Chris Pine is the American actor and writer who stars in the J.J. Abrams film “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” Previously, he starred as James Kirk in Abrams’ 2009 adaptation of “Star Trek.” Pine has been active in the American entertainment industry since 2003, and he comes from a long line of Hollywood stars. His name has been tossed around the entertainment press as a serious contender for the new Hollywood A-list, and he’s always been a welcome addition to late-night talk shows and other venues where guests are expected to sparkle wittily. Of course, you cannot forget his absolutely classic Hollywood leading-man good looks.
While he may have spent the better part of the last decade jogging effortlessly from one spotlight to another, Pine does have his private side. No matter how heavy an actor’s exposure, there will always be at least a few things about him that the general public doesn’t know about. Sometimes this can be a good thing, as not every private story would be something an up-and-coming actor might want to share with his legions of adoring fans, but mostly they’re fun facts that actually improve a star’s image.
Not every star gets to play Hamlet the first time out of the gate. Indeed, most actors refer to their “big break” as their big break precisely because it was the role that broke them out of commercials and children’s birthday parties. Chris Pine is certainly no exception. The first acting job he got on television was on a single episode of “ER” in 2003. His bit role was that of a seriously drunk patient by the name of Levine, who only had a single three-sentence line: “I got drunk at a Valentine’s Day party. It was a blow-out. It was icky.” Sic magna parvis, as it were.
Some time ago, an ugly rumor was circulating among the gossip blogs to the effect that national treasure and the man who defined the role of Captain Kirk, William Shatner, felt he was being snubbed by not being offered at least a cameo role in the 2009 remake of “Star Trek.” According to Pine: “I wrote Mr. Shatner a letter very early on” he said in an interview. “… I had heard there had been some acrimony between him and the studio over his not being in the movie.” According to Pine, his response to the situation was measured: “Look, I’m an actor and I got this role that you originated, but I’m not trying to usurp your status as the original Kirk. I’m just trying to do my part to further it.” Speaking further on the encounter, Pine said: “[Shatner] was very polite and wrote back, ‘I wish you all the luck in the world. Best, Bill.’ I have it up on my refrigerator, but now I’m thinking maybe I should frame it.”
Whatever their differences, in 2011, the two were close enough to appear together in the feature length documentary “The Captains,” which was both written and directed by William Shatner. In the movie, Shatner interviewed Pine about how his career had gone so far and how it felt for him to take on the role of Kirk for the 2009 movie. Pine’s answers were clear and respectful, although it should be noted that before the closing credits rolled, the two of them were reduced to an arm-wrestling match. We’ll not spoil as to who won.
Early in the production cycle for “Star Trek,” the exact casting and other details of the film were being very closely held by studio brass. Unfortunately, this information blackout didn’t extend as far as the men’s room, as Pine would wind up with an official reprimand from the studio for being seen and photographed standing at a urinal while wearing his “Star Trek” costume.
Such is the less glamorous side of the life of a big Hollywood star. Perhaps Chris was motivated to reexamine his life choices by the urinal incident. It would be irresponsible not to speculate that he regretted not following his first love: municipal sanitation. Pine said of his childhood ambition to be a garbage collector: “I’d bolt out the door, running down the street after garbage trucks.” While not everybody gets to live out their dreams, Chris Pine certainly seems to have made the best of his second choice of careers.