“Life flies by, and it’s easy to get lost in the blur. In adolescence, it’s ‘How do I fit in?’ In your 20s, it’s ‘What do I want to do?’ In your 30s, ‘Is this what I’m meant to do?’ I think the trick is living the questions. Not worrying so much about what’s ahead but rather sitting in the grey area—being okay with where you are”—Chris Pine
Best known as Captain Kirk in the Star Trek trilogy or as Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman, Chris Pine has also expanded his body of work to appear alongside legendary actors such as Denzel Washington during his time in Hollywood. Recently, Pine also starred in A Wrinkle in Time and is likely to continue gracing screens in big roles before his time is up. Here are 42 stargazing facts about Chris Pine.
42. Runs in the Family
Chris’s dad, Robert, is an actor best known for his role as Sergeant Joseph Getraer on CHiPS. Chris actually has his dad to thank for his first role, since he got to star in an episode of CHiPS when he was three years old, doing a duet of “Hurry, Hurry, Climb the Ladder” with his old man. Pine also appeared in the series earlier, when his mom guest starred as the sergeant’s wife, with an eight-month-old Chris in tow.
Robert is a frequent attendee of Pine’s movie premieres and also went the extra mile to say he “knew from the very first moment” that his son would be a big actor. Maybe revisionist history?
Despite his debut as three-year-old, a lot of sources will remember Chris Pine’s first really memorable appearance from a 2003 episode of ER, where he played a drunk teenager recovering from a five-day bender. The entirety of Pine’s lines: “I got drunk at a Valentine’s Day party. It was a blow-out. It was icky.” Do you think he was method acting at that point in his career?
Aside from seeing him in films or TV, you might also have come across Pine on cologne posters. Pine became the face of Armani’s fragrance campaign back in 2014. Pine has starred in multiple ads for the company, including Armani Code and Code Colonia, AKA, colognes I can’t afford. Mr. Armani himself took interest in Pine and got in touch with Pine’s agent to set things up.
39. Deja Vu
Aside from singing with his dad, Pine also sang with Barbara Streisand for her 2016 Duets album. Streisand describes Pine as “one of the hotties” in Hollywood and reached out directly to see if he was interested. Pine initially worried the entire album would include him but felt much better once he realized it was just one song. As he says, he did his “worst Frank Sinatra impression” and hoped for the best.
Pine admits that he has a “soft spot” for his Wonder Woman co-star, Gal Gadot. He admired her leadership and toughness on set, highlighting that she never complained while filming scenes in her costume during winter. Pine credits her toughness to her Israeli military experience and says that he would gladly fall in love with her again.
37. Can’t Get No Satisfaction
Nowadays, certain types of films can quickly get labeled as “Oscar-bait.” Period pieces and biopics are easy fodder for the label, but low-budget indie films can fall into this category too. Pine has worked on a few over the past few years, including Z for Zachariah and Hell or High Water, but insists he didn’t pursue them for their “artsy” merit. Pine told his agent he didn’t like the material he was receiving, so instead of focusing on the big projects getting sent his way, he took budget out of the equation and focused on getting good roles. Pine also threw some shade, acknowledging that the indie films have a budget that studios tend to stay away from. As Pine says, studios either go for a budget of a few million (e.g. Saw) or big blockbusters with $150 million plus budget. About that, he said: “But I don’t really know why. I don’t get paid to know why.”
Pine is attracted to roles that explore masculinity, and men’s relationships with one another. In particular, Pine was attracted to Hell or High Water due to the director’s previous portrayal of male relationships in Starred Up: “His understanding of male relationships and the way they’re articulated and physicalized…was beautiful, sensitive, nuanced and violent all at once.” Pine’s interest in the exploration of masculinity often leads to roles where he plays someone competing with other men in one way or another, like the love triangle in Z for Zachariah or Captain Kirk in Star Trek.
35. You Never Know
Pine claims to have been yet another Hollywood ugly duckling. I think the ugly duckling phase is no longer a phase for me, but I still gain hope from reading about Pine’s early years. According to Pine, his younger self was an acne-ridden kid with coke-bottle glasses. To this day, Pine says he still feels more comfortable around people who are “uncomfortable with themselves.” I think he and I could be good friends.
We all have that friend who we suspect likes a film or certain band simply because it makes them look “edgy.” Fortunately, Pine wouldn’t be that friend. He avoids films where he feels like the director is trying too hard to be provocative. Pine doesn’t give any names but I can’t help but wonder if Lars von Trier was on his mind.
Pine has stated that Captain Kirk’s fallible nature is what he loves most about playing the character. Pine enjoys being able to play a “buffoon” at times, the know-it-all who makes mistakes and can fluctuate between being charming and being unlikeable. Pine also says sitting in the Captain’s chair, knowing the CGI will bring the scene to life, is like a “trip on some really good stuff.” Maybe his past isn’t so squeaky clean.
