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August 06, 2008

Chris Pine says he’s ready to ride the tsunami of attention — and loss of privacy — sure to come his way next year when he’s seen as James T. Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ re-imagined “Star Trek” movie. “It’s definitely something I thought about upon taking something like ‘Star Trek,'” says the 27-year-old actor. “There’s a certain price one pays for being able to act, which is what I’ve chosen to do, and a certain price to get to that position where one is able to get more opportunities, to be picky, to say yes and no, and be particular.”

In the crowd-pleasing “Bottle Shock,” opening Wednesday (8/6), the dark-haired “Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” and “Just My Luck” star is nearly unrecognizable — with hippie boy long blond locks and ’70s scruffy denims. “The wig was at times hot and annoying. The pants could be tight and chafing,” says Chris, “but that was my actor wardrobe challenge, and it was fun to disappear into the character.”

Riding on festival raves including the Hollywood Reporter’s designation as a “‘Rocky’ for Wine Aficionados,” “Bottle Shock” depicts the notorious so-called Judgment of Paris wine competition of 1976, when upstart Americans from Napa, Calif., stunned French oenophiles.

MEANWHILE: Bill Pullman and Alan Rickman also topline “Bottle Shock” as the desperate-to-make-good lawyer-turned-winemaker (and Pine’s father) and the snooty British wine merchant at the heart of the story. Pullman’s critically lauded performance is all the more impressive considering he was doing double duty while making the movie.

He was directing his own “Expedition 6” play in San Francisco, and, given the proximity of Napa, got talked into the idea that he could handle both. “I’d shoot all day, get in the car and drive an hour and a half, two hours, hit the apartment in San Francisco and prepare for the next morning of directing,” he tells us. “It worked out great — as an actor, I could do the things I was trying all day to get other people to do as a director.”

HELLO, AGAIN: “After all the screwups, how I found paradise at this stage of my life is amazing.” So says Margot Kidder, 59, and remembered as Lois Lane of the ’70s-’80s “Superman” movies — as well as for the dramas and traumas of her life, including the depths of bipolar disorder. Recent years have found her enjoying life in Livingston, Mont., where her daughter Maggie and her 7 and 10-year-old grandchildren live “three blocks away.” She finds grandmothering “really, really fun.”

Kidder plays an aging lesbian, who, with her partner, is targeted for hate crimes in the here! network’s current “On the Other Hand, Death: A Donald Strachey Mystery” movie. The actress herself says she has found aging surprisingly liberating and more. “Up to a certain point, the world tends to measure your worth on some level by your sexual attractiveness. After that, you have no choice but to be who you are, no reason to play any games. It’s empowering. They never tell young women this. Especially if you’re born pretty, you tend to think this stage is the ghastly part of life — but it’s the part where you really get to bloom.”

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