan of Sci-Fi on the big-screen. Having included these challenges seem to have kept TREK’s creative-focus routed in stories about it’s characters. Huge audiences were never expected to ever “get” TREK, so it’s producers could focus on providing it’s loyal-viewers the enjoyment of unique performances by so many talented actors, without the requirement of simply including Hollywood-superstars to ensure box-office success (think about watching Eddie Murphy in Star Trek 4).

Not sure why people are making such a fuss about Chris Pine not being on Twitter or Facebook. I don’t see how that has anything to do with how is career is being handled. I’m sure everything is going well for him. I just don’t think he cares about the obsession over daily minutae that comes with being on various social media sites. He wants some privacy.

He’s been doing tv, internet, and magazine interviews. He shows up for movie premiers. He signs autographs for fans.

I guess there are some fans here who feel entitled to know everything that is going on in Pine’s life 24/7. And if they don’t get to interact with the actor, they suddenly believe his career is being mishandled. Gimme a break!

I think there are at least a couple of folks on this site who need to get another hobby….

This “weird vibe” may have something to do with the schizoid attitude Hollywood has toward Star Trek and Chris is caught in the middle.

Now, a month/five weeks out from STID’s release date and all people have seen, or not, so far (AFAIK) are some little dull posters in a corner of some movie theatre (ref. Marja’s comment on another thread). I thought she was making some bad April Fools’ Day joke, but apparently not. What? Are Paramount/Bad Robot trying to sabotage their $200 million movie?

I am pleased that many magazines have articles about STID et al. Unfortunately, many people outside the US and/or UK may not have access to these, except if they are already fans and know stuff already, and even then… which is really sort of “preaching to the converted”.

Anyway, not to worry?…

The Latin singer Sergio Mandez, couldn’t even go to the bathroom in South America because he was always being hounded, according to Cosmo Kramer.

And that was in the nineties, well before Twitter and Facebook.