Chris Pine Talks “Star Trek Beyond” and Ol’ Blue Eyes, Plus Plays Congress In Hilarious Video

Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto in Star Trek BeyondChris Pine and Zachary Quinto in Star Trek Beyond

To celebrate the release of Star Trek Beyond on DVD, Chris Pine recently spoke to NME about the movie, the legacy, and his plans for the future. Oh, and how he thinks Captain Kirk “can be a dick.”

Pine is the youngest actor ever to play the lead on Star Trek — he was just 28 when he took on the role of Captain Kirk — and even though he says he’s “not by nature a fanboy,” he seems to have a good perspective on what was so special about the original series. As he told NME,

“Back in 1966 to have the bridge of the Enterprise filled with a Russian, an Asian, a white guy, an African American woman and an alien was pretty ahead of its time.”

More than that, his take on Captain Kirk is probably what makes his performance so fun to watch. He understands that the hero doesn’t have to be dead serious to be effective.

“I like that he can be a buffoon. He’s one of those guys that thinks they know it all, is kinda badass and then he lets it slip. It’s why I always thought Harrison Ford was so great – he’s such a badass but doesn’t mind being made a fool of. Kirk is very fallible. He has no superpowers. He can be a dick and a really nice guy.”

Pine also talked about his appreciation for Simon Pegg’s writing style and his take on how best to do Trek, saying the biggest advantage to having his one of his fellow actors co-writing the movie was that he was with them in trenches vs. “writing from some box in the sky.” He thought Pegg managed the tone just right.

“When we hit the tonal marks it’s not the super broad Marvel comedy with its very self-referential post-meta comedy! Star Trek is ’80s pop fun. You go in. Bad stuff happens. You may cry. Then you’ll laugh a bunch and – hurrah! – you’ll leave with a smile on your face. Simon knows that and he protected that. I was worried we’d lose the fun of it because everything nowadays is either getting so dark or so fucking bananas, off-the-wall, post-meta funny. I just wanted to do straight-up our thing and that’s there because Simon’s a fan.”

Kirk and Scotty in deleted scene from Star Trek Beyond

NME brought up the fact that Pine once serenaded a fan with a song made famous by Frank Sinatra, “Summer Wind,” and asked if Sinatra is a role he’d like to play.

“I would play Sinatra tomorrow in a heartbeat. That would be an absolute dream. It’s been floating around for while but I’ve never seen a script. I don’t even know if it exists. What a life… Fuck, are you kidding me?”

For anyone, who’s forgotten, Pine is a singer, too. He was Cinderella’s Prince in Into The Woods, and has duetted with Barbra Streisand.

In the full interview at NME Pine also talks about growing up in an acting family, working with Idris Elba and Justin Lin, and how he handles fan-on-the-street encounters. Before reading the rest, take a few minutes first to check out Pine’s comedic side. Joss Whedon has been producing election-related videos as part of his “Save The Day” campaign, and recruited Pine to star, hilariously, in “If Congress Was Your Co-Worker.”

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Love the video!

Laurie Ulster,

Re: Pine is the youngest actor ever to play the lead on Star Trek

Aren’t you forgetting about the 2009 effort’s, Jimmy Bennett who is younger than Pine?

More divisiveness…

I’m glad you guys are allowed to be offensive. God forbid anyone else speak their mind or have a differing opinion.

Everybody hates Congress. Seriously, this wasn’t about Republican or Democrat, it was about Congress not getting ANYTHING done in this modern era of politics and the citizens being tired of it.

This nicely encapsulates the beef that a lot of us have with the JJverse version of Kirk. Kirk Prime didn’t deliberately go around being a dick to people. Pine’s Kirk does, particularly in his first two outings. ST09 had some excuse, because it was an origin story and could show us Kirk maturing into the competent officer he is. But the impression gelled with STID.

Wow, that’s a manic energy worthy of Robin Williams! I bet Pine had a lot of fun doing that.

LOL Pine was insane in this. And it says so much about our government that its sad. BTW, looks like Pine is another Chris in Hollywood who loves to go full beard. ;)

Very good PSA!
Wish it had been on for months before the election.

I love the look on his face when that said they voted

Chris Pine = BEST KIRK EVER!!!

Chris Pine – “Kirk is very fallible. He has no superpowers. He can be a dick and a really nice guy.”

That is what so real and lovable about him as a character. I never thought that KTKirk was such a dick as other people seem to think that he has been in the other two films.

Hindsight is so wonderful a thing that it should be put and kept on a pedestal and not trotted out every time, afterwards, somebody’s actions aren’t always found to be so infallible.

hindsight is wonderful. It allows to see what a mistake these films were.

OT – While the US is having to deal with the drama of riots etc, NZ is having to deal with a drama of a different kind and one that seems to bring people together rather than divide.