Although a director will obviously have their own vision for a film, some directors allow more leeway for their actors to get involved in the creative process. Pine prefers directors who allow him to explore the character more and have some input on what goes on behind the camera.
31. Opposites Attract
Pine’s career is a testament to his patience. Although he started early, his first big role only came when he was close to 30 years old. Pine says a key part of this patience was dating people who were different. Being around someone he found funny helped him to balance out his moments of stress and worry and teaches patience, according to Pine.
30. Thanks, Sis
Pine nearly didn’t accept the role of Captain Kirk when it was offered, since he also had an offer for White Jazz, a sequel to L.A. Confidential. He spent about a week trying to decide when his sister helped to break the deadlock. She asked if he could frame the Star Trek role as a bigger challenge, as opposed to an affront to his artistic principles. Pine then realized Star Trek would actually be the bigger challenge as an actor, due to the scale of the project, and it seems like he made the right choice.
If you’re like me, and Jimmy Fallon’s face incites violent fantasies, you don’t watch talk shows much. Pine also sheds some light on them, emphasizing that it can be a hassle to think of things to say to pass the time. Pine even admits that he made up the fact about his friends laughing at him for crying at the Oscars simply to help pass the time in his segment.
28. You’re watching what?
What sights fascinate you? A beautiful sunset? A nice car? How about a nice set of shoes on a woman’s feet? The macho leading man admits that he loves taking in the sight of a “good pair of heels on a beautiful woman.” One has to wonder if maybe the sight Pine is truly admiring is the beautiful woman.
27. TV Golden Age
Like Billy Bob Thornton, Pine has also gravitated to certain TV roles, realizing that TV is no longer the place actors go if they’re not good enough for film. Pine appeared in Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, and said that he had a heck of a lot of fun with the show and wants to get back to it. Pine is also a fan of shows like Homeland and Fargo and says he will go wherever the good stories are.
Chris’s older sister, Katherine, starred in three minor roles as an actress: in CHiPS, Love Boat: The Next Wave and the video game Heavy Gear. Katherine now works as a psychotherapist, which might explain her effectiveness in getting her brother to take on challenging roles.
Cerebral is one of the first words Pine uses to describe himself, and although it might come across as cocky or Captain Kirk-ish, Pine just means that he takes things seriously and likes to think carefully about what he says. In keeping with this, therapy is a frequent part of Pine’s life, which he thinks is just as essential as working out.
Pine shared the screen with Anne Hathaway in his first film, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. The role was Pine’s escape route from his full-time job of waiting tables, which he hated.
23. When the Time is Right
We’ve probably all heard the wisdom that when you stop craving something it comes to you. Pine is a firm believer in this, since he got his first TV roles and film roles in a space of two weeks, with constant auditions. Chris was actually getting ready to leave LA and head to New York, where his friends offered him a place to stay. When Chris returned to LA to give up his apartment, he was able to strike gold when he least expected it. Pine says the most important thing about this wisdom is that the lack of craving for something, makes you less desperate and critical of yourself. I’m still working on applying this knowledge to getting a girlfriend.
22. Late Bloomer
Despite Chris’s early appearances in CHiPS, his parents never wanted him to pursue a career as a child actor. Fortunately, Chris didn’t really decide that acting would be his calling until he graduated university with his English degree from the University of California Berkeley. Chris also credits one of his high school teachers for planting the seed, when they cast him in the play, Waiting for Godot.
21. He Who Laughs Last
Pine’s entry into Hollywood made him the fifth member of his family to join the fray. Aside from his dad and older sister, his mom and grandma also got some Hollywood experience before he did. Then again, Chris and his dad are the only Pines currently working in Hollywood.
20. Popped a Molly
Despite spending his early 20s as a working actor in LA, Pine was never a big drinker and he completely avoided drugs. Pine’s philosophy was that alcohol was somewhat predictable, allowing you to figure out your limit and stay within it—except for that one DUI, of course. With drugs, he said “I just don’t know what the f*** they are and what they do.”
19. Do it for the JJ
Pine had no interest in Star Trek when his agent gave him the news of an audition. Pine felt like the characters wouldn’t offer something he could truly get connected to. Pine’s main motivation to show up was to network with JJ Abrams.
18. In the Shadows
Although guys who struggle to get attention from girls might envy the celebs who get swarmed by fangirls on the street, Pine is happy that his level of fame doesn’t get him that much attention and that he is still able to walk around his neighborhood unnoticed. He will joke about fans at the airport ignoring him and screaming when Benedict Cumberbatch arrives behind him, but Pine also believes “it’s not as exciting as it looks.”
Pine was immortalized by the internet back in 2015 when he cried during John Legend and Common’s performance of Glory at the 2015 Oscars. Pine said the song spoke to him about the strength of the human spirit, and its power to persevere and overcome barriers.
16. Sweet Memories
Pine remembers losing his virginity in his first year of college, remembering that the woman he slept with went out of her way to make sure he felt comfortable about losing his virginity, going so far as to tell him to call her if he needed to talk.
