The truth is Chris Pine likes to be dared. When the opportunity arrived to try out for the Into the Woods comic role of Prince Charming, he graciously accepted the invitation and won the part. Certainly, Pine has comedy chops, most recently showcased as the Horrible Bosses 2 kidnap victim. He would venture to say that his Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series has a wit about him, too.
And prince? He was the royal love interest opposite Anne Hathaway in 2004’s The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
His ability to sing may have been one of his best-kept secrets, although the 34-year-old admits he grew up with music around him.
“I remember my family always used to play the Phantom of the Opera record when I was a kid,” says Pine during an exclusive one-on-one interview with Postmedia News. “But I didn’t have much knowledge or experience with musical theatre before this.”
Q So how did you become Prince Charming?
A I was doing press for Star Trek (Into Darkness) in New York, and they asked me if I wanted to do an Into the Woods audition for (director) Rob Marshall, and I didn’t even know what Into the Woods was.
Q Did have confidence in your singing voice?
A I knew I could sing well enough that I wouldn’t be embarrassed at karaoke, but it’s a whole other thing when you do this piece.
Q Were you nervous at the audition?
A Rob (Marshall) was really nice, but I had to get a song together in a night so I jumped into it without thinking.
Q Did you go back for another try out?
A Within a day I found out I got it, so I was off to the the races and started studying (voice) almost immediately.
Q Did you relish the vocal training?
A I did. But then I found out how Into the Woods is this pantheon of Broadway musical theatre.
Q Did you have fun shaping your prince?
A The clarity of the writing helped a lot; the prince has to represent an ideal. But I also wanted him to be a bit buffoonish. His hair is too big and his posture is too much.
Q Is he post-modern?
A I kind of view my (prince) as the perfect symbol of today’s ‘selfie’ generation. He’s an unfettered narcissist.