At midnight (NZ time, 14 November) an earthquake hit Kaikoura/Hamner Springs, on the north east coast of the South Island – 7.8 on the richter scale. Fortunately these areas are not heavily populated and so far only two people have died. There have been injuries and quite a lot of damage. After shocks of various magnitudes have been felt all over the two islands. Two places have been Nelson and Taupo, where members of my family live but nothing serious.

My younger son felt his bed shake around midnight (last night) and our dog went birko, barking all the time about the same time. No one else felt anything, however genuine aftershocks have been recorded in Pukekohe which is about 40-45kms south of where we live.

There may well be a potentially serious animal welfare issue in the Kaikoura/Hamner Springs area because one or two dairy farmers have had power outages and are using generators, which usually require petrol. The roads going to Kaikoura (the epicentre), a coastal town, have been damaged by slips and/or being ripped apart by earth movement. The only way in is by air at the moment, which means the milk tankers can’t get in to collect the milk from those farmers, and if the power is still out and their generators no longer work, then they cannot milk the cows, which means engorged udders, excruciatingly painful and risk of serious infection… It is spring here so no dry stock, if you are a dairy farmer. Hopefully, it won’t be as serious as that and those affected will have power restored/petrol for generators etc before things get that serious.

Anyway, everyone is hoping for the best and doing what they can to help, even if that means just staying put (at home, not go to work), as many Wellingtonians have been told to do, as a railway bridge on the main line has been severely damaged, along with some roads, in one of the 6.2 aftershocks…

Pine is 100% wrong about Kirk. One can assume he didnt do his own research. And my theory has always been the research the rest of the production (Bad Robot) did was to watch the TOS films on Fast Forward. Their characterizations seem like parodies of the TOS films, not faithful to the original series.

Kirk was not a buffoon and wasn’t a dick. Not even close. Having a sense of humour and being authoritative arent the same as “buffoon” and “dick”.

“Kirk was not a buffoon and wasn’t a dick”

Probably true, however that does describe Shatner to a T.

Harry Plinkett,

Re: that does describe Shatner to a T

By what rubric or using what metric do you arrive at this conclusion? The life and career of Tim Allen?

It never ceases to amaze me, the condemnations fans will visit upon actors for the apparently excommunicable offense of failing to actually be a character that they convincingly portrayed.

Disinvited – I agree with you.

Good for you Keachick, have a cookie.

Harry is just trying to create an internet presence for himself by trolling all mentions of Shatner. Its sad and a little surprising that its continued to be allowed here.

OR . . . just OR . . . that could be how I feel about the man based on what some of his ex co-stars have said about him and his public persona of dickishness. Seriously, is this a snowflake website and forum where only positive comments about Trek and its actors is allowed? Obviously not as the trash talk of the KT movies never ceases BUT say anything negative about TOS or, dear god, the mighty Shatner and the panties get bunched so f-ing tight. Grow up and accept opinions that don’t jive with yours. Get yourself a safe space, sit on the floor and have a good cry why don’t ya

Why do you feel that strongly? You dont know him. He has zero impact on you personally. Why so twisted and angry that you repeatedly take the effort to whine about him here? I realise much of it is trolling on your part, taking an opposing view to many here just to get a reaction and create a Trekmovie personal for yourself. And that’s fine if you’re between the ages of 11-14 but I assume you’re not. Grow up.

For the intellectually stunted, many things never cease to amaze.

Harry Plinkett,

Re: his public persona

You do realize that you aren’t exactly standing on the highest intellectual ground in admitting that you based your negative assessment of a person solely on, at best, secondhand accounts and gossip?

And as public personas go, here’s a news flash: Jack Benny wasn’t actually a skinflint.

But if we must drag public personas into this at your insistence, we await what your hard hitting investigation found equivalent to Pine’s self-admitted DUI and conviction in Shatner’s disparaged life?:

Although I don’t support driving intoxicated, my problems with the Shatman have more to do with how he treats those around him and if those second hand accounts, many of which are from the costars he’s worked with in your beloved original Trek, are just worthless second hand accounts then your love of Shatner has blinded you to his dickishness to an unprecedented level. Also I believe Shatner did have an alcoholism problem. Did he ever drive drunk and perhaps just not get caught? Hmmm. Besides, we’re talking about someone being an occasional dick versus someone who has spent a life being an ass to many of his coworkers. We’re all occasional dicks, hell even I am, hard to believe eh? But guess what, my coworkers, family and friends love me. Why? I don’t treat them like garbage like some bloated octogenarian thespian.

Harry Plinkett,

Re: your love of Shatner

I’m not sure what you are getting at there. I know very well that Shatner, the man, is no Captain Kirk, puts his pants on one leg at a time and has to flush like the rest of us.