15. Glass Houses
If you had to describe Pine physically, “Bare chested. Very tan. White. Brown hair, blue eyes, perfect skin” probably fits the bill. However, Pine also criticizes this look in Hollywood films since he believes too many “heroes” comes from that same mold.
“No, f*** no” was Pine’s response when asked if he has social media. Pine doesn’t understand the fascination with friend or follower counts and does his best to stay away from valuing himself with numbers. Pine views the internet as a whole as being a toxic environment where people get to spew “nonsense and bulls***.” He might be onto something.
13. High Praise
Pine’s role as a neo-nazi in Smokin’ Aces was due in part to Michael Shannon’s manners or lack thereof. Shannon was fired for being rude to a costume designer and Pine was then hired ten seconds into his audition. Pine auditioned with the scene where his character uses Jack Dupress’s (Ben Affleck’s) dead body for a ventriloquist routine. Afterward, Affleck approached director Joe Carnahan and said, “’If I could take 10 percent of what I’m going to make the rest of my career and bet on somebody, it would be that kid.”
12. Fancy Meeting You Here
Pine’s manager truly went above and beyond to get him his role in Star Trek. John Carrabino ran into—or maybe just stalked, who knows—J.J. Abrams’ wife, Katie, and tried to convince her that Pine should play Kirk. When Katie returned home, she shared the story with J.J. and he reviewed Pine’s audition again. Abrams was then convinced Pine was the man they were looking for.
Pine used to hit the gym and do the typical exercises to stay in shape, but he hated how rigid movements like the bench press were. Now, Pine’s workouts revolve around clubbells, which are basically baseball bat-shaped kettlebells. As Pine’s trainer says, clubbells “are why woolly mammoths went extinct.” The exercise mainly involves lunges, squats, presses and lifts with the giant weights.
10. DC Man
Despite his involvement in Wonder Woman, Chris Pine isn’t generally a big fan of superhero films. Pine describes most superhero films as people in costumes running around killing each other and also demonstrated a lack of comic knowledge or enthusiasm when he called out Infinity War, “really, like Infinity War. We need more war for all time.” Patty Jenkins was Pine’s main reason for joining Wonder Woman due to her vision for the character, and the script, which showed compassion being one of the keys to victory against the enemy.
Benedict Cumberbatch may have “Cumberbi*****,” but Chris Pine has his “Pine Nuts.” Pine has embraced this name for his fanbase in some of his interviews. The Pine Nuts also have their own website, if you want to get more involved.
8. Boldly Not Go
We think there are a lot of things that separate us from actors, like money, status, fame, friends. Which is why it’s always refreshing to hear about something seemingly mundane that an actor has in common. Chris Pine is afraid of the dark, admitting that he couldn’t sleep without a nightlight until he hit 24. Back in 2012, he was still trying to muster up to the task.
7. Small Kitchen
Pine and Star Trek co-star Zachary Quinto were friends prior to starring the film together since they both use the same trainer. They actually met in their trainer’s kitchen, before either of them were actually his clients.
6. Six Degrees
Pine’s father, Robert actually appeared in Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Voyager, for a total of two episodes. When Pine joined the film at the age of 28, he became the first Captain Kirk who was born after the series began.
5. Thank You for Your Time
Pine auditioned for Avatar shortly before Star Trek. The role of Jake Sully was one that Pine couldn’t successfully get into, leading him to shake the casting director’s hand and walk out midway through. At least things worked out in the end.
Like most actors, Pine is willing to go through quite a lot to change his physical appearance for a film. Dieting and working out come with the territory. However, Pine refuses to change his eyebrows. Like Andrew Garfield, Pine’s eyebrows don’t quit, and Pine was subjected to plucking and dyeing when he was starting out. The PTSD of that era in his career has led Pine to put his foot down on this one thing.
3. Bad Boy
Pine has a pretty squeaky clean Hollywood story but did fall victim to one Hollywood cliché. Following the 2014 wrap party for Z for Zachariah, Pine was arrested for drunk driving in New Zealand. Pine was fined $93 US and had his New Zealand driving license suspended for six months.
When you’re in the spotlight, everything you say and you do gets a lot more scrutiny. Pine is still haunted by a quote that Details magazine got a hold of, where he said he wanted to be a “permanent bachelor” like George Clooney. Looking back on it, Pine said it was just a “dumb quote.” He has been in a few relationships but has yet to marry or have kids, so maybe there’s still a subconscious desire to be like Clooney.
Pine’s character in White Jazz, the LA Confidential sequel, was going to be a sociopathic latent homosexual. The character was going to be the work partner to George Clooney’s detective, who is also in love with Clooney. The scene that sold Pine on the project (until Star Trek came along) was a scene where the detective’s house explodes, leading to a shower of sex toys and pornography: “I was like—count me in!”
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23