However, as second-hand accounts are your gold standard, I did see the man perform live at a STAR TREK convention where he very generously asked the man who introduced him, Patrick Stewart, to stay and share the stage with him when it was scheduled to be a Shatner only event and I did not see him behave as you claim he always does at any level with Stewart, unprecedented or otherwise. And he had just done a STAR TREK movie with the man.

Harry Plinkett,

Re: second hand accounts

“Billy Blackburn: It is how they were [laughs] That was a goosey company {The first STAR TREK series}. The fun was constant. So did you ever capture any tense moments on the set? Maybe some tension between some of the actors?

Billy Blackburn: No…nope. BBC asked me the same thing. Let me get this straight. We never saw anything between Jimmy Doohan and Shatner. Or with George. Didn’t see anything. Didn’t know there was a tension there. None of that. Stand-ins and doubles are closer to stuff because we are closer to the stars all the time and we hear things…but no.”

@Dis – exactly. This idea that the supporting actors were so angry and tense…it all seems like fiction for them to sell their books and remain relevant. GT especially has made a career of riding Shatner’s coat-tails.

I think when Star Trek really blew up into this cultural phenomenon, the supporting actors started thinking they were a bigger part of it then they were. There was jealousy. Every single one of them should have been sending Shatner flowers everytime they received a royalty cheque or were asked back for another film.

After all they said, if Shatner really was the jerk they claim, he could have had any one of them replaced in the films. He never did.


Re: the supporting actors started thinking they were a bigger part of it then they were

I wouldn’t go that far. Recall, Nichols was going to leave so there was at least one actor who didn’t feel fulfilled in her roll.

But that’s not to say HP’s jaundiced view of Shatner as the scapegoat has any merit whatsoever, either.

@Dis – Nichols was going to leave the original series, correct? I think everyone was cool during TOS, understanding who the stars were. I think it was when the series blew up and they started getting the superstar treatment that they began seeing themselves as equal stars. Star Trek was not an ensemble.

If we’re judging people based on their public personas then this “Harry” isnt doing so well.

@Harry, I think you meant to write “as an intellectually stunted, many things never cease to occur”. But we’ll let it slide. Afterall, you’re MO is to troll and insult and when called on it, to troll and insult some more.

Try joining the greater discussion in a positive and relevant way. You might be happier.

Chris Pine, I think, is talking about the character that he is playing now, ie a person born in an alternate universe experiencing different kinds of situations etc from the one that prime Kirk had.

To be a “dick” at times is to be human. Besides, the most important part of that quote is this – “and a really nice guy.”

@Rose – if we are supposed to accept this lousy interpretation of Kirk as some irrelevant version, than I suppose that could be true. But its even worse than Pine not knowing the character – it means everyone from the studio to the production thought slapping the name James T Kirk on a completely different character was a smart move.

As we have seen by how gloriously the Bad Robot films have flamed out, it was not.

Lousy to the snowflake crowd. Pine’s a better actor too. See Hell or High Water as an example. Think Shatner could pull off playing a role like that without being a scene chewing buffoon? A laughable thought.

William Shatner can scene chew at times, but on other occasions, he has given very nuanced performances, eg Stranger in the Family.

There are scenes in TOS and the subsequent movies where I find Shatner rendering of Kirk quite exquisite.

As the entire human race is fallible, that means that EVERYONE SINGLE ONE OF US CAN BE DICKS SOMETIMES. It is not that helpful to keep dwelling on those aspects because it may mean missing the relevant, the exquisite, the well done, and that would be the height of dickheadedness!

Its silly to look at Shatner’s worst performances and insult the man. Every actor has had some stinkers. Not every actor wins multiple awards for their craft. Pine certainly hasn’t. Shatner has.

Pine was at his best as Kirk when he invoked Shatner’s mannerisms.

Someone like Harry defending his idiotic trolling of Shatner because some people who worked with Bill didnt like him is just hilarious. If people came here and trolled Harry using the excuse “I heard you are a dick on the internet to people” is that reasonable? “I dont know him but someone doesnt like him so now I will devote my life to insulting him”. yeah right. Motives are pretty transparent.

No, lousy to Trek fans with common sense. Im not surprised you dont qualify. Im assuming Shatner didnt sign an autograph for you at some point in your life? You’re weird obsession with him is somewhat hilarious, mostly sad, a bit disturbing. He’s an acclaimed actor. And Pine isnt exactly a revered thespian. I like him. But lets be real.

Good interview, but I’d really like it if CP wasn’t such a potty mouth. I hate that I now have to censor my 11 year old’s reading the ST fan sites and CP interviews because of that. Perhaps his publicist or assistant could tell him that it’s not just adults who are fans and who see or read his interviews.